The Goal

by - December 06, 2013

It’s a snow day, or actually an ice day here in Plano. There are little icicles hanging off of my balcony, little lights shining on my little Christmas tree, and a little gumbo cooking in my crockpot. Do you guys crock pot? I’m a crock-potter. I’m tracking a Christmas present that is out for delivery with UPS. I’m drinking a second cup of coffee with a little splash of vanilla and cinnamon, sitting in my pajamas. The dryer is going, the heat is on, I’ve got White Christmas and Elf to watch along with a couple of more 2nd season episodes of Dr. Who.  Jordi and Birdie like to geek out over Dr. Who and convinced me that I need to check it out because of the very serious look on their faces when they talk about how uh-mazing it is and which Dr. is their favorite. I’ve switched from my Christmas music playlist to my Pride and Prejudice playlist that I like to listen to while writing; and have now sat down to step into my Gracefully Frank shoes that I haven’t worn in a while. Life has gotten busy. Graciously and beautifully busy. 

I mentioned previously that I have changed jobs; still with the same ministry, but with a different set of daily goals to accomplish. I saw my last face-to-face client this past week (bittersweet sigh), and for the time being won’t be seeing more clients.  That also means I won't be working on my counseling hours toward my LPC licensure. That was not the original thought when I switched into this new role, but a series of factors led to the decision. The primary being a lot of prayer and wrestling (not wearing-a singlet-wrestling, Lady Birds don’t do that) But, just wrestling with the decision and ramifications of it. “This is why I went to Seminary.” “This is my calling.” “This has been my goal for nearly 6 years.” Here is what this lesson has shown me again over these last couple of months…I went to Seminary to follow Christ. My calling is to say yes to him and glorify him in all I do. My goal is to honor him, and not miss out on even a second of His will, because that is my purpose in life. LPC, or even counseling are not my goal. They are just the steps in the direction of the goal that I press on toward. If I were to dig my heals in and demand that my understanding of the “goal” not change, or not be delayed, then I put something else on the throne in my life. I lean on my own understanding.  When I keep him on the throne...things change around a lot in my storyline. It's not instability, which is the deception I could believe. When I believe God and his Word, I have to believe it's the Plan.  The one He's known He's had for me. Jeremiah 29:11. I’m finding I like the changes. I like the love I find there. The relationships that grow, the adventures I never considered, the freedom, the joy, the trust, the grace toward me and that flows through me like never before.  He is good, and every painful moment of brokenness I've experienced...I've come to realize is only the pain of chains that have bound me finally falling off me. Stepping into the Light, after being in the dark makes your eyes burn at first…but keep stepping...the view gets lovely.

I know the names of the countries He is leading me to next year, even though I still have no idea what tomorrow holds…but only that I trust with every ounce of my being that He holds tomorrow, and He’ll show me what I need to know when I need to know it. I know I’ve repeated that before, but it’s worth being reminded of. He is my Provider, Shelter and Shield who does not put me to shame when my hope is in him. I am beyond thankful that I am not who I was. If I had demanded that the plan I thought of as my goal not change, then struggle would be the result. I’m not afraid to struggle, but I want it to be because of faithfulness, not stubbornness. He may open doors back up to finish my counseling hours, I’m halfway there. If he does, I’ll say yes. Seek first the kingdom of God, and allow the change of plans. They are for your good. For my good. For His glory. Hold on loosely friends…but don’t let go. If you cling too tightly, you’re gonna lose control. Thank you .38 Special…for that timely message.

Is there something you are demanding, but maybe He is trying to change the plans a little or a lot?  Pray Psalm 139. Sit still (oh the number of times I was told that as a child). Seek Him. Let Him lead. Then say yes. And enjoy being in His will instead of fighting it.

My Bible has the theme of Psalm 139 as "God is all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere present.  God knows us, God is with us, and his greatest gift is to allow us to know him.  Here is The Message version of Psalm 139:

A David Psalm

139 1-6 God, investigate my life;
    get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!
7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
    to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.
17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
    God, I’ll never comprehend them!
I couldn’t even begin to count them—
    any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
    And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
And you murderers—out of here!—
    all the men and women who belittle you, God,
    infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
See how I hate those who hate you, God,
    see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
    Your enemies are my enemies!
23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
    find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
    get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
    then guide me on the road to eternal life.

God knew this stage of my life before I got here.  He sculpted me. He knew my today, and knows my tomorrow, knows my next week in Colorado, or my next month on the other side of the world.  Mine is just to say either "no" or "yes" to him.  He also apparently sculpted me to type with my pinkies pointing up instead of down even from the beginning.  He knew me now, even then.  The plans, the days, the no's, the yes's.  Working all things for my good, for His glory. 

Enjoy your snow day! 

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