I often consider that life is a puzzle... each piece has such a purpose, connecting one part to another, creating a beautiful story. My thoughts have been spinning... in just such a way that pieces I didn't know I had spread on the table began to fall into place. Knowledge, answers... faith. Most of all, the pictures that are appearing have me amazed, and gasping for a bit of air to breathe... not sure I would even be here in this place if I had not listened to His urging and started the 24over24 challenge. As I have created a routine of readings... from a few different sources, I have found beauty and a new layer of faith working in me. Only God could run these books together, words that could be part of one larger piece, spread through...
On the day I gave in to my fear of joining this challenge, Dawn wrote about being still... but she also wrote about the Israelites being led out of Egypt, through the Red Sea. And what hit my heart? Their hopelessness and despair, and how the despair continued even as God was making a way. A big thought... for this small heart. So how do I realize that and make it not so in my own life? Answers poured out... and I am learning to thank God in advance for answers that I cannot yet see. I praise Him now for what I cannot see and by faith, thank Him in advance because I know He is trustworthy. Pieces... fitting together.
Like so many, I have followed Ann Voskamp through Guatemala, and through rivers of tears, all the while with a tug at my heart. The miracles, the living quarters, the situations... our God at work in such corners of the earth. Seeing less... and letting it work in my own heart. And Kristen's project for Africa... and how it is changing her family's life, how He is changing them. And my own, very different trip to Africa, knowing that my heart will never be the same. I see myself in the mirror... and recall that freedom I felt while I was there. Free from a closet full of clothes, or a pile of shoes to choose from... free from caring about my hair, instead loving the rush of air that whipped in into a fury... His breath. It is hard to bring that home... now surrounded, again, with so much.
And all of a sudden I know. I know the reason I didn't want to take the 24over24 challenge... what caused the fear to bubble up inside me and make my heart shiver, just at the thought of spending time with God. I'm afraid... that giving Him a larger part of my day will have consequences. I'm afraid... that He might call me to do something big. Something I might not want to hear and won't want to do, something that might make me uncomfortable beyond belief, or cause me to grow. Honestly? I'm pretty comfortable right where I am. Even though I have seen such changes in myself over the last few years, I have not come through those growing times without first fighting it tooth and nail. How many times, I have just chosen to shut out His voice? But now I wonder... how much longer can I sit and pretend not to hear?
Kay commented the other day that she loves everything about Kristen's story... and mine. So amazing how God works so many things together into One Story. The tears came again, and I can feel it all piecing itself together, this one story, His story. So I spend my time with the God of the Universe... and try to listen for his voice with more than half my heart. Hoping and praying that His plan for me will start out small, that I can do something in small way... but accepting that he just might have another plan.
The spinning thoughts... they have slowed, but not retreated.