this is where the old is ending

picture found here.
I started this morning with a less than thankful heart. Frustrated with several different situations, I headed to church. I asked for a softened heart during worship, and God answered.

His answers do not always reveal what I hope. As much as I don't want to, I often ask for His way but in reality am asking for things to happen in the way I want them to. Instead of leaning into all the things He wants for my life, I say I will but hold onto what I want, what I feel is best for my life.

I've gone back and forth today with what I feel He is calling me toward. There are moments of clarity and moments of fogginess. I experience moments of peace and joy intermingled with moments of frustration and of anger.

Right now, I'm in the midst of frustration and sadness and uncertainty. I think I know what He is saying, but it is so hard to let go of the things I want for my life. And yet, He continues to pursue my heart, to convict me of the things that need to change. He does not relent even though I have given Him every reason to.

God has been so tangible in my life recently. And it brings me to tears. He has such a burden for me, for my life, and for the lives of those around me. Even though I am fickle and even though I think that I know best and so often cast Him aside.

I am on a journey. And He is leading me. He is showing me my weaknesses and reminding me that He can turn those weaknesses into strengths. He is reminding me of the things that break my heart and showing me that He can use all of those things for His good.

I've prayed for this. I have asked Him to become the center of my life. And I wanted it. I just didn't know how hard it would be. Or maybe I didn't know if I was ready for Him to become the center or my life and that is why I held so tightly to the things that I hoped for in my life.

I am on a journey. Writing here, documenting both the ups and the downs, is part of that journey. I just pray that God will use these words to further His kingdom and touch the lives of people.

Because that's what I want. I think it is what I have always wanted. A chance to be a vessel of change. The opportunity to improve the world around me. It just isn't happening the way I pictured or planned it.

And that is hard. It is probably the hardest thing for me. To let go of the plans I had and to offer my hands to Him to use the way He sees fit. To let go of the desire to worry incessantly and come up with at least five different solutions for every problem. To depend on my strengths and abilities and wisdom instead of constantly seeking Him. To pray for His guidance and then to truly be open to where He is guiding me.

I will stumble. And I am sure I will take several steps backwards. But I am doing my best to grab hold of where He is taking me and to not let go.

And I am terrified. Absolutely terrified. Because while He has made promises, no specifics have been offered. There is no map to guide me where to go, and while there was a short period of time when the path was well lit, I am now taking one step at a time with no clear picture of where those steps will lead.

So I pray. The prayers are not always eloquent. And sometimes I just have to cry. At times, I lash out at God and at those around me. But I continue to press on and to pray, and I hope the same for you.

I appreciate every kind word I have received in the past. Every understanding hug and every reminder of God's love. It spurs me on to know that these words are being read because I know that I have people to hold me accountable even if I do not always want to hear what they might have to say.

God is good. So good. So much better than I could ever imagine. And He loves us. I just need to remember that there is not much more to ask for - that He will always provide what I need. And I need to remember to pray and to listen and then to respond.

(title from "listen to the sound" by building 429)

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