As you might have noticed, we’ve got a new thing going here. And we have also not had a lot of posts lately. This whole year has been a transition for me, what with K starting kindergarten and me moving from the little ones stage to the school ones stage. Don’t get me wrong: I love this stage. I’ve loved all the stages, because they’ve tested me and taught me and left me stretched and grown and alive. But it’s a transition nonetheless, and I’ve been struggling with it more lately.
I think it started with the car. The new car. The shiny blue one that is so slick the kids practically drool over it. It has everything I’ve ever wanted in a car: moon roof, killer sound system, heated seats, phenomenal gas mileage, etc. I love this car. But when I would get into it, it wouldn’t feel quite right. I struggled to understand, and then as I was praying through my confusion, God spoke to me:
“It wasn’t about you.”
Oh. Oh. The car was about B. I worked to wrap my head around it, the gift that was supposed to be mine, the car that replaced my van. I settled into the peace that followed: it’s not always what I expect, when I do as God asks, and truly, it’s never supposed to be about me. Joy filled my heart as I understood what was really going on, what God intended and what we had gracefully (if unwittingly) fulfilled.
A week later, I was engaged in an even deeper struggle. Why would God lead me to writing if I had no interest in publishing? I’ve mulled over this thought time and time again, looking back at the trajectory of my life and feeling baffled. Everything led to a career as a writer, from the stories I wrote in elementary school to the MFA. Along that path, I truly sought God, and I knew His hand was in those choices. So why did they lead me to something that wasn’t right? And then, God spoke again.
“It wasn’t about you.”
Oh. Oh oh oh. Really? You can’t be serious, I asked Him. But then we went through it, step by step. The way it had been many of my choices that led us where we are. The extra year my lit degree took me, which allowed B to get his master’s degree. The desire to go to grad school, which brought us back to San Diego and into the career B loves. When I stepped back, I could see how important my choices were, but they weren’t necessarily for shaping my path. They were for shaping his.
I think, if we hadn’t gone through the car issue, God could not have prepared me for the bigger revelation. Sometimes I think He tests us with little things before bringing out the big ones. In this case, I’d already worked through the humility required, the trust, the understanding, the acceptance. We worked through it again, me letting go of my pride and embracing His truth. But I’m only human, and I did cry. What about me?
“Your adventure is yet to come.”
Okay, enough already, I sighed. But He wasn’t joking. A week later, I was praying again and going over different paths before me. What to prioritize, I asked? And how do I fit rest in there? Because if there is one thing God is still working on with me, it’s rest. I lined up the three paths–baking, writing, and working at the school–and lifted them up. Which one do I choose?
“All of them.”
Oh. Oh. NO. I cannot do all of these, I said. You told me it wasn’t about me, so it can’t be the writing. You told me it was about rest, and doing even one of these violates that principle. Three? Seriously, three? Are you crazy?
“No. I am God. And you will rest. You will not try to figure out how this all works. You will do what you need to do, and I will handle everything else. That’s your rest.”
So that’s where I am. And the truth is, the buying of the car may have been about B, but it has grown to be my baby, and I love it. Prying the keys from my hands has become embarassingly difficult. And my love of writing has been refreshed, even if the path that got me there was more about B than it was me. And when I was sure I wasn’t a leader, I’ve been nominated as the VP of Education for next year’s PTA (even though I’ve only attended one meeting in my three years at the school). God’s ways are not always linear, nor are they as black and white as I sometimes see them. It was about me. Me understanding the ways in which our service to God is intertwined and multifaceted. Me growing in humility and trust. Me accepting that sometimes God needs my action, and that even in action I can be at rest. With God, all things are possible. I’m hoping to be living proof of that.
Which winds back to the title. Our pastor gave a stellar sermon last Sunday about the difference between believing in God and being ALL IN. It absolutely inspired me. Instead of trying to live light, how about I just live light? Live for Jesus, all in. Not just seeking that Spirit-filled life, but enjoying it every day. It’s the difference between standing on the edge of a pool and trying to figure it out–how will I swim, what’s in the water, how deep is it, and how cold?–versus just jumping in. It’s God’s water, and He’s not going to let me drown. So all in–God promises it’s gonna be all right.