Most of you know that I felt a season of unrest in May of this year and so I entered the summer months with a clear calendar. I gave myself permission to check out of the ceaseless doing and enter a season of being still and quiet. I did not anticipate God using this time to slow me all the way down, but He has.
He’s shaved off the bits of my life that I have added without His blessing.
And He’s begun to help me release so many things that have kept me busy and tired…those things that have made me doubt that His his yoke was easy and His burden light.
I’ve spent years under a heavy yoke of my own making and during my Summer of Saying No, I’ve been relieved of my own yoke.
Thank you, Jesus.
Here is a snapshot of the 6 ways God showed up and gave me permission to stop doing the things that I could do, and gave me permission to do the things He’s made me to do.
In early June, I submitted an article to (in)courage, a website that I frequently visit for encouragement and community, and I was selected as a guest post author. This is small time, y’all, but it was my first submission anywhere and it was chosen. But it wasn’t the fact that it was chosen that opened my eyes to God’s movement, but the subsequent emails that I received encouraging me to keep writing. I tucked the emails away because they were eye-opening and heart-warming.
This correspondence was #1.
In early July, I received a letter in the mail from a dear friend from Texas. It was scratched out on legal paper, in a fury, and I read it over and over again. She said hard things and true things and things I did not know how to respond to, but I immediately knew that I was loved and that she was right.
I carry her letter in my purse even now and I run my hand over it each time I retrieve something from my bag.
And this letter was #2.
In late July, the Man and I sat in a restaurant in town and we were overcome with a desire to see this place succeed in a slow economy in a part of town where people are afraid to visit. All I could think was, “How do I use my unique best to glorify God and honor the place that I call home?”
Two weeks later, I launched a place for the people of our city to be the good finders, the history changers, the storytellers, and guess what? The stories are still rolling in and community is being built and the yoke is easy. And fun.
And the success of this place, Rise was #3.
In early August, I submitted a story for publication and you guys voted and shared it like crazy. It was published, but that wasn’t my #4. It was the compilation of words and excitement surrounding the story and the email correspondence I had with the founder of the publishing company, that got my attention. The founder never praised my skills as a writer, but he did want to hear the whole story behind my story and he used my words in the forward of the book. He said that the story God was writing here in my place was something that others needed to hear.
And this, my friends, was #4.
Two weeks ago, I got a phone call from someone who knows me inside and out and she said, “You have to write this down. God is giving you something to say and you have to say it.” I hung up the phone and laid my head on the flour covered kitchen counter and I thought this lady was crazy.
And this phone call was #5.
Last week, as the house buzzed with children and stacks of home school books, a woman I barely know dropped by the house in the middle of the afternoon. We stood on the front porch and as we said our goodbyes, she said, “That post you wrote last week, there’s a book in there. You just have to find it. I can help you.”
I watched her leave for Oklahoma and I stored away her words with the 5 other words from God.
And her words on my front porch were #6.
Does God always speak to me in this manner? Not always. Usually just when I’m hard-headed.
Sometimes He speaks in a whisper to my soul, once, and I’m compelled to move or stop moving.
Sometimes, He uses his people, several times, over the span of years before I hear Him clearly.
I’m not saying that God speaks to me in series of threes, and only in this manner, but I am saying that for this season of my life, this is how He chose to speak.
And I’m so thankful He was loud.
Now, I’m not writing a book, so please don’t think I am. But I am considering that His yoke for me, may be in the form of writing, because when I wear this yoke, it is easy and light, and it seems to bear some fruit- much more than all the plate spinning that I’m quite accustomed to doing.
So for now, I’ll keep on keeping on, here on the blog and I’ll wait to see how God moves or opens doors.
And I’ll try not to go back to spinning plates.