I stood among 700 women I’d never met, smiling on the outside and second-guessing on the inside whether I should be here. Then the ballroom lights dimmed, the worship band began, and as if on cue after the first verse, tears streamed down my face. I wasn’t sad but overcome with gratitude to God. I listened to the beautiful voices surrounding me—and then to one still Voice.
Rest. I’ve brought you here.
I was trying so hard to BE in that room, to believe that God had brought me here. He saw into my heart, just like he sees into yours. ‘Here’ was my first writer’s conference, even though I didn’t feel like a writer. Do you ever struggle, like me, to stop working at something and simply receive what God is giving, doing, or where he has brought you?
That conference was 6 years ago. I learned alot, met some amazing women, and felt encouraged by God to continue to write. Yet the feeling that I was where God wanted me at that time—physically and especially in my heart—is the memory that lingers.
Being a writer is not my purpose in life. It is a part of where God has brought me, a way that I believe He desires me to follow him. My purpose is being in an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus Christ.
I think God wants you and me to taste his pleasure more frequently than we can imagine—whether it’s still moments alone with him, doing a kindness that no one but he sees, communicating love that he’s given you to share through a smile, hug, phone call, art, time . . . The more we experience this—being with HIM—we realize that he’s always been with us . . . that he’s showing us how to be with him now . . . and that he’s preparing and shaping us for where he’s bringing us next.
Our present is not our future. The details of how God has uniquely created and purposed you unfolds throughout your life.
Wherever God has brought you and me today has been shaped by him, using our yesterdays to stretch, grow, and love us, that we would draw nearer to him and follow. Only God knows your future. Yet, we wear ourself down when we decide on our own what we can’t be or do. Or, we exhaust ourself doing things that never were ours to do.
I’ve brought you here.
God brought the Israelites out of Egypt. Later he brought them out of the wilderness. He didn’t pick them up and plop them down. He drew near to them and called them to draw near to him in relationship. He prepared them to participate with him as he taught, led, challenged, and loved them. All along the way, God sought to bring every child, woman, and man not only to a new physical place but especially to a new place in their heart. God has brought you to where you are.
Many of our days are unseen by most, as we study, practice, work. Plenty of our tasks feel mundane, insignificant, even like a waste of time. But, if we’re doing what we think has been set before us for now, then that’s called obedient, faithful, strong in the Lord.
“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40.30-31)