Have you ever stopped and had a lightbulb moment that, whoa, you’re a different person? You see how your thinking has changed, how you interact with the world differently, how things that used to matter don’t and vice versa?
Just recently I had to say goodbye to some very dear people. My pastor of the last ten years and his wife are loving on to the next step God has for them.
As we sat around and thought back on the last ten years of their time here, they recounted many of the faith journeys God put them through. God has been faithful through those journeys and will continue to be on their next journey.
It stirred my thinking over the last ten years of my own journey. It also made me stop in my tracks and realize what a different person I am.
I mean, who the heck even am I?? I honestly didn’t recognize this person staring me in the face wearing my clothes.
I didn’t recognize the person who can stand in front of a classroom when she used to be terrified to speak to one person. I didn’t recognize the person who had survived not just college but graduate school who used to never finish projects she started. I didn’t recognize the person who lives in constant fear take small steps of faith and experience opportunities she never dreamed of.
I didn’t recognize the shy girl who now actually enjoys interacting with people.
I didn’t recognize the fearful girl who is learning to finally embrace the love of God.
Talk about grace.
The last ten years have made me a completely different person. High school graduation, college graduation, grad school graduation, 2 nanny jobs, teaching speech/theatre, school shut down, back to the south. UK, China, Canada, California, Salt Lake City, New York, summer camps. Broken hearts, car crashes, runaway deer, twisted ankles, bitter cold winters. New adventures, new friends, new positions, new places. Becoming an aunt, becoming a teacher, becoming a discipler, becoming a follower, becoming an adult. Breaking, healing, humbling, losing, gaining. Fear, loss, joy, pain, heart bursting happiness, peace, trust.
The journeys that stand out were the times when all fell apart and were uncertain and fear threatened to completely undo me.
When I simply just felt…..lost.
Looking out and the darkness threatened to absorb me into its abyss and choke the breath out.
To step forward took all the strength I could muster. I take that back….it took more than that. It took grace.
When I was crying my soul out, desperate for something….for Someone….to hold out a hand and just show me what He was up to…what He IS up to, He gently whispered each time: “just look at Me.”
And as I look back, I see some sort of semblance of a thread. I see the guiding Hand. The One that was always held out, leading me where I was supposed to go, even when I didn’t see it at first, or even still.
And all the while, when I felt lost, I was still being led. Led to what is best. Led to my God. Led to where Happiness Himself was inviting me into His presence.
“Just because you feel lost, doesn’t mean you weren’t led.” – Stewart
I’m sure the next ten years will hold its own journeys. And I choose to look up. Look up to the Hand who always leads.