Sometimes I hate social media.
Funny, as my work, my audience, my connections around the world, very much rely on this form of media to connect, maintain and grow all sorts of relationships.
This isn’t a post on the dangers of social media, or SoMe, but only as a catalyst to illustrate my recent lessons.
But we’ll get back to that.
Some of you may remember a book written a few years ago called “If you want to walk on Water, you got to get out of the boat“. Well, boy have I stepped out of the boat recently.
Last week I gave up my apartment here in Stockholm. (This will come as a surprise to some of my local readers)…sorry I haven’t had the chance to tell you.
I gave up my apartment, I’m putting most of my belongings in the storage and moving in with my bestie (in a tiny, studio apartment).
Because when you want to walk on water, you need to get out of the boat.
AND DANG, that boat is really, really, really hard to get out of. Like, people, I am pretty sure I had put up military-style fencing around the edge. I liked my safe life, my beautiful life, with my pretty apartment and my gym membership and my monthly mail order make up. Except that it wasn’t moving forward. I wasn’t really living my purpose. Too often over the last couple of years things were going off kilter and a line had to be drawn.
So, I tore that fence down and jumped in.
The truth is, aside from a freelance writing contract and a few bits and pieces, the future is a beautiful blank canvas. God has given me tools to impact people around me, make a difference while I am here and a shift needed to happen.
I have to admit, and this is hard, that it’s so easy to look back and go “oh, okay, so I was on purpose here and then…oops I stepped off”. Except, that’s not actually the case. We spend, oh, maybe I just spend too often looking at what we see as missteps, what in actual fact, God has used, planned or not, to refine me.
In order for me to really get out of the boat I had to get to this point. Stubbornly, it may have taken me longer than He wanted, or perhaps, it’s exactly the right time. I don’t believe it’s my concern. I believe only that God has me here, now, in a place I can be completely moulded by Him.
Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8
If you look up how to make a clay pot you will see that the potter has to have a strong hold on the clay, gently, but slowly applying pressure so that He or She can shape and refine the clay into the desired shape.
The clay, like us, in order to be moulded must surrender it’s natural shape in order to become the master’s design.
We too, have to completely surrender, allowing God to apply pressure and constraints in our lives, in order to become who He desires us to be, in order to best live our lives for His purpose, our purpose.
So what’s the formula? Well, I reckon this is where it comes down to two main areas.
Remove the pride and add a dash of vulnerability (a very big dash).
This is my experience, and feel free to argue. Let’s go back to the SoMe example. We are inundated with images on Instagram and Facebook, and texts about everyone else’s lives. We see the new boyfriend, the new fiancee, the big house, the better job etc…ALL THE INTERNET and our pride swells up. Why doesn’t my life look like that?
Well, first of all because that’s not your life. And secondly, it probably does, to someone else. But that’s a whole other blog…
Pride takes us on a path that is often not ours to take. I have this great sweatshirt that says “Thou Shalt Run Your own race”. When pride takes over, we end up running towards someone else’s goal, we run in their lane and run against where we are supposed to go.
But when we keep our eyes focused on the main thing and ask for, listen to the Holy Spirit things change. Our course changes.
Seriously though, this is hard. Especially when maybe our track was always meant to go this way and then that, but we are still running the way we were meant to last year. Pride sees only what WE as humans see…what we can accomplish. It takes us off track or keeps us on the path when we should have taken a left.
So, now that we are working on pride…let’s make it a bit more difficult and really get in there.
Dang that word hurts. Vulnerability, we think, means putting our trust in someone else. In fact, I am realising that it’s so not about other people. It’s about being vulnerable enough to really hear the Holy Spirit whisper and then act on it. If God opens doors that no one can close and closes doors no one can open, then it doesn’t really matter if we are vulnerable with the humans in our lives. Of course they’re the vehicle, but listening to the Holy Spirit allows us to understand where, when and with whom we should be vulnerable with.
So, truthfully this is a blog that has no real ending. These are daily and even hourly lessons I am currently learning. The good old “lay it down” and surrender it all is a constant journey and one that isn’t a chore, but a path to glorious freedom.
To be continued…