How To Listen To What Your Life is Telling You

You never know what a year will bring. But, later, when those 365 revolutions around the sun, spin to a close, you can look back and see what the year was trying to tell you.

I thumb through the pages of this last year and put my ear up closely to the pictures, the scribbling down of my days, to see if I can hear what my life is saying. To listen for what my Maker is telling me, through the reverberation of all those light-speeding moments.

Just before the new year had birthed out new again, Haven was born.

Haven, whose name means, “safe place.” And “a refuge.”

We whispered into her that the One who made her is our safe place. He’s our true Home. And that all of us are meant to be safe places for others. We prayed that she would become that sort of human, walking around, sheltering others.

But, first we show her what this looks like. We, her family, are her home. Her soft place to land.

She is so new to this world, so I peered into her bright eyes each day, or cradled her close to my heart and sang her this one song:

You are a blessing.
You are a gift.
You are a treasure.
And you are my love.

And each time I sang it, I felt the nearness of God, singing it over me.

The new year sailed along and we stretched and grew. We ran barefoot in the soft grass and let our skin soak up warm light.

We studied. There was reading to do. And writing. And math. We plugged along, but the hardest things weren’t the arithmetic. The hardest things were the relationships. With each other. I had to keep speaking it into them, even at their worst moments, “Guys! Guys, let’s LOVE one another! Let’s be KIND to one another. Build each other up! You’re BEST FRIENDS!”

I said it, desperately, while praying. And hoped it would work.

There were these little twinkling bits of time when I thought my heart would burst. Because every great once in a while, it was working! They were enjoying each other’s presence. Seeing one another as a gift. A fellow sidekick.

We worked through our mundane things. The dishes. The laundry. The toilet scrubbing. I got so overwhelmed by all the mundane. As the days moved along, I wondered, “Is this it? I mean, it’s beautiful. But, it’s hard. All the monotony. I’m thankful. There’s light. And glory around me. I can see it here, even now. But, I wonder if there’s something more than this?”

Brent came home from work with hard things. But, we remembered that every job has it’s hard things. Still, I poured the coffee and we asked God for wisdom. Direction.

We failed.

But, we got up again to seek His warm, bright face.

We built. We dreamt. Always, always we kept finding the light. We sat still in the light. Warmed ourselves in the light. Remembered that Jesus is the Light.

Chaos continuously erupted out of nowhere.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

I’d pray for peace and recall to mind that we aren’t each other’s enemy. We have a real Enemy. An ancient one, and our fight is against him. So, we’d pray and push back darkness. Relentlessly.

I’d ask God to help me figure out how to let His peace rule here, in my heart, no matter what was going on out there, with my surroundings.

We explored. We roamed our little patch of dirt in the world, and wondered. We remembered that the prayers we pray, and the choices we make,  are like seeds.

We went to family camp, about the middle of the summer and stayed in this camper. We tossed around jokes about living in a house on wheels. We had no idea. NO IDEA what was coming around the corner.

Sometime after family camp, we were asked if we wanted to travel. In an RV. Throughout the school year and minister with a team, to churches all over the United States.

I got mad. But, then I had just surrendered everything over to God. It seemed fit that God would be all obnoxious and go asking us to do something crazy, right after I prayed a radical prayer like that.

Then we laughed and cracked jokes some more. A little nervously.

We went to Arkansas to see family and on the way home, we just simply began to imagine.

What if? What if we did go an adventure like that?

And while we imagined, we wrestled with God. We found out that God is like a kind daddy who tumbles with his kids.

We asked God our honest questions. We told Him our fears. Our hang-ups. That we wanted to say yes, but we weren’t so sure that we could trust Him.

We grappled with God. Contended with Him. He let us, invited us, even, to express ourselves. He leaned in, gently, to us.

At last, we gave God our yes.

And then life hit fast-forward. There was packing. And planning. And last minute house projects to finish up. We scrambled. And fell onto our pillows each night, exhausted. Life felt like this whirlwind. It was new and scary and exciting.

Our ministry and our church commissioned us. To go do what God has invited us to do. To travel and help Jesus-followers throughout the U.S., carve out time to hear from God. And then say their own yeses to Him. To let God speak into their lives and heal their hearts and their relationships. And then go on adventures with Him.

There were so many trips to the trailer, our new “house on wheels.” There were totes to buy. We picked out and brought only our favorite toys.

And then the day came for us to take off down the road. All these miles beneath our tires. I cried for the first half hour, the first few trips, I was just so terrified.

But, God was teaching me, little by little to trust. When I paused to listen, I could just barely make out what my life was saying.

Maybe I couldn’t trust Him with tomorrow, but could I trust Him with this next stop light? With that one curve? With that corner? That next mile? Little increments at a time. I could learn to trust Him with this one tiny stretch of road, right in front of me.

We learned how to make the trailer our home. And that home is where your people are. And we’re learning still, perhaps always will be, that our truest home is smack dab in the middle of God’s heart. And no one and nothing can shake us out of that Home.

We learned that parking lots can be picnic places. And each new town has a donut shop.

And even in parking lots, you can make pretend pies and ride your bike and play. And I learned that even when I’m surrounded by asphalt, there’s life around me, glorious life, and it pushes up out of such hard things.

When I paused here at the close of things, and sat on the couch several mornings in a row, with my coffee and God. When, I put my ear up to the pages of my scribbled down notes and I looked back through the pictures I’d captured, I could read the story that God was telling me through these last 365 days.

There’s glory to be experienced in the mundane, my loves.

There are adventures up ahead with God. He has good works that He’s thought up ahead of time, specifically for us to do! (See Ephesians 2:10)

And each of us here, starts out in this world looking perhaps entirely different than what we will be. But, slowly, surely, as we walk with Christ, keeping our eyes on Him, and learning to trust Him with this next curve, and that next bend, we do become more and more of what our loving Maker dreamed us up to be.

Here’s to listening to our life and stepping out new again–to more orbits around that blazing sun.

Breathe deep, friends. Take courage. Have hope.

We are becoming such beautiful things.


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