During the week prior to my last day of employment, I was out running early in the morning and I heard very specific instruction from the Lord. My running time is sacred to me as it is typically early in the morning and a quiet time for the Lord and I to connect. My typical rhythm is to get up early, grab a cup of coffee, read and pray for a little bit, and then head out for a run. It is a peaceful time where I can focus on the Lord’s voice. As I was running that morning three words kept echoing in my mind and I knew that was the calling the Lord had for me during this season: Run, Write, and Serve. As I was processing those words, my brain was quickly defining what each thing meant and how it would play out. Only until I was ready to let go of what I thought it all meant was the Lord able to get ahold of me and teach me a few lessons.
RUN…I love to run, and I really didn’t know what this meant, so I committed to run more and ensure I spent as much time with him in my running shoes as possible. The more I ran, the clearer the direction became. I needed to sign up for and run the Cowtown Marathon on February 27. I signed up and got to work creating a training plan to ramp up my mileage so I could run 26.2 miles. The training went well, but as I put more miles in on the road, I was able to process the season and ensure I was taking the necessary time to connect with my Father and hear His voice and direction. It also gave me the opportunity to rest my brain and really focus on what I was learning and experiencing in this season. The more I was training the greater sense I gained that this training and culmination of running a marathon was the time period of the current season. I truly felt as though the marathon weekend was going to be a tough run, one where I had to leave everything I had on the course, but it would also be the gateway to the Lord blessing the next season.
If you have ever run a marathon, you understand there is nothing you can do to prepare for the race except take every training run as it comes, one at a time. You simply keep checking off the runs from your plan and don’t worry about which ones felt good or bad, because they are all adding to your ability to finish the 26.2 miles at the end of the training…you MUST trust the plan. Leading up to the race people kept asking me, “are you ready?” I don’t think I have ever felt ready for a full marathon, but I have prepared, and the rest is in the Lord’s hands. That is what he was showing me…you train, you prepare, you submit to his plan and all you can do is take one day at a time and trust in Him that the outcome will be exactly what He wants. That was our reality…we were trusting in Him that our leap of faith would result in exactly what he wanted…all we could do is take one day at a time in faith.
WRITE…I thought this was all about blogging the season the Lord had for us, but it was so much more. During this season I had the opportunity to teach a Wednesday night men’s class at church. It is a class that I have gone through previously, so it has been a ton of fun going back through the material, adding to it what the Lord has for these men and spending every Wednesday night with them. We have been able to build up and strengthen each other, seeking the Lord and understanding His identity for each one of us. This season has been so timely to this class because I have been able to teach from a place of having to put all my faith and trust in the Lord for direction and provision. Secondly, the Lord called Danielle and I to start and lead the small group ministry at our church. This too has been very timely as we have had the extra time to develop out a strategy, training plan, and recruit potential small group leaders. It has been so cool to see how the Lord operates when we walk in obedience…He makes the time for the initiatives He wants to be a priority, all we have to do is walk the path of obedience.
SERVE…I always want to learn from situations and apply those lessons to my own life. This part of the calling was no different. I had my own thoughts on what this looked like and honestly, I thought I was going to need to keep a calendar for the opportunities that would arise. I sought out opportunities to do “handy-man” work, miscellaneous projects, clean-up, really anything that people who may not have a carpentry skillset needed done. The thing that baffled me is there were very few of those projects. I was incredibly thankful for the projects that came up around our church which I was able to serve and accomplish, and it allowed me the time to serve my family in additional capacities and give them a break from normal life. I have some mixed feelings on this subject; I am not sure if it was the Lord directing me to focus primarily on my own family or if it is the fact that our society is so crazy independent, and we do not know how to ask or accept help. The biggest lessons I learned out of this portion of the calling for the season was:
- Do not be discouraged when the Lord calls you to do something, and the opportunity does not present itself. Be faithful to what He has called you to and keep seeking.
- Serve your family well.
- Be willing to ask for help and allow people to help you.
- Do not allow perfection to get in the way of allowing people to serve. They may not meet a standard you have or the perfect project you want, but they are a willing servant trying to answer a call.
Blog #5 coming soon. My heart’s desire is that our transparency with this season of our lives will encourage you to seek and follow the Holy Spirit in your life. Stop, listen, make sure you have those you trust and love around you to do the same, and walk in obedience as the Holy Spirit guides. It will be difficult but rewarding!