I have recently moved from Montana to North Carolina. And yes, before you say it, I know I’m a fool for moving away from such a magnificent state. I miss it. A lot. BUT, that is beside the point and the reason for my leaving will be explained in an upcoming blog post. Back to the story… Like I said, I have recently moved to North Carolina and my adorable little round house is partially surrounded by water. I love it here. My boyfriend, whom I will talk about in the next post, brought over his kayak recently and I have been thoroughly enjoying it since it arrived.
Where I live, there used to be a lake. About three years ago, a massive hurricane swept through this area and took out the dam that held the lake. It was devastating. My grandparents live on this lake and we would come here as children every summer for our family reunions. Many memories were made in these waters. And now, as an adult, I am living here at this wonderful lake, although now it is just a series of swampy streams that weave and wind around overgrown brush and boats that washed ashore when the water went down.
The other day, I decided to go out for a short spin around the stream that runs by my house. As I headed out, the sun began to set and the air began to turn chilly. Fog started to roll in over the water and the sky turned vibrantly yellow and orange and navy as the sun sank behind the trees. I headed toward a bridge and, in heading that direction, began to head up stream. As I fought against the current, my heart started to stir with this idea…
All my life I have been told to follow God’s will. I have been told to listen to Him and He will direct my steps. But doing that requires stopping and listening to Him, which, I will confess, I am not very good at. Every time something didn’t pan out like I thought it should, I would make a major change in my life. I thought surely I had misheard the Lord and now needed to change everything. Well, in that kayak, paddling vigorously to go a mere two feet, I decided to stop paddling. My kayak immediately started to go backwards and then, all on it’s own, began to turn around. It was in that moment I realized; maybe all I have ever needed to do was stop. Not change everything around, but rather to stop and finally feel His current beneath me and realize I was in the right boat, and I was even in the water like He said I should be, but I was just fighting so hard to go in the wrong direction.
The fog began to thicken as all of this was coming over me, which added another layer to this lesson. When there is fog, all you can see is a few feet or maybe yards in front of you and the only way to see more is to move forward in that direction. God only shows us a few feet ahead of us for a reason. He wants us to trust that He knows where we are headed and He will keep us safe. The only problem with this is if you are a person who is going non-stop, constantly has her plate full, and no time to breathe, you may think you are doing it all as He has asked. You are in the kayak, like He asked. You are in the water, like He asked. And you are paddling, like He asked. The only thing you can’t know for certain, is the big picture. So why then does it seem like you are continually feeling you get hardly anywhere with all this work you are putting in. How come if you stop for even a second, you begin to go backwards and now you have to work double time to make up for lost distance. What if, your going backwards isn’t going backwards at all, but rather going in the right direction just facing the wrong way? What if all God wants is for you to actually stop for a minute. To feel yourself going backwards and to wait and see if the current of God’s plan will begin to turn you around.
He doesn’t want you to continue to fight every day to only go a few feet. He wants to see you turn around and begin to go with His current because it is in that moment that you will go so much further with very little effort. You will find yourself going miles in the amount of time it took you to go a few feet before. I don’t know where this lands with you today, but for me, this hit hard. For years, I feel like I have been fighting against God’s current. I have tried to make things work over and over again, only to have them fall apart in the end. Does this mean, now that I feel myself heading in the right direction, my life is smooth sailing now? Definitely not! But, I can tell you that in this last year I have had more peace and gone so much further in my walk with the Lord than I have in years. I have had story after story this year of circumstances that literally just worked out. Sure, I put some work in, but not much at all and everything fell into place beautifully with very little effort from me.
I don’t know what your story is, but if you feel like all you do is fight to keep moving forward, maybe God just wants you to stop. To breathe. To listen. To feel the current beneath you. Maybe you have most of your story aligned correctly with God’s will, all He’s asking for you to do is turn around. That’s it. This simple concept was major for my heart and I have felt and seen it played out in real time in my life over this last year. Life will have its ups and downs, but God’s desire for His children is for them to be at peace with Him and not feel like they are constantly fighting to keep up.
So today... Stop. Breathe. Feel the current.
I love you all so dearly!