Following God’s lead in your life is a hard concept, on every level. But one thing I know, from (reluctant) personal experience, again and again? If you want God’s direction in your life, ask.
Truth is, He directs us even when we aren’t asking. And He has plans for our future that we could never imagine. For instance, me? Living on a rural farm? Milking a cow? Never saw that coming.
Our family was on vacation in New England when the long, crazy journey from suburbia to homestead all started. Nothing surprising in the fact that we were vacationing in New England, mind you. We vacationed in New England every year, often twice a year, as long as we had been a family.
My husband’s ties to a diminutive cottage in an unassuming Bible conference in a small northern town actually started on the very day I was born. On July 3, 1969, a baby girl with deep dimples who was, in every other way, “average,” was born in the Wilmington Hospital. She was given the middle name of her paternal grandmother, Rose, a name that would dictate the kind of flowers her high school sweetheart would often grace her with many years later.
Yet that sweetheart was only a 4-month-old bundle on that July day in 1969, the day he was carried over the threshold of his family’s vacation home for the first time. The cottage his grandmother had purchased. The cottage nestled under colossal pines.
The cottage had rooms added, porches expanded, and deep roots imbedded in those two lives that were just babes back in the summer that the first man landed on the moon.
• • Notice the Tugs • •
Fast forward to our vacation in August 2008. Individually, we both started picturing what it would be like to move our family to New England from the only state either of us had ever called home. The tugs came in the form of people we met, comments they made, and feelings that crossed our minds. Those tugs dug into our hearts in a way that we eventually couldn’t ignore.
But we did try.
Until the last days of our trip, we both kept our feelings completely to ourselves. We were shocked when we realized, at the end of our vacation, that we both had been feeling the same emotions. The same thoughts. Yet they made no sense.
We were both native Delawareans who were very happy where we were. Neither of us liked change. Our home was perfect for our family. And we lived one block away from my parents, and to get to my in-laws, well, we literally, walked over the river and through the woods (of the park) to grandmother’s house we’d go.
• • Examine Your Desires • •
When the logical negatives haunted me, I suddenly saw Psalm 37:4 in a whole new light.
I always thought that verse meant that if I was pleasing God with my days He would give me what I longed for. But I realized I was missing the mark.
You see, if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart; He will wipe off OUR desires and write HIS desires on our hearts.
With indelible letters.
We’ll long for whatever it is HE wants us to desire. For my husband and I, in the summer of 2008, that longing that we simply couldn’t ignore meant we knew we were supposed to pack up our family and move hundreds of miles away. We just had no idea how, or how long the process would be.
• • Immerse Yourself in His Word • •
We got home from our vacation and the next day, early, I longed to be in His Word. I knew He was trying to get my attention and I was finally ready to be following God’s lead. I prayed and asked Him to show me what He wanted me to meditate on that day. My devotion focused on Jeremiah 6:16. A verse I never remembered reading before.
Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
Over the next few weeks I analyzed that verse daily. I had no idea at the time that it would become a life verse for me. I would cling to it, share it, and wallow in it as a soothing balm to my distraught heart in the years ahead. I would one day even write it over the doorway of our home. (Duet. 6:9) Well, not quite. But close. You’ll see what I mean in my next post…
Do you too have a life verse that has given you sustenance and peace through the years? One that has helped you as you were following God’s lead? Please share in the comments!
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