“Where we see holes we’ve dug, God sees foundations he’s making.” -Bob Goff
Sometimes I wonder how many times one’s life can crumble in one lifetime. God probably thinks, “Until you’re finally honest with yourself and me.” I once asked God, “Why doesn’t my life work like everyone else’s?” God replied, “Because you surrendered your life to me.” We’ve been in a power struggle for years and there are moments my life goes into gridlock until I finally surrender the need to control how things work out.
My life has slowly been flipping upside down again since the middle of last year and less than two weeks ago, I allowed my entire world to flip upside down again.
It all started with the Bible. If I could have avoided reading the Bible in this lifetime, I absolutely would have. I don’t think there are many people who think to themselves, “Man, you know what book I’ve been dying to read? The Bible!” As a woman who grew up in the church as a pastor’s kid, my desire to read the Bible is potentially even less than the average person. I once owned a Bible as a child, but the most I ever did with it was put all the tabs in it so it was organized enough to never touch again.
Last year, though, I started getting the pull to read it. I shyly admitted it to my friend I was staying with at the time. “I mean, I have a Bible if you want to check it out.” As soon as she handed it to me and I took it into my room to flip through, immediately I thought to myself, “Nope! I don’t know where the hell that desire came from but I definitely do not want to read the Bible.”
Months later while in Utah, I received a text from my mom out of the blue, “Do you have a Bible?”
“Where the hell did that come from?” I thought to myself.
“Do you want a Bible? I’m doing a Bible study and I thought of you.”
For anyone who doesn’t know, this is not normal communication with my mom. It was just as odd for her as it was for me. Against all logic, I said, “Sure. I’ll do a Bible study with you. That’ll be fun!”
What were these words coming out of my mouth in the form of a text? Fun? Bible? There were other moments leading up to that texting conversation, as well, that kept calling me to the Bible but before I knew it, I was the owner of a Bible, a study guide, and a weekly call with my mom to discuss the Bible and other topics of interest.
Five months later, God was at work again in my life, removing and creating lots of space in my life. Clients in and out (mostly out), money in and out, podcast guests canceling left and right, spiritual support shifting, and more.
He created a level of space and vulnerability in my life to force me to return to him every single time. Instead of asking friends, I was praying. Instead of freaking out about lost opportunities, I was praying. I listened over and over again, even though I continued to feel like God wasn’t saying anything.
When I talked to others about my work, it always came back to money and clients. When I sat with God, it always came back to writing. I always made excuses for why I couldn’t write. “Once my client roster is full, then I can focus on my writing. Once I’m making a certain financial goal, then I can focus on writing.”
That’s not how God works in my life. God says, “I give you the clients and you give so much to them, you stop writing. I give you the money and you continue to have excuses for why you can’t write. How about if I remove it all so you have no choice but to do the one thing you know you are here to do?”
He has done exactly that.
For the first time, I’m not scared. Not that I never experience fear or anxiety, but I’ve been on this merry go round enough times with Him to know that this will keep repeating until I finally give in. In fact, I hired a mentor to help hold space for me because I knew if I told someone else I was being called to go all in on my writing, I would have someone there to call me out if I slipped back into old ways. But then, God put me on time out from him, too.
“You’re going down your old habitual path. Stop. That is not your path.” God has made it very clear.
The hardest part, though, is that it’s as clear as mud. All I know is writing. That’s it. God isn’t giving me any more information. When I ask about being a mentor, I hear, “Yes. You can mentor others, but that is not your focus.”
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t frustrating. I want to do things my way. I want to do things how everyone else is doing it because there’s some sort of example for how to live life that way, but every time I try, God laughs and asks, “How’s that working out for you?”
It’s not. It hasn’t been. It hasn’t been for a long time, but I was too scared to lose it all. Then, I lost it all—over and over again— and I finally decided, “If I’m going to lose it anyway, I might as well do what I love.” What I know is God always provides. Always. It may be unpredictable and non-traditional, but God always provides.
I may be stubborn and not fully wanting to change my ways, but when I sit with it, I know wherever this is leading me is meant to transform me along the way. I’m supposed to be on my own path, doing my own thing, just walkin’ with Jesus along the way.
I will be doubted, questioned, abandoned, and judged, but I will also be loved, supported, and observed with curiosity. I may have dug a bunch of holes along the way, but I know when I finally stop pretending like I don’t need God, He’ll fill them in to create the foundation I needed this whole time.