It’s a funny thing how the Spirit moves sometimes. I’m in one of those places in my life where there are stirrings and a certain restlessness. I’ve been getting those nudges and gentle pushes to really sit up and pay attention. In some ways when I am in that space it reminds me of the nesting that happens to pregnant women shortly before giving birth. It’s the housecleaning and the prep work that gets done just before delivery to make space for the new arrival. I’m getting ready to birth something new in my life. I recognize this place. I’ve been here before. Not just the actual giving birth to a child, well actually, four children, but the de-cluttering and labor of making room for this new life or season. When I am in this space it is at once both scary and exhilarating. I’m never quite sure what’s ahead, but I wait. I try to manage this with great patience and expectation, but mostly, not so much. Like I said, I try.
I’m a reader. I read newspapers, professional journals, magazines (I love magazines), and of course, books. I don’t read as much as I would like, time doesn’t permit it, but I’m always working my way through at least three books at a time. My reading list is so long I can’t look at it because it would be overwhelming and I’d be tempted to just give up, and yet I just keep adding to it. I’m one of those people who has stacks of books and magazines everywhere. They’re tidy stacks by the way. They have to be. I’m organized, and I’ll admit it, a neat freak.
Every once and a while as I read, a common theme emerges even though I haven’t set out on any particular path. I make it through one book with a particular theme and then it seems like another piggy backs on it. I read one blog that leads to another. I have one simple conversation that leads to another with someone I may not have spoken to in a very long time, or a stranger in the grocery store, and the theme presents itself yet again. If I’m paying attention, thoughts, ideas and stirrings begin to coalesce, a pattern develops and I begin to see that there may be an emerging “message.” I call them God moments. It’s those times of clarity that come when we are so open to hearing what God is whispering to us in the deepest places of our hearts and souls.
As my first blog post stated, risk is my word this year. This morning as I was scrolling my Facebook feed, I saw a meme of Tina Turner. It had a photo of her that I know was taken when she was in her forties pushing fifty and fabulous. She looked amazing. She exuded strength and confidence. I saw her in concert on my fortieth birthday and she really looked that good! I remember how inspired I was by her story years before and it convinced me that it is never too late in life to overcome obstacles, live your dreams, and make things happen. The quote that went with the photo in the meme was, “I believe if you just stand up and go, life will open up for you.” My comment when I posted it was, “And she would know.” She stood up and walked away from an abusive relationship. She lived in fear and walked toward the rest of her life no doubt with as just much fear into an unknown future with no resources. Risky. But look where that walk took her! And as I stated, it inspired me to make some long overdue scary changes in my own life. I haven’t looked back since.
And this. It came in my email this morning as part of a devotional I subscribe to.
“It makes perfect sense that we should be called to go beyond our limits, because the One that calls us is beyond all limits. I suspect that all the energy we have bound up in resisting our own potential is more energy than we’ll need to reach it. It takes as much energy to fail as it does to succeed…The degree of resistance is probably proportionate to the amount of power waiting to be unleashed and the satisfaction to be experienced once the “no” breaks through to “yes” and the call is followed. “
I also happened to read a blog this morning written by a woman my age. Yes, I can say it, 57. She wrote about taking chances and not letting one’s age hold them back. I could relate to that. It was a scary thing when I decided I had to go to seminary at the age of fifty. Just saying the words out loud was frightening. But I did risk saying the words out loud and the next thing I knew (at least that’s how quickly it seemed to happen), I was in seminary, graduated, ordained and serving a congregation. There are those times when you just have to “stand up and go.”
The Divine always calls us beyond our limits and it is scary. Whatever is birthing forth, I’m sure will involve risk of some sort. As I have learned, making room for the new and making changes almost always requires risking something of ourselves. That is what growth is.
I know this. I am willing to continue to grow and I’m ready to stand up and go – again.
There’s something else I know, God always goes with me. Thank God.
Quoted piece came from Inward/Outward, A Project of the Church of the Savior. January 5, 2013.- Source: Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life – Called to Go Beyond Our Limits by Gregg Levoy.