I know, I didn’t write last week. But I had an excellent excuse – as usual. Though, I think this one is better than usual. Hard to beat, I know.
So what was I doing? Well. I was having a tête-à-tête with God. Okay, okay, so it was more like He sat me down and was like, do I have to hit you with a two-by-four again to get you to listen?
As most of you know, I began looking for work again at the beginning of the year. And by looking for work, I mean, updated my resume, posted it on some job sites and looked for that mystical remote, part-time job so I could have income while still writing. I have great reasons for it. I mean, it’s been three years–I don’t have a contract, I don’t have an agent, I don’t have a book published, and I don’t have a source of income other than Daniel’s paycheck, so clearly, since I am feeling almost back to my normal self with little sign of burnout left, it’s time to go back to work.
Now, I did go through the whole I’m-going-to-only-do-what-God-tells-me and I’ll-look-at-writing-jobs-as-well-as-analysis-jobs, but, let’s be honest – I knew it would be analysis. It had to be. Because, to be frank, that’s where I felt secure. That’s where I knew what I was doing. That was safe. Until God decided He was tired of me not listening to my unsettled spirit and chose to flash a few billboards.
He did this with three distinct things.
First was Hannah Brencher’s weekly newsletter. It was literally entitled, “You’re Never Going Back to the Place.” And, yes, the entire newsletter was about her wanting to return to her past – where she felt safe – instead of looking to the future. Specific passages that I’m pretty sure God had her write specifically to me included:
“You will never live that life again. And while that hurts your spirit now, it will make sense one day. It will all make sense. The future is brighter than you can imagine, but you must move in a new direction. You have to lay down your shattered expectations. You have to release your past.“
“You can’t possibly receive what’s coming to you if your hands are full with what isn’t for you anymore.”
Secondly, my eyes were drawn to a verse that I posted above my desk last year and have ignored ever since. Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” I don’t think that needs any more clarification, do you? Though, just to dig the point in, as I double checked the reference verse for this post, my eye landed on the verse 18 as well: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
And third, He brought me back to Allen Arnold’s book The Story of With; specifically the chapter on Options. In the story, Mia, the main character, is faced with several doors. She has to pick which one to go through, and it isn’t until she stops focusing on the options in front of her and focuses on God instead that she sees the real door. The one that she can only walk through with God. And it was then that I realized that I was choosing stability instead of a future with God. That I did not, in fact, trust Him to make a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. That it isn’t until I am willing to let go of my rigid expectations and look at God, instead of all the supposed options, that I can walk into the future He might have for me.
So, that being said, I have decided to move forward with a new confidence, a new faith, and a new hope that God can actually make this writing thing work, without me running to the safety of my previous life. And I think that I have finally, truly, handed over my past, my dreams, and am embracing a future with a God who’s capable of anything.
So, where does that leave me? I’ll be honest – I have no idea. But isn’t that the point? How can I be open for a future that I don’t know, if I insist on having all the answers right now?
Now, because this isn’t a book or a movie, but real life, I have no doubt there will be lots of ups and downs, and questions, and doubts, and I’ll have to learn this all over again – as I feel I have already many times in my life – but I will say, that I feel a new freedom, a new lightness that I’ve never felt before. And for the first time, an unknown future does not scare me.