This is the cover of my latest journal. True confession: I am a journal junkie. I love the varieties of textures, covers, and styles of spines; the lined, unlined, or graphed papers. I like them small enough to travel well or book size for the year’s life progress. I use journals to record thoughts and gather quotes; to write out my prayers and reflections on what God is showing me in His Word. I have a journal to count gifts and a journal to keep work notes. I have been journaling since I was a teen, but there’s not a diary format among the ones I have saved. They chronicle the testament of the faithfulness of a good God who loves well and has been working through the circumstances of my life for my good and His glory. My journals are one of the ways I measure change.
I recently took my dozen saved journals down from the shelf and packed them away in preparation for this part of life’s journey we’re on. It was good to see those covers again, knowing the season of life each one represents, and knowing the season is in the process of changing yet again.
This new journal has a specific purpose. It’s my journal of reflections for an online Bible study I have joined. I’ve never done this. 22,000 women have signed up to Say Yes to God through Proverbs 31 ministries. I am privileged to be taking part in the study; to be reading this book at this time. The cover of my journal is perfectly suited. Listen to this quote from the book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God:
“Outside our comfort zone is where we experience the true awesomeness of God.”
I can testify to the truth of that statement.
When I have my hands open and palms up, not clenched around the thing or attitude or “the way we have always done this” or (fill in the blank), then I’m able to receive what God has in mind.
Our comfort zone keeps us insulated from experiencing the awesomeness of God.
We had a stirring that God wanted us to make some changes in our life as this season of full time parenting came to a close. We listened to the prayer requests of some young professional women and realized God wanted us to be part of His answer for them. How awesome is that? To be used by God in the lives of others?
We rented our home of 15 years before we had a place to move. We trusted God with the next step. He provided in the form of a temporary landing spot while a family traveled around the country this summer.
We prayed for a new career move for my dear hubs. He applied; we waited. He interviewed; we waited. My go to statement for this season has been: “What is unknown to us is not unknown to God.” We have been an anomaly to our friends; why we would pull up roots without a place to go or a plan or a clue has been beyond them. It’s been beyond me too at times! Which is why I’m calling this our Abraham Summer.
God called Abram from Haran (in modern day Turkey) to “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you;” and Abram went. Out into the desert, on foot or on camel. Over 400 miles. We don’t see him asking questions. He packed up his belongings and headed out to the land I will show you. That’s faith. And that’s trust. We don’t have much record of the development of Abram’s faith in God to that point; we know later that Abraham’s faith was reckoned as righteousness.
Trusting God as I move outside my comfort zone has been very challenging and yet very stabilizing in the midst of a lot of work and chaos that comes with sorting and cleaning and shedding stuff. Those who walk with me have seen and shared my tears. It is scary stepping out into unknown territory, leaving what is familiar to accept the Whatever of the future.
Lysa TerKeurst says the whole of Scriptural commands can be summed up in six words: Whatever God says do, do it.
Radical obedience. That was what Abram, who God later called Abraham, did. Why should we be any different?
The family of our temporary digs will be home in 4 days. We will be off on the next part of the journey by then.
Stay tuned. There are more reflections from the road that will be forthcoming.
What has God called you to do that you’re hesitant to do? What is one step of obedience you can take today?