Three weeks ago, I sat in Starbucks and listened to Ella Fitzgerald belt out some of my favorite ballads as I eagerly filled out the pages of my Powersheets. I walked out of there feeling so energized and focused and excited about all of the things I was going to make happen in 2015.
Ten days later I arrived home from an unplanned trip to Ohio that began as a visit to be with my sick grandfather and ended with me standing by his casket, holding a white rose and saying goodbye to him and to MY goals for 2015.
I can’t explain it other than that while I was in Ohio, I felt like the Lord took my plans from me and sent me home empty and lost and I didn’t understand why until this past weekend.
A few months ago, I took a step of faith and signed up to host a local IF:Gathering because it was something that I unquestionably knew that the Lord wanted me to do. As this past weekend drew near, my emptiness and lack of clarity in some areas of my life filled my heart with these questions.
What really matters?
What is distracting me? Is it worth it?
Who are the voices that I’m allowing to speak into my life?
What is my true passion, my message, my aim? What am I willing to “sell out” for?
I was at a place where I have been many times before. A place where I just wanted to delete my blog and social media accounts, stop reading books and blogs, and just hide in my house behind my husband and my children using 1 Thessalonians 4:11 as an excuse to craft my life away.
But I couldn’t escape this nagging feeling that just won’t leave me alone. This stirring in my spirit that won’t go away. Three weeks ago I thought I kind of got it figured it out. But not really. I put pen to paper and wrote down some nice goals that any good Christian wife, mom, and creative person would be motivated by.
But you know what? I did not pray about those goals. My goals were God-honoring, but they were MY goals for 2015, not His. So He took them away. Or at least He took away the excitement and energy that went with those goals I had written down in my pretty binder.
So here it was, days before the IF:Gathering and I felt lost and confused and desperately needed to hear from God. Then I realized that the timing of my feelings and this event were no coincidence. The Lord had some things He wanted to say to me and I needed to be at a place where I would really listen. And the confident, goal focused Amanda would not have listened very well, but the lost and confused Amanda was all ears.
So on Friday, a few hours before the ladies arrived, while my house was still and quiet, I sat down and wrote the above questions in my journal and ended with this.
“I am praying to receive a word from the Lord this weekend during the IF:Gathering. I am listening.”
And let me tell you, he didn’t just speak to me, He set me free and He gave me the clarity I was so desperate for. He spoke to me HIS plans and purposes for me. I am a different woman than I was a few days ago.
I spent hours Saturday night processing and journaling and talking to Phillip about my 16 pages of notes and thoughts. Over the next few weeks, I plan to share more with you as I continue to process and write out some action steps that I need take so that of this doesn’t simply remain words on paper and memories of a great weekend, but that it actualizes into steps of faith that are walked out in my life in 2015.
The IF:Gathering was great, but honestly, I was so hungry to hear from the Lord that he began to speak to me before it even began. As I was cleaning my house and putting out candles and preparing food, I had to keep pausing to write things down in my journal. He was speaking, I just had to make time and space to listen. (It definitely helped having the kids away for two days, if you know what I mean.) But it was more than that. There was definitely something to the fact that every step of preparing for and hosting this gathering was a step of obedience to something that He called me to do. I know that my obedience primed and positioned me to really receive from Him this weekend.
So join me here me over the next few weeks as I get really vulnerable and share what the Lord is speaking to my heart.