It’s been a while since I have written and that is partly because I have been exhausted but also because God always gives me the words to write, when he wants them written and it’s been obvious lately it was not a writing time for me. Sometimes when I first started out blogging I would try to force writing some days. I would have my coffee and setting perfectly set up and literally have no words to write. Then other days, I would have to pull over on the side of the road and jot down some quick notes because words were flowing straight from Him to write down. The past few days I started picturing all these words again that I wanted to share and knew it was time for another post. So, maybe these words are for that one person reading today, or maybe it is for me to understand them better and keep perusing Him.
We went to church the other day (for the first time in a while, completely guilty) and it was one of those services where I felt the need to go shake the pastor’s hand and introduce myself. “Hi, I’m Stacy and this is my husband Austin, the ones who you wrote this sermon specially for today.” Let me back up some by explaining how we got here. The end of April, when Austin’s project in Maryland was coming to an end, we were strongly being called to live life for something more than a job, a paycheck, bosses, a routine and ultimately a life focusing on other things than God himself. When we entered this time “off” we knew we had a certain amount of spending money, a general time frame in our head, a path to take the RV across the country and the rest… honestly we had no idea where it would lead.
It’s funny because so many people often ask, has Austin found the job yet? Or any leads on the job situation? Yes, a lot of life and location revolves around job but we’re also trying to be obedient to God’s calling for us as a whole. Not just the job, the paycheck, the work hours. If we wanted the easy next step, we could have taken the three jobs he has already turned down that we KNEW would not change our routine that we were being called to change. Even though we have not accepted a job, God is working in our lives so much! With both of us coming from families and parents who worked their butts off their whole life for us, sometimes it’s hard to understand that we’re choosing to live without a paycheck or a house (not on wheels) or even to be paying absurd amounts of money for cobra insurance with a baby on the way. Sometimes it is hard for ME to understand and we definitely have our harder days where we ask God, ”is our next step coming soon?” A few weeks ago, it was a harder week with us both starting to get exhausted of living without the typical routine, an unpacked house, private time just us etc. You may have seen we picked up to Galveston for the week and this is why. We felt tried and exhausted and kind of starting to just settle with any job because… well the clock is ticking with this baby! It was hard to even have fun since we were toward the end of our timeline and day to night was kind of stressful. I even asked us WHAT the HECK are we even doing right now? God granted us a refreshing fulfilling week at the beach to redirect the mission and hasn’t stopped talking to us since. Austin found a new outlook and a fresh breath on the job hunt and we together had some amazing talks about what God is doing RIGHT now in our life. Let me add a small side note to this. We ARE NOT just sitting around waiting for the right next step in life. We strongly believe in letting God lead you but not without putting in the hard work and doing everything in your earthy power to achieve what you want. We are passionately praying, Austin is networking constantly and we openly talk about our goals/dreams/desires with each day and each job potential. When you feel like you are doing everything you can but feel kind of lost more than ever, it is hard to feel like you are going anywhere! After the beach we knew something had changed, even though, maybe nothing physically changed! We are listening more. I even asked Austin at the beginning of the week, “what are we missing here? I feel like we are missing SOMETHING.” I also strongly believe that if God calls you somewhere or puts you in a trial there is always something to be learned or changed and he won’t lead you out until you have that open heart to see it and the biggest part of this is to be OBEDIENT to it. It is one thing to see it but say I am not strong enough to do that. I saw a note while at the beach that said, “Try again but with God.” My first thought was, we ARE doing it with Him… but then I immediately knew we weren’t to the extent that He wanted us to.
Ok, ok …SO this is when we walk into church and what’s the title of the sermon? “Lost- Surviving the Deserts of Life”. The general topic was about David and his “God like bootcamp” he had to endure for 40 years after he was CALLED by God. He called him into the Desert but David didn’t know for quite some time what his real plan was to be. The main point of the sermon was this… What have you entered into that you since have gotten lost and forgot WHY you entered in? Um. Hello. You might as well just look directly at us Pastor. He said those that grow weary in the desert without fully trusting God may abandon too early before He is done perfecting us and changing us. We must remember WHY we walked in or we get LOST. The cool thing for us is that we weren’t lost at all, we were still in our calling.
Here are a few of my notes from the sermon that really struck with us:
- Being lost is worth being found.
- The mountains draw us closer to God.
- Don’t quit before he says to.
We called this our Joy Journey and the trip across the United States was just that. We had a blast and saw so many amazing things in all climates! We often scroll through photos and say was that even real?! It’s AFTER the trip was complete when we started giving in to expectations of life that was more challenging for us. We have to remind ourselves why we entered in and what we are still being called to do.
Now, I know that this relates with our life to every exact point but it may not with you. Or so you think. Maybe it will next week. Or maybe your neighbor needs it. Or maybe there is more to it than meets the initial eye for you. Did you quit your job and live in a trailer with a baby on the way? Probably not (who sane does that?!) We have been seeing a lot about being obedient to what God calls you to do, to change or how to live. Sometimes it is something you have been ignoring for quite a while. Or have complained about for years. Or something you never even thought to change. What in your life are you living for that you know you should change? What negativity keeps popping up that you know you need to eliminate somehow? What are you not HAPPY about in your life that you WISH you could change but you tell yourself you can’t? All of these things are thoughts that often are a whisper from God calling you to follow Him and change them. To live a more positive life fulfilling the goal to Glorify Him more. Not our comfort. Not our money. Not our cute clothes. Not our friend who brings you down. Not my boss who sees you as a dollar sign. Not our bodies who feel heavier than they should. Not our expectations for life. Not the lack of energy that chains you down. Not the anger in your heart that you can’t seem to rid.
Step 1 is to listen to that calling and follow him into the desert. Do it. Challenge yourself. Even if its saying, “Ok God, I hear you. I want to follow you but have NO idea how. Will you help lead me? Then when he does… GO!
He left us with this. If you are wondering when you time in the desert will end and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel simple ask yourself this… “Do you remember why I called you here? If so, keep going, He will show you the rest. Hold on, not to just survive, but because God will do something amazing!”
I encourage you to walk into the desert if He is calling you to. To change for the better and even if its hard, keep going until he does something AMAZING. I have included my daily scripture today from the amazing book ‘Embraced’ by Lysa Terkeurst as it aligned with this in a way that I know only God can do repeatedly.
Sending Love, Stacy
I give all credit to this amazing sermon to Pastor Jesse Hardy at Magnolia’s First Baptist Church.