|image courtesy of eslpod.com|
2. I do some things to build the ministry.
3. It seems to be growing more slowly than I had hoped or anticipated.
4. I wonder, "Did I hear right? Is this really what I'm supposed to be doing? Maybe there's something else I should be doing in the meantime."
5. I investigate a variety of career options. I apply for jobs. (Not that I ever intend to actually be a working mom, because I'm quite certain that my work in life will be a combination of motherhood and ministry. I'm just thinking of working in the meantime, while I wait for the ministry dream to become a reality.)
6. Doors close. No job for me.
7. I am left wondering where I went wrong and asking God questions.
8. As is His style with me, I sense God's reply holds a mixture of patience, chagrin, and sarcasm. "I never did tell you to apply for jobs, did I? So what exactly are you unclear about?"
9. I still wonder and worry.
10. God provides confirmation of His calling through two emails from magazine publishers.
I have an awareness that I am supposed to press on, yet a desire for something to happen now. Because God's plan doesn't seem to be fitting the same timeline as my plan, I question.
I know an amazing woman, Donna Jordan, who teaches with YWAM (Youth with a Mission) on hearing the voice of God (aka listening prayer). She asks God questions all the time, but she doesn't question Him. Once she has her answer, she trusts.
I was thinking how I'd like to be more like Donna. To be the kind of woman who knows that I know that I have been given clear direction from my Father, trusting Him for as long as it takes...without question.
The difference between Donna and I (besides the fact that she's a seasoned woman who's spent most of her adult life as a missionary and I'm a younger mom living in the comforts of a big house in the city) - she talks to God and listens to Him every. single. day. She is so familiar with His voice that there is little room for doubt.
If I want to be a woman who does not question my Daddy's instructions, I need to be absolutely and utterly familiar with the sound of His voice.
I recently heard Brad Jersak speak on listening to God, and he shared about a challenge that his wife took on. She added a few minutes to her daily quiet time to ask God one question and journal His answer. Every day. For forty days. It changed her relationship with her Abba forever.
I have decided to take up her challenge for this year's season of Lent - the 40 days where we prepare our hearts to truly celebrate Christ's sacrifice, His death and resurrection. According to my friend, Google, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (March 9th this year) and ends on the Saturday of Easter weekend (April 23rd). If you're into math (fellow geeks unite!), you'll count 46 days. Also according to Google, the Sundays in Lent are not included in the 40-day count, as each Sabbath is considered a "mini-Easter" celebration.
During that time, I'd like to share some of my experiences with you. I'd love for some friends to join me and blog about their times of listening to God, too. I'll put up a linky and everything. On Thursdays, from March 10 - April 21, we can fellowship together over coffee and under our Father's love. Sometime between now and then, I'll come up with a catchy name and a button for our little series. (Now accepting applications for "catchy name developers" and "pro-bono blog button designers." *wink*)
Anyone else need a fresh word from God?
Would you care to join me on this Lenten journey of asking, listening, and writing it down?
It's important to mention one other person who has inspired my desire to seek out God's voice more intentionally, because she teaches me more about Him every time she writes... Sandy, thank you for always bringing us back to centre - back to God - at God Speaks Today. Your series 30 Days of Hearing God was a major inspiration for this unnamed series; your series God Speaks through the Storm is what brought me to your blog; and your current series, Freedom from Perfection is getting on my nerves (in a good way)! If we lived in the same zip code/ postal code, I can guarantee that you'd find me lurking on your porch angling for a coffee and a visit chalk full of wisdom and inspiration far more often than you'd like!