Over the Horizon: When God Moves Us Beyond What We Can See

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way,

Where many paths and errands meet.

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of The Rings

The year began as others have, with new plans and goals and hopes. We try to think ahead and prepare ourselves as best we can, but as humans we never can tell what the future holds. And this year has shown us all, I think, how little we know about what will happen tomorrow or the next day. I don’t know about you, but I am a little weary of hearing words like “fluid” and “pivot” and “adjust.” As comfort-loving creatures, we would almost all prefer to keep things a little more controlled, familiar and predictable. Oftentimes, however, this tendency is actually not in our own best interest, and sometimes God has to shake things up a bit to get our attention.

As I sat down to write this post, a picture came to mind of Frodo Baggins in Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. He was just a young hobbit, setting out on a journey to an unknown destination, uncertain of his task. In my own personal life, aside from all the national and international chaos and crises, God has been mapping out a journey for me. This path is going to take me beyond my comfortable little hobbit hole and out into my own patch of wild and unexplored territory. This change is happening on two fronts simultaneously, and it all sometimes has me looking off to the horizon and feeling overwhelmed.

The First Path

Back in June, Alisa Keeton, founder of Revelation Wellness, announced that the next session of their instructor training program would be completely online for the first time ever due to COVID-19. Then she added that the cost of training would be half what it normally is. My heart skipped a beat when I realized that this might be my best opportunity to pursue the call that I sensed God laying on my heart 2 years ago when I attended Rev on the Road in Franklin, TN. After some prayer and talking with my husband, I knew that this was the time, and I joined Platoon 25!

But I am not fitness instructor material. This girl stinks at choreographed workouts, not to mention that she feels like throwing up anytime someone brings up leading group fitness classes. I’m not strong, or fast, or even very flexible. Beyond the fact that He wants me to get trained, I honestly have NO EARTHLY IDEA what God wants to do with this in my life! But in some strange way, the not knowing is a comfort. I don’t have to have a plan. I don’t need to see what is beyond the horizon. All I need is to simply trust that the Lord has it all prepared for me, and that He is getting me ready for the work He has for me to do. (To find out about Revelation Wellness Instructor Training, click the image below.)

The Road Goes On

The second path involves our whole family more directly, and it has us all heading into uncharted territory. In July, my husband was called by Bluefield College in Bluefield, VA to serve as their new Dean of Registration Services. Over the course of about 3 weeks, he had an online interview, an in-person interview, got hired, went on 2 unrelated business trips, and took us all house-hunting around Bluefield! It was quite a flurry of activity. He is now hard at work in his new job, and the kids and I are packing and cleaning and getting everything ready to move to our new house in our new state!

Bluefield is a unique town in that it crosses the border between Virginia and West Virginia, and it is situated in the heart of the beautiful Appalachia Mountains. For this born and bred Nebraska plains girl, driving into those tree-covered mountains was a brand new experience. Perhaps the more significant change for our children will be learning to live in town instead of the country. The house we are buying is right in the heart of historic Bluefield. They have never lived in a neighborhood before, and I have never lived on the side of a steep hill. The view on the horizon of our lives is certainly amazing, but it is also a little intimidating!

With Eager Feet

As I look out toward this future I can’t quite see, one thing is certain. God has us in position to be on mission for Him. What with being in town, our family can get more involved in our local community than we have ever been before. Even though I don’t know how God might ask me to use my RevWell training, I have a feeling He isn’t going to want me to just sit on the sidelines once I’ve finished. And what is more, we have a church and a homeschool community out there just waiting for us to find them, too! So it is with eager, though somewhat trepidatious, feet that we set out down the road. Truly, God only knows what lies ahead, just over the horizon.

Day 25: Capture #write31days2018

When I first saw this prompt, my mind went straight to the idea of capturing moments and memories, thus, the camera graphic. As I sit down to write tonight, however, I am more drawn to the verse below about taking every thought captive to obey Christ.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

My tendency is toward worry and anxiety and negative thought patterns. Over the past year in particular, life has changed in many ways, and I am on a journey to better mental and emotional health. This verse is a big part of my healing. I am learning how to stop the negative thoughts through prayer and surrendering to God.

