Tuesday, August 5, 2014

If you woke up this morning...

I heard a homily one time that lead the congregation to its feet; a standing ovation that left
a forever impression on my heart. It seemed to be answering the always-looming question that most
Christians are asking every day, on repeat, year after year: "What do you want me to do, God?"

I've had my fair share of upset plans throughout my life. The "for sure" kind of plans, that in my mind
were obvious "God would love this" kind of choices. I have run full-throttle in one direction only to
face-plant into a door, a road block, a "return to go - do not collect $200" card.

"But I thought this was YOUR will!"

I was 18 years old when I was sent home, 4 months early, from a missionary program I had volunteered
with. Reader's Digest version of the story: I had a series of unexplainable health issues that made me a
liability to the organization. While on an eight day silent retreat, I was handed one of those pink message
slips with flight information straight back to Chicago. I never got to return to Florida, where I was
stationed, to even say goodbye or pack up my own things. UPS boxes arrived for days - delivering a way
of life that I wasn't ready to give up or surrender. A "for sure - God would love this" plan gone awry.

And my grandma prayed that I would see the purpose in the chaos; that an answer would be given.

Years have taught me that it's not about failing; failing to hear God or failing in my capabilities.
Sometimes it is just simply about being re-routed, refined. When I talk to young adults, peers, now
about vocations, dating, marriage, life choices, the big decisions that shape the rest of our lives,
I encourage them to stay in motion... keep moving in the direction you feel called. Green lights
red lights; take them as they come, but stay in motion.

Stagnant ponds are harder to stir up, direct. But an active river? God can do big things.
And that is so clearly the answer to my grandma's prayer - the lesson my heart needed to learn.

The homily, that priest, urging people to not wait for "signs" - roses from heaven, a rainbow in the sky,
rain in the desert. Sometimes those beautiful, blatant gifts are given, but when they don't come...

If the sun rose, if you woke up this morning - it's a sign.
A sign that you still have time. That your work is not done.

So do something.

The grace of the big picture is often not ours,
but the gift of the moment is always a present to be unwrapped and enjoyed.

I'm not saying to throw all caution to the wind when it comes to discernment. And I don't think
that priest was either. But I think the enemy can do big things too, just like God, but in the opposite
direction - with hearts that become too afraid to move for fear of "not doing God's will" -
a well-intentioned situation with grace-filled motives, in the name of Jesus kind of thing.

Not long after I came home from my missionary year-cut-short, I started working for a
Franciscan T.O.R. priest. For years I had been programmed to believe that
without discernment and permission from someone higher in authority.

I cried in my office the day that Franciscan priest looked at me and told me that HE TRUSTED
, and that I had free reign to use those gifts in the ministry.

You are graced. You are gifted. You are capable.
And God is expecting big things. Big things, people!

I returned the lie, exchanging it for truth.

"If the sun rose, if you woke up this morning - it's a sign.
A sign that you still have time. That your work is not done.

So do something.


Want more? Sounds good to me...
A great resource for discernment can be found here.

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  1. Lovely post. I love the notion of the pond vs. the river. To keep moving even whether we get a red light or green light. Thanks for sharing. Very encouraging. :)

    1. Hey thanks, Kelly <3 Glad you stopped by! XO

  2. yep yeppers yes ma'am. I don't believe in failure when that "door slams in your face" if you're chasing after God. When we consider the fact that we are on mission at ALL times, the fact that the place or activity may change isn't such a big deal. Love you!

    1. Right?! It's all about perspective - and I love yours! ON MISSION AT ALL TIMES! So true. And God is good! AMEN! XO

  3. This is SO MUCH encouragement. SO. MUCH.


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