Holding Pattern

This is one of those posts of unusual vulnerability. It will probably be taken down quickly, so if you happen to see it, you check my blog too often. I’ve been sad lately. You gentlemen may not understand what it feels like have a perpetual need to cry – for no reason. But the ladies will understand. It’s completely irrational, and completely ubiquitous. I can’t even identify what brought it on. I just know that I woke up a few weeks ago and have been sad since. I remember waking up and thinking, “There is no practical reason that I need to get out of this bed today.” Absence of purpose is not good for a person’s soul, especially someone who is very “cause” driven. Since I’ve left my job in October, I have been waiting for direction. People ask me what I want to do, and I have no idea what to tell them. I think we get caught up in other people’s dreams because they can be very compelling. I have so many friends who are passionate about Africa. And the needs there are so great, and they are so important to me, but they are not what drive me. And so I have been thinking about what really engages my heart. And I have come up with a few things that have been important to me as long as I can remember. But how and when I will be able to use my gifts to impact those areas is a mystery to me.

On some level, I feel that my life looks the way it does ultimately because of the choices I have made. Even though God has made it so clear to me that I didn’t chose to leave my old job as much as I just responded to His leading. He was calling me into a time of discipline and dependency. How can my heart be sad when my Jesus wanted some time to draw me closer to His side? Just Him and me. It bottles the mind. (If you haven’t seen Blades of Glory, 1. You won’t understand “bottles the mind” and 2. You are a more discerning person than I.)

This week, God gave me specific direction and peace about a decision I had been vacillating over for months. The next day, I was again wondering if I had done the right thing. Dad and I were talking about this, and after listening to me evaluate every feeling and decision I had faced, he said, “You’re a good little legalist, aren’t you, Cheryl. You obsess over decisions you make out of fear that if you make the wrong one, God is going to club you over the head. You have a “quid pro quo theology” that doesn’t live in the light of the grace and leading of God. That’s what it’s talking about in Galatians. The legalists seek, but we wait on Him. You aren’t in a holding pattern. The hand of God gave you today. Today IS your life. Just go and live it.”

I know a lot of people who are “in between” whatevers. I know I’m not the only one enduring the pangs of uncertainty. Maybe that is why I was compelled to expose my heart about this dark season though which I am currently walking.

So I have made Psalm 40 my new best friend. I recommend praying this to the only One who can deliver. It seems that the more I plead my case, the more I notice that He does not address the specifics, but just lets me know that He is with me and that He is working. His joy comes from so many places. So many of you have been His hands without even knowing it. You may never know how a brief, laughter inducing conversation got me through another hour, or how sharing in an evening run brought a sense of peace, or how being allowed to be a blessing to you was received as a touch from His hand.

And to all of you who are also wondering “what’s next?” may I remind you as I remind myself, that He has not left you and He is still working. After all, my Jesus is never in a holding pattern.

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6 Responses to Holding Pattern

  1. John David Henderson says:

    You know your his favorite right? šŸ™‚

  2. Smith says:

    This is extremely comforting to hear, considering my personal circumstances at the moment. Thank you.

    PS – I definitely check your blog too much. I’ve seen this three times now…

  3. Tammy says:

    I feel as if many of us really feel what you are saying. It is relevant to all of us, but with different circumstances. Thanks for the blog–I too have seen it a few times, so I check too often.
    This blog, plus many of yours in the past, causes me to reflect on your writing skills. You are a really good writer! You know how to tell a story well and you know how to grab your reader in the gut/heart. Have you considered writing for a career?

  4. cheryl says:

    every day. but like everything else, i just don’t know how to get started.

  5. aly says:

    psalm 40 has been a recent companion of mine as well (its on my own blog a few posts back haha).

    we should have coffee. for real.

    and your dad is smart.
    and strangely sounds a lot like my own dad.

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