Meaningless, meaningless

After a few weeks of walking through spiritual fog, I had had enough. I was still intimate with God, but I was growing weary of not being able to see where I was going. I knew what I was getting myself into when I stepped out onto the waters. That still didn’t change the fact that my flesh has been screaming at me to turn around and go back to where I came from.

Between alternating work schedules, recording/editing YouTube videos, ministry events, and just flat out financial dryness hindering date nights, my husband and I haven’t had much alone time. Which is why on Monday we talked non-stop as we drove two hours east to a family member’s home. That seemingly small moment we shared was like a crack in the sidewalk ruptured with grass and flowers. A bursting forth of who we really are and what we were always meant to be. Our children slept for the majority of the way and we totally flourished in the lengthy yet fleeting conversation. During that ‘selah’ moment, God highlighted our joint vision for our family and reminded us of the calling He has over our lives. We realized how distracted we had become in the day to day busyness. Those flourishing sidewalk cracks of rest allow the rebuilding of creativity, dreams, and visions to be started up again.

The next day I went to an evangelism class at our church on a whim. That in itself was a miracle to get the kids and myself there so randomly but also efficiently. Ten minutes into the class and my eyes welled with tears. The class was specifically on digital evangelism! It was all about tips and counsel for spreading the gospel of Jesus through social media and blogging. Talk about confirmation. That’s exactly what I am doing through this blog and my YouTube channel. Though the enemy will whisper to me that I’m not doing much, God says,

“Obedience over outcome”

It isn’t about the amount of likes or followers I receive, that’s the outcome that I am not intended to presume on (Proverbs 27:1). Obedience is simply me walking out the great commission to make disciples of all nations through whatever means possible and impossible (Matthew 28:18-20).

In all honesty, this season of life is odd for my family. Odd isn’t the best word, maybe…unfamiliar? Let me try putting it this way: We are walking in the promise land that we’ve been praying for, but at the same time, fighting to push out the enemies inhabiting our promise land.

One example being after I got home from that amazing class at church, our family car broke down in the driveway! What are the odds, right? But the situation didn’t shake me like it would have in the past. After all God had been revealing to me, I was too pumped at the prospect of watching God work a miracle with my car. And later that night, He fixed it!

In this new place, we are claiming and witnessing victory, but also marching around the same city over and over again while waiting for the walls to drop. When is the outcome complete? When does the final finish line appear? I know one answer to that would be when I take my last breath, but I think on a more micro level, what my soul really longs for is rest. Rest from the noise. Rest from the constant battle. Sometimes life can feel like one thing after the next, “sunrise to sunset”. As Solomon puts it in Ecclesiastes 1,

“Meaningless, meaningless! Everything is meaningless!”

Solomon describes life on earth, and how minute and temporary all of our tasks are in the grand scheme of things. “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 1:2 ESV)” Then later he says that everything we do under the sun is “meaningless and a striving after the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:14 ESV)”.

We all have that inner knowledge that there is something more. And there is, right? What is the point of life if everything we do is meaningless? It can all feel so hopeless, and that is why the world we live in today is plagued with hopeless people. My past self included. Of course, life is only meaningless when we are striving to find something that has already been given to us, or attempting to pay a debt that has already been paid. The truth being that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:4) and He has everything we need. Anything outside of Jesus really is vanity. No success ladder or tower of Babel will give us the gift of the abundant, meaningful life that is found only in Jesus. It is so easy to lose sight on what we are really doing here on this planet-experiencing intimacy with Christ and intimacy with people. Relationship.

That is why the special moment of rest on a spontaneous road trip with my husband was so critical. It plunged us into further intimacy with Jesus which in return took us deeper with each other. And my favorite part of all, we were reminded of the call from Christ to lay hold of that which He has laid hold of for us.

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” (Philippians‬ ‭3:7-12‬ ‭NKJV)

There is more to life, an abundant life found in Jesus. We have access to it all, and we can only appreciate it all in our moments of pausing and resting. So mom’s, lock yourself in the bathroom today and just breathe for a few minutes. Take a random road trip with your family, soak up the scenery, and search for animals in the clouds. Put your phone down, close your eyes, and hum along to the heart beat of silence. Rest in Jesus is important. Prioritize it and you will thrive in it.

