One Word 2017: Still

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.
 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
    and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

Be still in the presence of the Lord,
    and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
    or fret about their wicked schemes.

Psalm 37:5-7 (NLT)

In September God began to stir my heart in some specific ways. I was confused at the time, but the presence of peace was undeniable. God impressed upon me the need to walk away from things that were taking me away from my family and causing my days to be filled with busyness and stress. Both my job as a Health Coach for two college campuses and my campus ministry to the women of the college campus my husband worked on were to be given up. The confusion began because these two areas of my life felt fulfilling. 

I traveled many weeks for my job September thru November. God was present with me in the car and each week. I began to anticipate all that could happen with an open calendar. Every step I took towards stepping away from my commitments deepened my confidence that I was walking towards God in obedience.

Details can be lengthy with long-term commitments, but in my case, things were smoothly handed off to other leaders within the ministry. I prayed with each conversation and for God to guide my words and actions as well as for others to understand. Regardless, closing that chapter was sad, but it felt necessary.

Transitioning from my job was not as quick. First, I needed to secure new employment. The perfect job came up at the perfect time, and I couldn’t help but smile. God had opened a door for me, going before me and providing exactly when I needed it.

As I geared up to give notice to my employer with my new job securely in place, our whole lives turned upside down. We will begin 2017 with very uncertain income, possibly without reasonably priced health insurance, and with a move pending. It turns out my call to step back from commitments was about more than creating calendar space. God gave me the incredible gift of being able to say goodbye well. Additionally, I now have two jobs pending our transition, and amazingly, my new job is one I work remotely in so it will continue wherever we land.

I don’t want to edit out the sections of this passage in Psalms that don’t seem to apply. They might at some point. For now, these two parts are running through my head on repeat: Commit everything you do to the LordTrust him, and he will help you. Be still in the presence of the Lordand wait patiently for him to act. 

Commit everything you do to the Lord: I’m so thankful for the God’s nudge to takes steps towards pursuing a new job. Not only is this a huge blessing for our current instability, but I’m incredibly relieved to have employment lined up for our new (TBD) location.

Trust him, and he will help you: I was sad to have to say goodbye to a ministry I loved. Even so, I believed that God had a plan and that he would help me walk through the process well. He did, and I am profoundly grateful.

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act: So this one is the one I am clinging to deeply right now. We have a lot of uncertainty right now. The majority of questions I’m asked are answered with the same response. “I don’t know.”

What state will we live in? Where will we live? Will we have income full in the near or far future? Will we find doctors to help monitor my thyroid? Will our kids find new friends quickly? Will we live apart for a time? What will be the best way to move? How long will the transition take? Will our house sell (it’s been 4 years of waiting on that one)?

I believe that part of why God laid the word still on my heart back in September was because he knew I would be unable to trust it in December. 

It’s very hard to be patient with the unknown. It’s very hard to trust Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Psalms 37 reminds us that it is God who needs to move in our hardest seasons.This is a promise repeated in Exodus 14:13-14 “But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.’”

God does not need us to intervene in his plans. He asks us to walk the path he has called us to in his timing. At times that process includes being still.

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