God Answered

 

 

I was writing at Starbucks for the day. The internet wasn’t free, so I decided not to go online—I thought I would probably get more work done that way. I planned to write blog posts; but I soon found that neither my flash drive nor my laptop contained the drafts I intended to finish. My drafts are backed up in email, but I didn’t think it was worth the time or effort to log on. So, instead, I organized some story files, then decided to go through the blog drafts I did have.

I opened the first file in a series of three that I had jotted down, but never developed—a “Goal Quest” series. I didn’t feel particularly qualified to guide others on their goal quests today, but I opened it anyway.

I was facing a short paragraph that confronted me with an unexpected challenge:

“Get away by yourself to a quiet place, and take a good look at your life. What is your purpose? What do you want to accomplish? Write down everything that comes to mind, and study the list. What is important to you? What do you want to do?”

I had written the words weeks ago, but I never expected myself to be the audience. Shocked, I took in my surroundings. Cool and sunny, peaceful if not silent. Quiet. I had nothing else to work on, so I started writing down the answers to my questions. I finished with this:

~~I want to live independently and freely

~~I want to drive my own transportation; go where I want whenever I want

~~I want to write and create freely in a peaceful, relaxing environment

~~I want to live the most I can live, without limitations of worry, health, or fear

~~I want to be free to be myself

I saved the document, looked out the window for a minute, and wondered—How? I felt the vague notion that I needed action steps for my goals. I thought perhaps taking action steps would prepare me for the time when the goals become reality. So I opened a new note and began typing the first goal that came to mind:

Goal: Buy/Lease a mini SUV

Action steps: Practice driving

I stopped there. It felt aimless. Preparing is good, but how do I achieve what I’m preparing for? Feeling a sense of the ludicrousness of the situation, I opened up the second document in my Goal Quest series. Maybe I had some pointers for myself, I thought.

The first thing on the page was James 1:6-7:

“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord.”

A beautiful tune began playing in Starbucks then–I could only half-hear it. I caught the words, “Got in her car…”

I looked out window again, watching all the mini SUVs fly past. Two young women, one pushing a stroller, appeared to my right, walking along the sidewalk in front of me. I thought of the future, of having a family. Facing all these goals I had just written, the goals I wanted so much, I reflected that my lack of faith is what’s crippling me. I can’t see how to achieve what I desire most. I feel like I’ll be stuck here forever. I panicked at the helplessness.

I turned to the Lord on a cry of my heart: “How??”

My eyes fell on the young woman who was now at my left. She was pulling her sweatshirt jacket over her shoulders, and suddenly I saw the words printed across the back in big, bold letters:

DO WORK

“Oh, God,” I whispered as tears stung into my eyes. “Oh, God.” I’ve been hearing the word “work” for months, in answer to my pleas. I know the work I need to do, and I’ve been trying to do it. But I still feel frozen by fear and doubt…doubt that it will accomplish anything. Doubt that I can accomplish anything.

I let the feeling soak in–the feeling of hearing God speak. And then my ears caught a few more words from the quiet song in the background:

“You’ll never be alone, no matter what. You’re going to be okay.”

I cried all the more. It’s the answer to all my prayers. The key I need to unlock the future I desire so much. I will work, and God will make magic out of it. Somehow, for the first time, the realization sank in. I believed it.

The future is now.

I left Starbucks, and walked back into my busy life with a new, soul-stirring sense of peace and security. God will make it work.

Pop picked me up, and as he turned the ignition, the car radio came to life in the middle of an advertisement for the new “Chronicles of Narnia” movie, which debuts this weekend. I heard Liam Neeson’s rich voice–as the character of Aslan the Lion, who represents Christ–ask:

“Are you prepared for the wonder that awaits you?”

Yes, Lord. Yes.

 

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I bet you never thought this is how your day would turn out did you?

    But it’s a neat exercise and very revealing at that so if I’m you, I’m glad I got through it. As for me, I’m thinking I need to ask myself some of these very questions. Sometimes we just spend too much time letting life pass by without taking the time to look and observe and reflect on some of these very questions.

    I think that if we did take the time, we’d slowly grow to be better, happier people. Don’t you?

  2. I totally agree. It’s so difficult to find a “quiet place”–whether physically or mentally. When we do, we learn some surprising things about ourselves.

    And you’re right, that’s not how I expected the writing session to turn out.๐Ÿ™‚ But I’m glad!

  3. Christine — You inspire me so much. You don’t even know.

    I’m typing through tears, and I am bookmarking this, because I’m sure I will need it again later, when I’ve forgotten again. ๐Ÿ™‚ More than once, your words have been the morning sun, the scent of coffee, the breeze through the window that wakes me up when I’ve slept too long. Thank you.

    ~~Erin~~

  4. This is great, Christine. So often the answers we need are staring right at us, or else they’re not very far to seek. But we have to be ready to look for them.

    This may seem like a long stretch from the kind of personal insight that you talk about here, but I think I end up writing about a lot of these things when I cover business — I mean, the “simple” but profound realities that make things tick. Often we act like the solution is complicated, when it’s just *difficult*.

    Best wishes to you!

  5. @Eirewolf Thank you so much, Erin–your words have inspired *me*, too

    @Tim Thank you! That reminds me of one of my favorite sayings–“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

  6. Well written and spiritually correct. Faith and confidence are gifts that we receive. Ephesians says you’ve been blessed with ALL spiritual blessings, and you are SEATED in the heavenlies, already.

    We are occupying heaven in Christ, before we physically arrive there. Your steps are in tune with the infinite. You already have the victory in Jesus. Now act and feel like it. You shall win!

  7. @Vaspers What an awesome comment, thank you!

    You all are inspiring me to write!

  8. When I read your blog for today I thought, Been there, done that. And in the end, it does come out all right. I remember in my single years doubting God would lead me to the right person. Years seemed to go by. Actually it was years. I found a wonderful wife when I was 28. Earlier when I had doubts about my Christian faith I asked God to show me a sign. One afternoon as I was leaving a store I looked at the sunset and the clouds formed a sort of triangle and the bottom was pointing right at the cross on the church across the street. I said, God, you arranged this natural sight just for me to see today! Wish I had a camera but I do still have a mental picture and many years of proof that being faithful to God has never steered me wrong. Peace and joy in Him. aka OCtechguy

  9. Awesome๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for sharing that!

  10. That was beautifully written. It’s always in the quiet moments (when we listen) that answers are revealed to us. Sadly, our busy and hectic lives can sometimes be a distraction from what matters most, which is knowing and living one’s purpose. For some that’s not always an easy thing to know and act upon, but IMHO, it’s always worth pursuing.

    No matter what the undertaking is, whether its one’s life purpose or a new goal or task to be learned, fear and doubt are two elements that can hold us back, which is why I loved when you wrote, I want to live the most I can live, without limitations of worry, health, or fear.

    I really enjoyed reading your post and it reminded me that I need to take time to have those quiet moments to listen to the still small voice that always reveals where I need to go. Thanks for sharing this story with all of us.

  11. Well this is my first visit here and the words I read are absolutely beautiful.

    It was my pleasure to meet you today and have a little chat via skype… thanks and God Bless.

    ~Ange


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