I just started a phenomenal new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: awakening your soul to rest by Bonnie Gray. This book goes into detail on the rest that we all need! You can start your journey to rest in Christ through this book by purchasing your copy here !

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I’m a Dreamer

Two years ago I was sitting in a coffee shop with six women I had just met. We were sharing testimonies of God working through our lives, and it was a powerful coffee date. Afterwards, as I began to walk out of the door, a young man named David (probably close to my age) stopped me and said God had something He wanted to share with me.

David began telling me that God says I am a dreamer. That I have big dreams within me, I can see all of these amazing things for God’s kingdom coming to pass in and through my life, and that God put those dreams within me. God wanted me to know He made me that way for a reason.

The words pierced my soul with confirming truth. For my entire life I have had an immense imagination full of dreams and creative visions for myself and the world. Those words were a fan to the burning dreams and desires within my heart. I could feel the momentum building up for my destiny coming to pass..and then I got pregnant with my second child a few weeks later. At that time I thought that meant my dreams had to wait. Later I remembered that having a family whole and restored, founded on Christ was a dream I always desired. And now I see that I get to do it all. In His timing of course.

Standing in shadows and mimicking movements take little effort, though it leaves one shriveled in spirit and paralyzed in destiny. I spent years yearning for dreams that I watched others live and afraid to walk out my own, all the while telling myself I was okay with mediocrity. But I was never born for it. So the tug of war raged within my soul. Was I forever destined to experience adventure and fantasy through the pages of a book or television screen?

We all have dreams, some planted by God and some born from fleshly desires. Ask God to show you which is which. So often we spend our lives cemented in a daydream completely buying into the delusion that we we’re meant for less.

If your dreams go against truth, then okay sure; maybe you should give em’ up. Ask God about that. But if they line up with God’s promises of the abundant life and spiritual blessings we receive through Christ, then what are you waiting for? Chase the lion! Of course we all need to wait on God to move on our behalf. I’m not saying don’t wait for God. I am saying that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Have some faith that there’s more to your life than the daily tasks you may feel enslaved to. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t be content. We absolutely must be content with what God has for us if we are ever going to move forward into the Promise land. At the same time, you must believe in your bones that there actually is a Promise land on the other side of this desert and you must have the faith to step into that Promise!

Think about Joseph and his colorful coat. Joseph was a dreamer. Joseph believed in those dreams of destiny even when his own family didn’t believe him. Even as he sat in prison and nothing in his life pointed to his dreams being fulfilled-nothing but his faith. And alas! Eventually God brought them to pass. Joseph finally sat in a seat of power with his family bowing before him just as his seemingly outrageous dream portrayed. Because sometimes our seemingly outrageous dreams are not actually ours. Sometimes the dreams burning in our hearts are, in fact, God’s dreams planted in us meant to impact the world. In this case, we are merely stewards of the dreams. Realizing that is when the good stuff happens. When we don’t give up on the dreams but we give up on ourselves and yield to God, that’s when peace reigns in our hearts and dreams become reality.

What do you dream of? Think of it. Write it down. Instead of grasping at straws to make it happen, or totally giving it up all together, make your petitions to God about it and make a plan (Proverbs 16:3) Also be sure to guard you heart with the peace of God. Sometimes the dreams are for now, and sometimes they’re for later. You won’t know unless you ask, and you won’t succeed if you never try.

“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].”- (Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭AMP‬‬)

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7 NIV)

This makes it personal. This means I can’t tell you for sure or a pastor or the internet can’t tell you how or when or even why. Though counsel is totally Biblical and necessary, that’s not my point. You have to have your own personal and intimate relationship with God and hear what the Wonderful Counselor says to you. Keep dreaming, keep praying, keep stepping out in faith while aligning yourself with the Holy Spirit. Nothing is impossible for God.