And today I had to do that very thing, as I was nervous about a new book group I am starting and inviting to my home this weekend. I have been worried about what the ladies coming with think of our little rental house and how things will go meeting these people for the first time. New things are scary. But I was reminded to take that concern straight to the Lord. I know He has called me to do this at this time, so I can be confident that He is in it and will bless it.

I also was reminded by an old Elisabeth Elliot radio program today to do this same thing with forgiveness. She was talking about keeping a record of past hurts that people have inflicted on us. This verse came to mind as I considered how to fight the temptation to bring up those things with the people I love. I have to take those thoughts to Christ and remind myself that His blood covers all those sins, so I don’t need to hold onto them. Instead, I can choose to let them go and be free to love the people in my life with grace. May you do the same, as well!

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 20: Audience #write31days2018

The concept of “audience” has been on my mind lately, especially since leaving Facebook and Instagram for the month. Even before that, however, I had grown disillusioned with the ideas of growing an audience via social media and all that the “experts” say you are supposed to do these days to build a platform. I am tired of the constant push to hustle and the pressure to be a certain type of person in order to market myself.

The thing is, I don’t actually feel called to create a big audience for myself as much as I feel called to use words to communicate God’s truth and encouragement to others. If he wants me to have a small audience, but I actually do make a little bit of a difference to those few people, then so be it. As long as I can be obedient and faithful, I am pleased to be used by God in whatever capacity that may be.

Of course, I want to reach more people. In my humanity, I would love to speak into many people’s lives and have my words go far and wide. Who wouldn’t want to be recognized for saying something worthwhile? But if that isn’t what God has for me, then I am content to just keep writing for the pleasure of the process. In the end, my audience is really an audience of One, and He is the only One whose opinion matters.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

Day 19: Who #write31days2018 #fiveminutefriday

Who am I? I have been doing a lot of contemplation of the concept of identity lately, especially as it relates to my identity in Christ. The relationship I have to the King of kings is truly life-altering when I live in that reality. I am a daughter of the Creator of the universe, and no one can ever take away my rights as an heir to the kingdom of God. Wow. It leaves me speechless and in awe.

How does my identity in Christ shape me in my roles as a wife, mother, friend? That is what I am working out now in the day to day. If I am secure in my position before God, then I should behave differently. My value does not come from my earthly relationships, but blessing does flow from cultivating those relationships. I should be self-less and loving, faithful and honest, not moved by fear of the future or waves of cultural shifts. When I find my security and value in God alone, I am free to fully love others as He would love them. 

I can’t say I am there yet….far, far from it! But the goal is there. And the Holy Spirit is in me, changing me little by little, as I allow Him to work in my heart and life. Praise be to God that He knows who I am and still loves me!

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”

 

I am also linking up with the Five Minute Friday community today. To read more posts by bloggers on this prompt “praise” visit the link-up.

Day 16: Pray #write31days2018

Not a day goes by that I don’t pray several times for help from God. Most of the time, it’s a quick prayer in the midst of sibling conflict between my two children. But in the morning, I usually do  have time for more focussed, less desperate prayers.

However, I have found that those short send-ups for patience, wisdom and grace in moments of desperation are still meaningful. I am learning these days that I cannot control my children or the outcome of my parenting. I can only do what I think is best at the time and pray for the Lord’s will to be done in their lives. The Lord alone knows what is best for them, and I need Him desperately in these days. I am not the potter. I am here to nurture my children and to teach them all I can about making godly choices. But I am not able to determine the path they will go. This is a humbling, and in many ways frightening, realization.

So I pray. A lot. I pray that I will faithfully mother these precious souls. I pray that they will see Christ in me, even through my many flaws and failures. And I pray with gratitude that my God is big enough to draw them to Himself no matter how much I may mess up in the day to day.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and Write 31 Days blogging challenges. Find all my posts in this series under the tag “write31days2018.”