The Day that Everything Changed

It was a chilly summer morning on Lake Wallace. We woke early and were greeted with the damp, cool air as the mist was rising off the lake. Strong and steady Man and and I took our usual positions, as we do here in this holy place: him on the loveseat, and me on the couch facing the water. We’re both doing a read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan, and the prophet Jeremiah is who spoke to us that morning. The coffee was brewed, and it was like any other morning, and yet, unbeknownst to me, God had something for me. In Jeremiah chapter 29, I read,

“’But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you.’ Says the LORD. ‘I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.’”

I’ve read these exact words countless times. Even heard teachings on them. So why did they speak to me so profoundly on this day? Why did they resonate with me here and now? I tried to continue with my reading, but my mind kept asking me the question, “what would it look like for me to look for God wholeheartedly?” I was faced with the reality that I don’t do that. Oh I go through the motions: I read my Bible daily, I write in my prayer journal…I feel like I’m on pretty good terms with God. But if I really search my soul, if I really consider the word wholeheartedly, on a scale of 1-10 on wholeheartedness, I’d give myself about a 3. On my best days, I’m giving maybe an eighth of my heart to looking for God. I’m usually just looking for comfort. Oh, I can convince myself that I’m being stretched and growing because I’m doing things that are out of my comfort zone, like speaking on the platform at church and doing live videos on Facebook. These things terrify me, and I feel like God is calling me to do these things. But is that enough? And by “enough” I don’t mean in a striving to get God’s love kind of way. I know all about grace and that I can’t do anything to make him love me more, or less, etc. etc. But by enough, I just wonder…with all that I’m withholding from God…in my one-eighth-heartedness…what am I missing out on? I pray and pray and pray for breakthrough in certain areas of my life, and yet I ignore Him when I know He’s giving me clear instructions. It’s like I want all the blessings of God, but I don’t want to LIVE for Him. What would my life look like if I committed to a year of WHOLEHEARTEDLY looking for God? If I made a sincere effort to seek Him in every detail: every encounter, every conversation, every decision, every interruption. To really make Him my focus…not just when it’s convenient or because it’s fun. You know, growing up as a church girl, doing churchy things becomes second nature. All my friends are church people. A bulk of my time is spent doing church stuff. Yeah, I’m all about doing life in community, but if I’m honest, I have to ask myself, “Am I doing these things for God, or am I doing them because it’s become my social life?” What is God really calling me to? Is my identity in Jesus, or is my identity in hanging out with church people, doing churchy things, getting approval from others because of all the churchy things I do? What if WHOLEHEARTEDLY looking for God means saying “no” to some of those things, and allowing Him to direct me? For sure, He may lead me right back to those very things, but then I’ve at least discerned that I’m doing them for the right reasons. Gosh, it’s so easy to lose sight of what it’s all about.

ANYHOOO….I’m really down to investigate this idea of committing to a year of looking for God wholeheartedly. I almost hate to put that in black and white, because what if I fail? What if I only last a week, or worse yet, a day? I’m prone to getting super inspired about something to only lose the zeal as reality sets in. I’m feeling such an urging. Like God brought me to this spacious place for this revelation. I’m been anxious lately. Restless. Knowing that I need to obey Him in a certain area and ignoring Him. Feeling like the breakthrough that I’ve been praying for is just on the other side of obedience. But gosh I’m scared. I’m reading all the books: 5-Second Rule and following Mel Robbins on Instagram, Rachel Hollis’ Girl Wash Your Face: all the motivational, overcome your fears, live your dream books that I can get my hands on, so I know the drill. What if that’s what this is about? It’s not about building my business, but about looking for God. Doing it scared. Knowing I might fail, but doing it anyway. Committing to today. One day at a time. God’s promise says, “I will do all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again.” I don’t really even know what that means, but it sounds amazing. He promises, “I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” But the word that jumps out at me is IF. “IF you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” These promises are conditional on my wholehearted LOOKING for HIM. Allow me to clarify: this does not mean that God’s love for me is conditional. He loves me no matter what. Nor do I think that He hides from me or that He’s sly and makes finding Him tricky or hard. He promises that I’ll find Him when I look for Him with my whole heart. It’s about MY heart. He wants my whole heart. Not because He needs it, but because He designed me to have that void that I keep trying to fill with other things. Only He can fill it. He WANTS to fill it. He wants to be what I choose. I want to devote one year to this. To take that step of faith believing that I’ll stay the course. To see where this takes me, where He takes me. August 18th, 2018: the day that everything changed. “May my zeal, no respite know…”


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