Monday, May 30, 2011

If you want something - you have to intentionally go after it.

Growing up. Maturing. Getting wiser.

One would ideally learn how to "do life" wisely at a younger age than 33. I have never been the "ideal", so let's toss that expectation out the window.

To view my life on a timeline, you would see numerous fits and starts, starts and stops, wind-ups and wind-downs, detours and u-turns. Needless to say, if there is a lesson to be learned, I will find the hardest way to learn it. If you ask my parents or my husband, they can vouch that these lessons can be very expensive...and often experienced and paid for at least three times before my hard head "gets it". Which is the number one reason I am amazed by the grace of God.

God gave me an undeniable vision for my life when I was 21 years old. This vision was etched so clearly onto my heart that I have never doubted God's divine purpose for me. Even as I type this, my heart beats double time at the thought that He picked me for a reason. But God's vision for my life and the life I have chosen to live have often not collaborated. If you are anything like me, when you want something, you want it now. For instance, FedEx overnight takes too long and Amazon one-click for iPhone is a delightful invention because you can make impulsive purchases without waiting until you are at your computer. Clearly, I have a problem with the "waiting" part in the definition of patience.

Here I am, 12 long years after God initially planted this vision in the depths of my soul...and no, I'm still not "there" yet. I sit here laughing to myself, because although that vision has not exploded into reality at this immediate point in time, I can see His gracious leadership all over those detours and left turns I have chosen. Many of those pit stops on the scatter plot have been where my sin-sick flesh directed all of my choices; and the u-turns are where He would lovingly draw me back.

All of this time, He has not been taken aback with surprise at my missteps or my willful attempts to self-indulge. Rather, He has continued to faithfully weave His plan together for how my life will bring Him the most glory. Despite my adamant belief in His designs for my life, this messy path I have walked has certainly birthed much indignation, frustration and insecurity. I have often floated from self-righteous shouts of, "I know this is what He's made me then why can't He just blink me into that person?" to cries of insecurity and unbelief, "He can't even use my pathetic life at all. I'll never be what He made me to be!"

As of May 31, 2011, I'm still waiting; but I'm not passively waiting with the attitude that God just sprinkles me with fairy dust to make my dreams come true. I can look back over the past year and a half and see specific paradigm shifts which have inspired change and significant growth. I see new relationships which have served to challenge me and hold me accountable to moving towards the vision for my life. I see the triple-huge blessing of my mentor, Tanya Whitaker, whose path intersected with mine in a way that can be described only as chosen and purposed by God. I also see a date on my calendar of June 26, 2011, which is nothing less than a divinely gifted opportunity for me to use my God-made talents. It's a small opportunity...certainly not what one could mistake as "the big time" by any means. Yet, for me, it's proof that God has not ever changed His mind about me. It is proof that each step I have taken since that day 12 years ago has not been meaningless.

You might be wondering why I am writing about this; and you may even wonder if I often sit around obsessing about where I am versus where I should be. For the record, I don't...and the impetus of this post is not random at all. I'm going to be joining my niece (well, technically she is my niece because she is my husband's brother's son's wife. She's just six years younger than I am, it's kind of weird to call her my niece; but I digress.) in a study by her pastor, Craig Groeschel, called The Chazown Experience. The following quote by Craig sums up the purpose of the study:

"Jesus did not die for us so that we could stumble around ignorant of our reason for existence."
~Craig Groeschel

Forgive the superficial overview, but the basis of the study is to determine how to live out God's vision for your life. Chazown is a Hebrew word translated as "dream, revelation, or vision". The Bible says that when people lack vision, they lack self-restraint (Proverbs 29:18). If people don't dream and plan and intentionally set out towards a goal...then there is no end goal, therefore no achievement; and thus, there is no discipline involved in seeking out that achievement. Anyone who knows me would tell you I wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of planning; and I admittedly concede that I tend to be excessive with my planning at times. Regardless of my personal extremities, failing to plan is a plan in itself: a plan to go nowhere.

I don't believe in coincidence, so the fact that God put this study in front of my face at this very point in my life is humbling to me. He knows right where I am and what I am ready to embrace. He knows that I can't wait to see what He does next. He knows that without vision and direction - His people will perish. (He also knows that when He created Amy McGehee Dalke, He gave her an innate desire to love plans and anything requiring organization and strcuture.) If you have read any blog entry of mine over the last two plus years, you have likely seen a few of my "starts and stops"...and unfinished "plans". I did have lovely intentions, but unfortunately, those intentions were coupled with a lack of commitment and a measure of ADD.
Mainly those were my pitiful attempts to jump ahead of God (because He obviously was not keeping a fast enough clip on my timeline!).

So here goes: I've caught a brief glimpse of the vision God has for His glory in my life; and I am deliberately going after it. I want to see more of God and experience more of Him - and I want to be committed and intentional in this pursuit. I am wise enough (dear Lord, finally!) to know I have not one ounce of ability on my own. The great news is that I know God has all the ability I could possibly ever need.

It would thrill me to me toes if someone joined me in this study. I'll be your best friend if you will...(okay, so I said I have matured....but I didn't say how much!).

p.s. you should check out Allison's blog, too: The Intentional Peace. Talk about someone who is mature for 27 years old...she's kind of mind-blowingly awesome (although I swear she would blush if you ever told her that).
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Robyn said...

Sure have missed you blog lady! Always a blessing!!!