Misconception and Mountain Climbing

I’m sitting in my pastor’s office. Nervously shifting, my fingernails pinching other fingers (a tell-tale sign that something’s upsetting me), and trying to get to the point of why I asked to speak with him. 
“What is the point of prayer?”
Yes. I realize this is a loaded question. I admitted so right after asking it. This conversation wasn’t long ago at all, nor was the time surrounding my question, where I was in the dark about so many things. 


I came to a crossroad of much I no longer understood. I’ve been a believer since the age of 7, grew up in a home of belief and regular church attendance, and once upon a time – my prayer life was the strongest and easiest part (for me) of my relationship with God. Praying was a conversation for God and me. I enjoyed that time and was always thankful it seemed to come naturally, {since spending time in the Word was NOT a natural aspect of my walk}. I knew (know) of its vital importance. I knew (know) that a partial taking up of the armor does not a strong defense make. Yet I would still (perhaps wrongly so) find comfort in at least that one portion that came easier – talking with God. 

       Yet I have to wonder, was I just talking? It seems that if one person does all the talking, then it’s not a conversation, it’s not a relationship of give and take – but merely take. Taking of time, to serve a self-centered purpose rather than a God centered life. Listening to God…that’s different. And I cannot say I never did, or never set aside time to hear His voice. That would be as much of a lie as saying everything in my walk comes easy – and this following God thing isn’t so sacrificial or hard at all, people. (!!)

…Just waiting for the lightening…No?  
Ok, He understands that I was trying to make a point.
       I think another day will have to be dedicated to the fruits of the conversation I had with my pastor on this subject. I came dejected and angry at my situation, at the uncertainty of direction, and at my ignorance of what God was possibly doing or thinking in my life. I’m still gnawing on the bone of understanding God’s direction, plan, purpose and timing for me. Yet I am stepping back into prayer, trusting in the power of such communion. It’s a myriad of passageways that lead to that which I know transcends the struggle. 
I have to – often – remind myself of the facts:
  1. I put my faith in Christ. I have confessed that Christ is Lord. I believe that He took my stead on the cross of death and punishment – washing me clean from all unrighteousness. I know it to be true that God the Father raised him from the dead – that Christ overcame and conquered death – thus sealing a place for all who believe, in the presence of God, eternally in His Kingdom.
  2. Because I am a believer in Jesus, The Father granted me His Holy Spirit (John 14:17), and is at work in me. It began the day I confessed my need for a Savior, and it continues each day until my body is shed and my spirit is Home. Knowing this…I come to the 3rd…
  3. If I am still breathing, waking new mornings and passing new days, then something is not finished within me. God somehow – without my understanding why or how – still has use for me here.

The list stops there, for while I may “know” and be aware of these things, I have no particular idea what the 3rd fact means. I don’t see the work I could possibly be useful for – useful enough that someone else couldn’t easily pick up the baton if I weren’t here. That my particular influence couldn’t offer anything someone else couldn’t offer better. 
I realize this thought process is writhing in falsehood and treacherous lies. 
I am aware of its author, and TRUTH has no home in that prince of darkness.
Yet if I am not honest about my questions, how can any of us be truthful with one another, and expect the fruit of community and fellowship? If we all perceive each other as “perfect” followers of God, we fall into the trap of evil and comparison. For that thinking and falsehood comes from the Enemy, who is bent on our destruction and dismemberment from the Vine and from the body and its members. 
   I say this, yet it is a daily conquest for it to find a permanent home in my mind and heart and all-to-often restless spirit. I’ll say it again – each day is a battle for peace that transcends all understanding. It’s a treasure I labor to find and forever possess.
    *I sat down this morning to voice something else as my primary thought. Yet, apparently God wanted me to own to some other things on my mind. I will touch briefly, as I close, on what I’ve found this morning as I was seeing new blogs and reading up on a Conference I cannot attend, yet hope one day I can. I’m reading the bios of all these amazing women. Women who follow God, who write and search and navigate through their own lives to find Him in circumstances, their roles, and their peers. 95% of these beautiful bloggers are married, have growing families, and manage households among many other things. I rejoice in their lives, how they are using their passion for those they love, those they’ve never met, and their King who gets the glory. I would be remiss to admit that I don’t see a comparison with these women that I would like. I don’t come from the same point of view – for I’m unmarried, single, do not live in a house nor do I direct a ministry. (Notice I’m doing what I just emphatically spoke against? We find ourselves where we do not want to be often, don’t we?) Alright…I know…why should I want to be things that I am not? Well, maybe because those are noble offices, beautiful facets of life.
One of the things my pastor said to me that day in his office, as I fought back tears of confusion and weariness…
“Leigh, you have such a unique perspective.
You are walking through something
that you are NOT alone in.
Write about it. Write where you are.
I can bet you are not the only late-twenty, 
single, financially-struggling, 
direction-seeking person out there.”
    So I will try to not be distracted that I don’t fit the mold of these godly women, the mold of the amazing writers I admire of the past and present, the mold of those in my life who I respect so greatly. If I’m waking in a new morning, then I am continuing as an individual apart from anyone else. My skin, my experiences, my past, my valleys as well as my summits, my pain as well as my joy, my quirks and annoyances, my spiritual gifts — these must all be for a reason in their uniqueness. I often wish the deck would get reshuffled and I could get dealt a better-looking hand, but I have what I have. I have to discover how this is not only intentional, it’s necessary to do the work He wants me to do. Because yes, God can and does accomplish what He wills without “needing” us. He is fully capable and All-Powerful, needing nothing more, for He is EVERYTHING. But when the Alpha and Omega wants to involve us in His breathtaking plans of redemption and final glory, how can we say no? Can’t you just imagine the view from that mountaintop? 
       I guess I’ll go get my gear ready – I’ve got so much climbing to do. 

2 Comments on “Misconception and Mountain Climbing

  1. I LOVE your heart and I love and miss you! I think of you often and I look forward to reading what you write! You definitely are not alone, although I have to remind myself of that truth on a regular basis. I have to remind myself of my other friends that are in similar situations as myself, and remind myself of times when GOD showed up when I didn't think He was around or listening. I LOVE YOU!!!

    And thank you for your honesty! That right there is a unique quality that I love about you, b/c not everyone is honest and we would go a lot deeper with one another in fellowship if we would just be honest!

    Like

  2. Jessica – my dear – I don't know how I missed your sweet comment 4 years ago! But I am just seeing it now, tonight.
    Thank you for your sweet, generous heart. I miss you as well. You are light and joy and laughter.

    Like

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