He told me to wait

I’d like to wager that at some point in the past year, you’ve persistently asked God for something. Maybe you’ve asked for some kind of breakthrough, healing, or opportunity.  Or you’ve asked for peace or justice to finally come. But have you ever been hounding after God, only to have him turn to you and ask you to wait? I have. I’m waiting right now. He told me to wait.

It’s kind of like he asked me to pitch a tent, build a campfire, and hang tight while he goes on ahead. For a while, I thought I’d just spend a night or two and wake up to find him standing outside my door ready to go. But it’s been longer than that. It’s been months. In some areas, it’s been years. I’ve been sitting in my camp, trying my hardest to go about my business and honor what he’s asked me to do – stoke the fire, gather food, sleep, repeat – all the while straining my eyes every hour, every minute, to see if he’s rounding the corner to come get me.

The reality is that in these waiting times, there is nothing we should do except for what he’s asked of us. He told us to wait while he goes out and clears a path. If we packed up and started walking after him before he came to get us, it would be disobedience. Our very actions of packing up and setting out would prove that we do not trust him.

The truth is, most of us have been on adventures with God where we are blazing the trail together. On those journeys, we’ve seen miracles happen right before our very eyes. With every step, we had to actively trust that he knew the best route to get us to our destination. Whether the path was close to a steep cliff or through a peaceful meadow, we had to follow and have faith. He was the only one who knew how to get there, so we followed in amazement. But right now, this journey isn’t about following – it’s about trust. Trust that he will come back for us. Trust that He has our best interests in mind.

I know we’d rather be walking with him – hacking away at branches or wading through icy streams – because we believe that any movement, even hard work, is better than this. But instead, our waiting allows us to experience beautiful sunrises and sunsets. We are able to rest. Instead of hiking through the forest with him, he has left us in a cozy little camp where there is a warm fire, plentiful food, and safety. Could this actually be a blessing?  In this waiting period, we can rest and know that he is out laying the groundwork, making sure everything is ready for us.

And this is the best part: while God has gone ahead to prepare a way, he is also right here with us in our camp. The wait is challenging, but there is so much we can learn about him during this season. He is here to listen, process, and give us wisdom. He’s here to give us strength, and to show that he has not abandoned us. He is here to whisper that we just need to be still and trust him. He is all we need to have joy. He is talking with us by the campfire, laughing and singing. Protecting us while we sleep. He is near, even when he feels so far away. He is revealing that he is the very source of peace.

We don’t create miracles. He does. We don’t part seas, fell trees, and make paths. He does. Our camp is cozy and warm, and God is with us. Omnipresent. He has not left us to wait alone. No, we have our creator right beside us. If we choose to embrace this time, we will discover a new depth of his love for us.

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Psalm 27:8

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. 
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14


 Kristen Larson started writing in 2011. Since then, she has contributed to the Faith Radio Network blog, wrote devotionals for Daily Wisdom for Women IMG_46322016 with Barbour Publishing, and got her dream job working on book covers for Bethany House Publishers. She and her husband live in an adorable rural town in Minnesota, where they love spending time together working on home updates and renovations.

For more information, visit her About Page.


Cover photo by Hannah Morgan on Unsplash
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Story Jumping

It’s isn’t an easy revelation to realize that our story going to look different than everyone else’s. We want what other people have. We’ve seen what they’ve accomplished and we expect it for ourselves. It’s known and familiar. But the fact is that our story is different. Unique.

I used to spend a lot of time looking at the people around me and thinking that, at any moment now, my life will start to look like theirs. But I kept ending up disappointed.

So then I would look to people who were further along than I am and I would try to predict my future based off them. Again, disappointment.

I had to learn that what’s logical for them isn’t logical for me. Their past doesn’t predict my future, even if it looks similar. What’s in their immediate future isn’t in mine. A + B doesn’t equal C. Life just isn’t that simple.

A while ago I read Broken Escalators by Peter Haas of Substance Church, and the introduction of that book made some truths clear to me.

“We still hold fast to devastating misconceptions: that happiness is circumstantial, that people can prevent God’s promotion, and the worst misconception of all, that we know what makes us happy.”

“Your current devastation may be the greatest thing that has happened to you. Your current delay just might be your current deliverance.”

“God knows, there are only two ways to experience the rollercoaster of life: You can throw your hands up and enjoy it, or you can try to control it. (Good luck with that second option, by the way.)”

“But that’s the point. We don’t really know anything, which is why we need these two things: 1. A Father in heaven who can look out for us. 2. An unflinching trust in His plan, no matter how things look.”

It’s scary to live your own story, because frankly, you don’t know the ending. You don’t know what plot twists and sorrows lay in the pages ahead. That fear alone can drive us to try to escape our own journey and try to make our lives look like everyone else’s by completely abandoning God and his ultimate wisdom. But as Peter eluded to in those quotes, that’s only making us miss out on something so beautiful that only God, our Father, can create.

