“I like the idea that when I die, I will have a long sit-down chat with God and get answers to all my questions. For example, those apple cores that I threw out of car windows when I was a child—did any of them become trees? ~Kristine K. Stevens
Today we reach the end of our summer series which focused on The Journey, while asking questions. Strangely, the author needed to remind herself that we are on a pilgrimage, so I’m sure you need some hints as to where we’ve been, and where we’re going, as well.
I had to go all the way back to the beginning, which was March 4th and a post titled, What I Learned While Living 10 Weeks Off Social Media. To back the journey up even more, what drove me to the 10 week sabbatical was the chilling realization that I was a turtle on a gatepost: stuck in indecision, and unsure of how I would get down from a predicament, which was whether or not to continue pursuing book publication. The answer came through an extended period of quietness and prayer, with an answer from God asking that I shut the door myself, to traditional publication, even though I was inches from my goal.
As a review, here’s our pilgrimage in a nutshell:
1) Winter (March-April)-The Truth: We focused on uncovering lies and getting honest about our individual journeys. The main take-away from this season was the benefit of finding our “One Thing,” and taking steps toward that laser focused goal.
2) Spring (May-June)-The Cost: We recognized that once we become laser focused, we will experience roadblocks and challenges. Determination, perseverance, and driven purpose toward the will of God will come at a Cost. The main take-away from this season was the odd fact that criticism can actually be helpful. The Cost doesn’t need to hold us back. Perspective and attitude are key factors in our success.
3) Summer (July-September)-The Journey: We asked the questions: Who? What? Where? When? How? And, why? This was a free-flowing attempt to hear God as He spoke to our individual souls about our unique journeys. The main take-away from this season was an understanding that only God should decide who we are. Too often we let those around us (even those very close to us) determine our next move, without consulting the only One who matters.
4) Fall (October-November)-The Freedom: We will embark into this season next week.
As we come to the end of our question focused season, I’m astounded by two main things at this point:
1) Focusing on The “One Thing” actually works!
You can accomplish the goals you set out to achieve. At this point in my personal journey, I feel blessed to have a published record of my goal, with a tangible way to track my progress.
Have you stayed focused on your goal(s)?
I must remind you that this is where we began and when I heard from many of you through personal emails. You voiced your concern about feeling muddle-minded and indecisive. How has the pilgrimage gone for you so far? I realize that few of you will have a completed manuscript to show for evidence, but my guess is that you’ve made more headway than you realize. You just haven’t tracked back as I have, or maybe it’s not as tangible. Your progress could be as simple as an attitude, a confidence, or a richer relationship with your Father that is difficult to pin-point. I’m not reminding you to induce guilt. I’m reminding you to encourage and give you another boost!
You can do this!! Keep going!
As hard as that may be track your progress thus far, I really hope to push you forward in an effort to try. Make note of any development and please don’t shirk your success! Women, especially, have a difficult time shining forth, but I can guarantee that you have marched forward! You are stronger. You are more focused, peaceful, or assured in the unique path where God leads.
2) Questions remain!
Sure, I sit on the other side of accomplishing a huge goal. I have stepped over the line on a decade long journey to place my story in the hands of anyone who finds hope in true stories of incredible redemption, but standing on the other side finds me still asking questions, still needing God, still doubting my growth. In other words, I’m with you in negative self-talk, while we plod forward. That voice is relentless and we must work together to silence any sound which stalls growth.
As we journey into Fall and Freedom, I am still without firm direction on how to write through the last season of our pilgrimage. Once again, as always, I will need to position myself behind the will of God and allow Him to lead. But…wow…I hope I’m never in another position than that.
Two things I know for sure. But I want to pause here to remind us that God leads our decisions step by step, not far into the future.
First, I will continue to blog once a week. To my surprise, readership has taken a significant and steady increase since moving to one post a week, event through the summer months, which is so encouraging (thank you so much for your readership). This is a win/win! My readers are able to keep up, and I am able to work on other hugely important projects that will benefit you in the future.
Second, next week’s post will provide all the information you need to pre-order my book! It is hard to believe we have finally arrived at this place on the path, but we are here!
As we close out our summer series of questions, I share with you the beginning of John 16:23, when Jesus says this to His disciples, “In that day you will no longer ask me anything.”
What is that day?
It’s easy to trust that day as heaven, when we’ll know all things. But what if Jesus wants that day to be sooner? What if He wants us to walk so closely and confidently that our questions are less and less? What if we stopped asking about this and that, and found ourselves walking where the questions are no longer?
I believe Jesus would love for that day to be right now. A trusted walk with the Savior. Your will be done.
Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)