Inspirational

God's Purpose or Mine?

 "We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success.

 

We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God's purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite.  

 

We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not.  

 

The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way.  

 

What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself. 

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What is my vision of God's purpose for me? 

 

Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power  now.

 

If I can stay  

calm, 

faithful, 

and unconfused

while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me.  

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God is not working toward a particular finish--His purpose is the process itself. 

 

What he desires for me is that I see "Him walking on the sea" with no shore, no access, no goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see "Him walking on the sea" (Mark 6:49).

 

It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.  

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God's training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future.  

We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. 

What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself. 

God's purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. 

However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious." 

-O.Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

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When God Makes All Your Dreams Come True

I am so tired. 

And I've felt so uninspired lately. 

Writing, for me, is currently like when you haven't seen or really spoken much to your best friend in like a month. You don't overly worry about the space because you're so comfortable with it, you know the next time you meet up, it'll be as if no time had passed anyway. 

But that's how I've felt about writing. I've missed it. A lot. But, yet, sometimes there's just nothing to write about. Sometimes life gives you a lot of the same, and you're tired of regurgitating the same four topics all of the time. 

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I had one of my semi-famous "In the Shower" lightbulb moments. I don't know why I do my best thinking in the bathroom. It's not like I don't still have a slew of groupies following me there each time, eager to observe how a human 33-year-old female uses the facilities. 

My old "Chicken Soup For the Teenage Soul Journal" had somehow made it's way to the coffee table in our wood stove room. Who else had some "Chicken Soup" literature hanging around in their home in the nineties? If you did, you were just one of the millions who jumped on that train when it went chugging along for a few years. 

I dared open that old book, and when I did, I not only got some good laughs, but I shed a few tears and felt my cheeks become warm, as I bared my sixteen year old soul to these pages. 

Several things stood out to me: 

1) My thought life was a solid pile of crap back then, too! Nearly eighteen years of hard work has gone into that since then. Fabulous. 

2) My handwriting was semi-atrocious. Okay, maybe not really, but it wasn't cool like it is now. 

3) I wrote down my dreams and I only had three:

 

 Marry Mike.

Become a mother of five. (Yes, creepy).  

And teach.  

 

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Simple dreams. Nothing crazy. 

 

And I gasped a bit when I realized these three little dreams that were dreamed up one afternoon after school, I'm assuming, actually came true.

 

And then my heart fell.  

 

I realized: dreams coming true don't equal happiness.  

 

I know this because I'm not happy. Whether I have a legit medical issue that keeps its heavy boot on my longing to be happy, or if it's all me, I'm not. Either way, I'm just not. 

 

I jiggled my head back and forth slightly, as if performing that exercise would somehow shake me back into reality.  

 

Hours later, while in the shower, God spoke to me. He may as well had just spoke audibly because it was pretty clear what the lesson was here.  

 

He said, "I gave you your dreams, everything you wanted, and more. And I know you're not happy. Because you should've been just wanting me, instead, all along."  

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Bam.  

 

Yeah. Exactly. 

 

Sometimes God gives us everything we want, only to make us realize that He is all we really needed.  

 

And so, dream writing may not be in my future anymore. Sure, it's not wrong to desire things and yearn to be better and have experiences that make us go "wow", but maybe the only dream worth writing down is simply this: To Understand God.  

 

To understand someone, we've gotta see their whole heart. The only way this is possible is if we actively sit at the feet of the one we seek to desperately understand. 

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To take in their words, their expressions, what makes them feel purpose, to really seek to understand them inside and out.  

 

But we're too busy to do that.  

 

And that dream takes the focus off of me. What I want.  

 

So we have this ability to stop dreaming up the crumbs of life, and to really find the courage to seek this Kingdom, this Creator first. 

 

And then...all these things will be added... 

 

And maybe we'll all be the happiest ones.  

And because He is our only dream, all of the other dreams will come true.  

 

So maybe you're feeling like I've been.  

Maybe you've realized God has given you your dreams, and yet, you feel like your dreamcatcher is empty. 

 

Share below. I love hearing from you.  

 

💗,Ae

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Living Hope.

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The ocean is one of my favorite pieces of God's creation. I love going to the beach during the summer and sitting in awe and wonder at the vast space full of water. I love standing at the edge feeling the waves and sand swirl at my feet. To sometimes spot little fish swim or catch a glimpse of a really unique seashell as the water whirls around. It's truly a time of peace and comfort for me. 

However lately I've felt like the bits of sand swirling. I have felt like that little grain of sand, being picked up, and crashed down upon...again...and again and again. Isn't it always true when trials come they rarely come one at a time? Because if the dishwasher breaks, its no surprise that all the kids got the stomach bug? 

For the past 4 weeks I've been going through a valley. I've had relationships around me go through terrible suffering, I've watched people I love hurt, I've found myself anxious and physically sick to where some days I can only sit on my couch. My allergies this year have caused me to go to the doctor numerous times in hopes of helping my world to stop from spinning. The fluid buildup in my ears is horrible. The pain in my head sometimes feels like I may pop. If you looked up my recent searches in Google, you'd find every different type of wording for "relief from severe sinus pressure, how to drain your ears,  help with vertigo..." My birthday and favorite holiday this year were spent with tears in my eyes just crying out for relief of some sort. 

Life is hard. It is easy to get caught in the waves. Seeing trials come and keep coming. To feel like there is no hope. To be picked up by the wave and crashed down upon again and again. To bury yourself in the pain and focus on your hurt. It is easy. 

Hope. Where is the hope in trials? Is there an end? 

As believers in Jesus we have hope, but not just any hope. We hope every day for different things "I hope I get a great review at work" "I hope I find a great deal at J.Crew" "I hope my kids listen to me today" "I hope I get a raise" etc... However that kind of hope can be easily crushed. In Jesus we have something different. We have a living hope. 

“In 1 Peter we see Peter write, ‘…he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…’ The tomb could not hold the living, breathing, scarred, but victorious body of our Jesus. The man who claimed to be God, who committed no sin, and who died before hostile crowds, appeared again, just days later, before crowds bearing the wounds of the cross, but demonstrating a power and victory over it. He is alive." (Desiring God)

Because of His death and resurrection we have Jesus as our living hope! God established and secured our hope when He raised his Son. Therefore, our hope is as alive as Jesus!

Jesus is our anchor. We don't have to take life's blows alone. We don't have to keep our eyes on the waves, on the trials, we have Christ who promises peace and comfort. During those trials He does not leave us. He offers love, comfort, peace and understanding. He is not a God who wants us to suffer. He longs for us to draw near to Him so we can know Him better. He wants us to share His truth with the world. He is for us. He is the arms around us when we can't stop crying. He is the peace, speaking words of encouragement and strength to get through each day. All we have to do is call out to Him. In faith we know that He hears us. Don't doubt His goodness. It can be so hard during trials. You think, “God, why?” We may never know, but rest in what we do know. He is our living God. Trust in His promises! 

Take heart, my friends, in the fact that “the God who raises the dead is your God and he’s with you. God has given you a new, true, full life through his Son, Jesus. And the life he gives is filled with an unconquerable, unquenchable hope.” (Desiring God)

 

Love, Sarah