Psalm 5:3 says this:

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

That is what we need to continually do. Seek the Lord in all things, and wait expectantly. In sorrow, we need to wait on God. In pain, we need to wait on God. In confusion, frustration, in less and in more, we need to wait on God expectantly. “Expectancy” is defined as “an excited feeling that something is about to happen, especially something good.” This verse, combined with what I know about God through the Bible and my own experience, has put a fresh perspective in me regarding my story. God has proven himself faithful. He’s taught me that the worlds wisdom is not his. His ways are higher, greater, and far better. But these are things we can’t learn until we dig in and chose to keep our eyes open to the ways he’ll be with us and provide. We can’t learn the deeper truths he has to reveal until we chose to take that step and trust him.

I think it’s time to start embracing our story for what it is and be thankful for every single piece of it. I don’t want to be so busy looking at other people’s story that I miss out on living my own.

So be encouraged to allow your expectations to take a back seat, and let your expectancy begin to rise up inside of you. God has a lot to show you, teach you, and, if you allow him, to do through you.


 Kristen Larson started writing in 2011. Since then, she has contributed to the Faith Radio Network blog, wrote devotionals for Daily Wisdom for Women 2016 with Barbour Publishing, and got her dream job working on book covers for Bethany House Publishers. She and her husband live in an adorable rural town in Minnesota, where they love spending time together working on home updates and renovations.

For more information, visit her About Page.


Cover Photo by Tyler Milligan on Unsplash

disconnect

My parent’s generation, the Baby Boomers, had it easier – in my opinion. I hear all the time not-yet parents telling their friends that they’re unsure about having kids because of how tough the world has become. In my head I usually laugh and toss the comment aside – hindsight is always 20-20. Would you want to raise you through your generational stuff? Probably not. I know I wouldn’t. Just the boom of the internet, and the rise of social media alone, would send any parent wanting to run for the hills.

But this is one of those situations where I actually do wish I could have been raised in another era. An era without the internet. Did they find more purpose in life than we do? Did they have more self worth and find contentment in what they had? Did they have stronger prayer lives? Did they have better family units? Were they healthier? Without the distraction of the internet, what did life look like? And more importantly, what did life feel like?

More and more I find myself being pulled away from the internet and drawn to the outside. I have this little day-dream of living on a farm and living off the land – owning a cow, chickens, and having a massive garden. But for a time I began to grow discontent because I couldn’t see ever being a place where I could have those things. But then a revolutionary thought came to mind – what can I do with what I do have? So I thought about my house and what I have access to on a daily basis. I have my own yard for the first time in my life. I can garden. I can explore growing all kinds of vegetables and fruits, and in the fall I can explore canning and preserving. I can spend time in my yard when I get home from work.

And let me tell you something strange. When I felt the pull to live less online, I asked Luke (my husband) to delete my Facebook and Instagram app from my phone and to disable my app store. I asked him to put restrictions on my web browser so that I could no longer access those sites – even via Safari or another browser. I could access them from my computer and that was it. And the strangest thing stared to happen as my time on my phone cut down drastically in just a few days…I started having dizzy spells.

The first was at work and almost threw me out of my chair. It felt like vertigo. I threw down the cover proof I was inspecting and grabbed onto my desk for stability. I’d never experienced anything like that before. It was extremely unsettling. Over the next week, I had more several-seconds-of-dizzy spells here and there. To be more precise, every day, about every twelve hours or so, I’d have another few seconds of being dizzy. It was scary. But the only thing I could link it to was spending less time staring at my phone. My brain was reacting to this dramatic change in my daily schedule.

Sure enough, after a week they were gone. I haven’t been dizzy again since, and it’s been three months.

But this is what’s crazy – how icky is it that spending time on my phone, and then quitting almost cold-turkey, had such physical ramifications? I don’t want to go through that again.

So to bring it back – I wish I lived in my parents era when they were growing up. An era where you didn’t have to worry about the entire world watching your every move. It sounds like an era of freedom to me. Freedom to focus on the people physically around you, and to love on them and give them your full attention. An era where you were content with what you had…not simply because you couldn’t see what everyone else had, but because you got it by the sweat of your brow and the work of your hands. The home you had and the things in it were hard-earned, and you appreciated where you were in life and how far you’ve come. You welcomed family and friends into your home and gave them what you had in the fridge and it was appreciated – because frankly you worked hard for that food, but you were more than happy to share it with those you loved. I know that’s not really how it was – at least not for most people. But that’s the way I’m trying to live my life now. I desire to be defined not by what I have and how many people know about it, but who I am and what I do with the time that I’m given each day.

If you’re resonating with this post, then maybe you need to do the scary thing and begin to disconnect a little bit. By that I mean disconnect your heart. I follow Jesus Christ with all of my heart, and I have found so much life by shifting my focus from this, to Him.

This is the situation that we’re in, and it’s up to us to decide how we’re going to live out this era with the internet. To find purpose in life. To find self worth and contentment in what we have. To develop stronger prayer lives. To love our family units. And to feel life.


 Kristen Larson started writing in 2011. Since then, she has contributed to the Faith Radio Network blog, wrote devotionals for Daily Wisdom for Women IMG_46322016 with Barbour Publishing, and got her dream job working on book covers for Bethany House Publishers. She and her husband live in an adorable rural town in Minnesota, where they love spending time together working on home updates and renovations.

For more information, visit her About Page.


Photo by Dora Reis on Unsplash