I am sorry I delayed posting this final piece of the Big Decisions trio but the hospital threw us. I wrote week before last about being in a season of big decisions. This week God faithfully revealed a little bit more about what our family should do regarding one of the several decisions looming. I am constantly amazed at how He works for us, and even sometimes despite us, so here is my final offering:
We sat on a small trampoline. All five of us. Mommy and Daddy wrapped tightly on the edge, Indian style, with the trio at the fore. A foam tile had been transformed, with a little imagination, into this flying ship’s map, and the blinking clanking lighted tool bench into the ship’s control panel. This all created by the baby who whispered with twinkling eyes, “we’re going to Neverland.”
I’ve been sitting smack dab in the middle of big decision alley and I’ve mentioned sometimes the worst part of the decision-making process, even more than the worry over making a wrong decision, is the period of not knowing. Your ship sets off for lands unknown and you don’t have a map in front of you. It’s easy to have twinkling eyes and a bold imagination as you fly off to Neverland when you’re three, but when you are over ten times that, fear sets in and the unknown looms.
I just started reading a book called The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears by Mark Batterson. He says this, “Bold prayers honor God. God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams and boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less.” This is not a prayer for riches and untethered success. This is a prayer for the dream and the calling God reveals to you as you seek Him.
I’ve talked about how terrifying praying bold prayers can be, particularly if you feel God has let you down in the past. A million pastors or counselors can tell you it’s all for the best, but when you fearlessly step out and ask the unimaginable and hear nothing in response, then it can be hard to step back out in faith. But here’s the bigger problem that Batterson identifies: “Most of us don’t get what we want because we don’t know what we want. We’ve never circled any of God’s promises. We’ve never written down a list of life’s goals. We’ve never defined success for ourselves. And our dreams are as nebulous as cumulus clouds. Instead of drawing circles, we’re drawing blanks.”
What if the reason we’re so frightened of that black hole is because we haven’t taken the time to plug into God? It’s the unknown because we don’t know WHAT our dreams or our calling look like. We can’t decipher the right decision, or even the right direction, because we don’t know what we want. We allow life to happen to us instead of striding, in faith, toward our dreams.
I know it sounds simplistic. Pollyanna even. I call myself an optimist but my husband calls me an idealist. What if that was okay? Idealism? Isn’t that what our walk of faith is about? What if we had the big dreams first? Then we could make those big decisions with confidence, knowing every yes or no was made with an eye on that ultimate goal. God stands ready to provide us with clarity and certainty if we seek it.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3, NIV)
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. (Hebrews 11 – The Message)
Finally friends, today is our last give-away for the new blog confetti party! I am thrilled to be giving away Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. If you haven’t read Ann, she’s amazing. Every time I read one of her blog entries, I am blown away by the wisdom God reveals through her. And this book, which you may have noticed I quote a lot, revolutionized how I think about living and being thankful. I hope you win it, and if you don’t you should go out and buy it. Every 10th subscriber will win a copy – you just sign up on that little “subscribe” button to the right. We’ve already had six winners from Monday and Tuesday. Thank you all for the love this week as I joyfully celebrated this launch with you.