Friday, August 31, 2012

Follow The Leader

     I have the good fortune of being able to wake up to this each morning for the next two weeks, starting tomorrow.  For the past few years, I’ve made it a point to come here and just unplug for at least a week, even from technology, as much as I can manage.  In that time of stillness and no obligations and freedom from the busy-ness of life, I can truly “hear”.  And each and every time I've listened, I have been blessed with inspiration, direction and certainty. 
     I’m particularly excited for this year’s respite and what I might find myself listening to.  To say that I have been on an amazing journey with God since January would be, well, an understatement.  By “amazing”, I don’t mean pain-free or easy or non-stop joy for that matter, but truly amazing just the same.  A big phase of that journey culminated with what I can best describe as a miraculous encounter with God in early July - a supernatural “marker” of sorts – and His way of letting me know the really hard work of this year’s journey was complete and now He would be moving me into the time of breakthrough He had promised He’d give me, if I took the journey with Him.
     Since that encounter, I’ve had sort of this heightened sense of awareness within my relationship with God.  At the same time, He has been challenging me to simply act in faith – without hesitation - whenever He asks me to do something.  Now that's been interesting, not to mention exciting and eye-opening as well.  The more I listen and then act in faith, the more He speaks – or perhaps it’s really the more I listen and act in faith, the more I can hear what He’s saying.  
     Not everything He has asked me to do has made sense. Sure, hearing “Take that $20 with you because someone is going to need it” as I’m headed out to walk my pooch, and then indeed, someone really did need it, that’s sort of logical, right? And actually kind of mild compared to some of the other things He has requested. I mean when God wakes you out of a sound sleep, and it's still dark out, to tell you to email someone  about going to the endocrinologist or to “Feed my lambs”, the normal reaction would be something like “Um…really?”   Now, my reaction is "Okay!" and to act in faith.  It’s really been kind of cool to experience all this.  Do I know why He asks me to do these things? Nope.  Do I do them anyway? You betcha. In fact, writing this post today is what He instructed in response to a simple question in my morning prayers.
     Isaiah 55:8-11 tells us that God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  And that just as the rain and snow come down from Heaven and don't return without first watering the earth to make it bud and flourish, so is it for His word that goes out. "It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and the purpose for which I sent it."  So even though sometimes I might not understand what God is asking me to do or why He wants me to share what He is saying, I can know that there is purpose in it.  And based on experience, blessings have always followed doing what He asks.
     I’ve mentioned in other posts that as an artist, when I’ve allowed myself to be led during the creative process, the best results always come forward.  So wouldn’t it stand to reason that if I allow myself to be led now – in this broader, more encompassing way - the best results would come also forward?  In faith, I say yes.
    So off I go for some respite and breathing and listening.  Perfectly timed according to His plan I imagine.  God has already had me do some “prep and organizing” to get ready for  what He has planned for after, this time away.  What's interesting is that what He's had me act on to prepare, is something I asked for confirmation about way back in May, after receiving an artist's grant (more on that in a future post).  No confirmation came then - in fact, it was pretty much a no.  But through a really interesting series of "do just this"  over the last few weeks, He's lead me right into that confirmation, and with an entirely new creative perspective and process.  What an adventure! 
     There’s something about this time of year that always feels like a launching to me.  And this year in particular, I’m ready to go where He leads, and acting in faith, step right into the breakthrough He’s promised.

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