My only child starts Kindergarten in a couple short months. Excited to start this new adventure, she will be spending most of her day with new friends, a new classroom and a new teacher. As I will miss her being home during the day, I know this will be a good transition for her – it’s what she needs. Although, it will be hard to let go of her still small hand on that first day, I realize that this is a new phase of life for me as well. Having to let go of her hand means that, for a least part of my day, I get my hand back.
To be honest, that terrifies me. For the last 5 years, I have been Morgan’s mom, caretaker and advocate (aka Mama Bear), during some very rough times. I will always assume those roles even when she is grown, although they might look a little different.
People are always quick to ask how I will spend “all my free time”. One person asked if I had thought about “getting a job in the real world”. As much as I’d like to share more about these fun interactions, I digress.
As I have prayed about how to spend my time when she starts school, I have been encouraged by sweet friends but most of all have prayed that God would show me where He wants to use me. In true Karin fashion, I’d love for him to give me a detailed agenda, flowchart and even a promotional video about what the future holds. That’s not what I’m getting though. As I pray about it, God keeps answering with two words: “Just write”. I ask Him why I am writing or what it will lead to, and his response is always the same: “Just write.” I’ve even “informed” God (the Creator of the UNIVERSE) that this could be a very wasteful use of my time but again He gently, mercifully tells me the same… “just write.”
In Genesis 12, Abraham was confronted with a similar command but on a much grander scale. Abraham and his family, lead by his father Terah, were initially from Ur, an idolatrous country, and later settled in Haran on the way to Canaan. Haran was known as a city of pagan worship and it was there God commended Abraham, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great name and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”
Abraham was comfortable in Haran. By that point, he had an established way of life, financial stability and his family was there. I know multiple questions would have swirled through my mind: “Where is this place you want me to go?, How will I know its “the” place?, Will it take a long time?, Will others be cooperative on the way there?” I can’t imagine Abraham’s friends would have thought his new monotheistic calling would have brought him much “success”. God didn’t tell Abraham what land or its location, but God tells Abraham to “go” and he follows with an implicit faith.
John Wayne once said, “Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.” I’m sure Abraham had fears as it would have been so much easier to conform to his comfortable status-quo. By following God’s command he had to swim against the stream in every area of his life. Yet, He responded by faith and immediately left everything to follow God’s plan.
Abraham’s departure started a chain of reactions, causing Abraham to be known as the Father of the Faithful, not Terah. If Abraham would get out of Ur, God promised his calling had a purpose: his obedience would bring great blessing. Abraham’s departure was an unparalleled act of faith. What others perceived of his life falling apart, was actually God’s plans falling into place.
Staying in Haran would mean following in his earthly father’s footsteps – never making it to Haran and dying there while serving false gods. His heavenly Father’s plan was full of promise and blessings. If we follow God, He will not fail to deliver on His promises.
Sometimes God puts an insanely uncomfortable calling in the lives of His children. We can try to avoid it at all costs, but the calling is always there. At times, I have put so much energy in trying to postpone or sidestep his calling to write. It would have been so much easier to surrender to His will in the first place. My questions are similar to those Abraham might have had: “Where are you taking me? Why are we headed there? Will others support me?”
Most often, my fear of failure is my greatest obstacle in trusting God. The thick irony is that the only way to avoid true failure in life is to trust God. Trusting God means walking out in faith as only a real risk tests the quality of a belief.
Often times the calling God puts on our hearts is so huge that we are in disbelief. That’s about the time God’s bread crumbs show up. God’s bread crumbs are those little hints and nudges of encouragement left by the Holy Spirit that make one realize “Maybe this really is God’s calling for me.” They are those random instances where God thrusts you in a situation you thought you couldn’t handle. Soon, you realize He never intended you to. He simply wants you to take that step in faith and let Him take care of the rest…
Is there an area of your life where you fear failure? Is this possibly a call God has put on your heart? What is your first step of faith in answering this call?