This isn't what I was planning on writing about today. I just took my little Cooper out for a walk to clear my head and sat down to write when a wave of nostalgia washed over me. The kinds of mixed feelings you get when you're leaving one phase and entering another. This time of year seems to be full of transitions - graduations and moves - so maybe you're feeling a bit of nostalgia yourself right now.
My transition? Okay, don't laugh. When I sat down to write I realized this is the last time I'm writing my blog on this Retreat, Reflect, Renew website. Three of us on the Retreat. Reflect, Renew board have been working on a new website for the past six months and it will be ready for you in July.
So why am I getting sentimental over a website?! This new website feels like another milestone in this amazing ministry journey I'm walking with God. It's a great reminder of the amount of times I questioned myself (and...well, God...) and then in the end see how much I really can trust God.
I put together this website three years ago as soon as my book was published. I felt like I needed to create it but at the same time wondering where I was going with all of it. The book itself was a long journey of questioning myself and wondering what God was calling me to do and be. Creating a website, which I had no idea how to do, sent me into another journey of doubts and questions. I felt vulnerable having no idea where God was leading me.
I recently looked through the journal I used while writing my book and it sums up so many moments along the way.
January 13, 2012
Dear God, Here I am again, on my knees asking what you want of me and why. This is taking so long and taking me deeper into understanding your love more than I could believe. I am in so deep and yet I'm not done. It's all so overwhelming I want to just stop. Yet stopping feels like it's not an option. I'm doubting whether any of it's good and I'm just tired. So, so tired...
What kept (and keeps) me going? Beneath all the doubts and insecurities, I always have a calm, certain feeling from within that this is what I am called to do and I trust that God will send me the right people to help me. It's a calm sense that all I need to have is that 'patient endurance' from the last line of the Parable of the Sower Explained in Luke 8:15:
But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.'
When you have patient endurance, you have a calm heart full of trust. You believe in God's time. You believe in the power of walking. You can forgive yourself for the stumbling, knowing you can dust off your feet and continue walking again.
For me, patient endurance means letting go of my ego, my need for control, my insecurities, and fear of being judged. I don't do this perfectly everyday. I stumble. I get lost. And then I dust off my feet and continue to walk again. I accept that fear is part of the journey. I have to remember to walk with it and eventually I'll see where God is leading me.
Patient endurance only comes when you give yourself the sacred time and space to pray and reflect in order to be able to listen for the voice of God above the loud voices of society's expectations. Patient endurance comes when you learn how to be a more discerning person. And it comes when you spend the time looking back to remember the times in the past when God's grace was there helping you and leading you even when you couldn't feel it.
I'm grateful for all parts of this ministry journey. I continue to learn and grow and be inspired by the many amazing women I meet along the way. As you reflect on your transitions and journeys, I invite you to discover how much patient endurance you have within yourself. I bet it's more than you realize. Spend some time reflecting and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
What does patient endurance mean to you?
Have you had it in past experiences?
What could you do to have more of it now?
Blessings on your journey towards a more patient you.