There is a simplicity of life offered to all, but sadly attained by few. It is a profound clarity in our identity and purpose that comes from knowing who we are in the Lord and how much we mean to Him. It is the place of peace that surpasses all understanding; a knowing that life is much more than what is commonly perceived. It is the discovery that the One who calls us to Himself, is worthy of our unhindered trust and unlimited love. In fact, for many this deep seated security is only found when God mercifully and lovingly swoops in to adjust our focus. He cradles our face with those big, strong, yet gentle hands, looks straight into our eyes and waits. He patiently watches as we strive to attain peace through ever spinning trinkets of man-made pleasure and trivial pursuits. He waits for us to stop wiggling around in fruitless efforts to quiet our soul and center all of our attention on Him. "And therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you." -Isaiah 30:18 For me, the season when He brought my heart and spirit into harmony with Him, came when we lived on the mission-field. I admit I chuckle and shake my head when I think of the irony of the mission-field during our last year and a half. The mission-field is supposed to be a place of pouring out, of giving freely to a people and place not your own. It's where lives are changed, people are healed, and cultures are impacted with God's love and power. Much of the time we lived there, all of those things happened. But I admit it wasn't the healing, salvations, or miracles happening through us or around us that impacted me the most. It was what happened inside of me as God took my desire to be fully His and began answering that yearning. You see the last 18 months that we were there, nothing I had envisioned personally, was happening. It was a time where I had no friends, nothing to do, and no where to go. Everything I tried to do fell to the ground and eventually I began to surrender to the nothingness, feeling consumed by the type of prison I found myself in. The heat was unbearable in our poorly made house, the water was off more than it was on, and the electricity sometimes went out for days. People I reached out to for friendship didn't reciprocate. I was alone with my daughters, husband, Jesus and my longing soul. We didn't have the resources to be able to move back to the States. We were totally in God's hands - ultimately the best place one can find themselves. I had no distractions of normal life to inhibit my time with the Lord. As a matter of fact, most of what I had, was time with Him. In the midst of confusion, surrounded with nothing, I found that my spirit was still shining. As I would quiet my heavy heart filled with questions, I would find my spirit connecting with the Lord on the deepest level possible. Worship would bypass the clutter of my mind and navigate me into His presence where I knew that a foundation of trust was being assembled. The security I so longed for would only be found in Him, not in my location or circumstances. (This revelation alone was worth all of what I went through.)
And then I learned to fly. My circumstances didn't change nor did my overwhelming desire to be free from them. I wish I could tell you a defining moment in this season that turned things around, but there wasn't one. There were many. Every day was a defining moment. Every time I decided to smile, to worship, to encourage myself and my family, every time I prayed for someone on the street when I didn't want to, every time I lifted my hands thankful for His love, each moment I laid my questions at His feet, defined me and altered me most profoundly. I just kept doing it - every day, over and over and over again because He was all we had and in truth all we needed. Then one night I had a dream unlike any I had ever had. I dreamt that I was flying around our house, in and out of each room, fully free and happy. My prison became a limitless sky! It was so real. I had never dreamt I could fly before. The Lord was showing me how I could be free and soar higher than my circumstances. I was still stuck in the natural, but I was learning how to be free and fly in, through, and above the limitations that went deeper than my surroundings into the depths of my soul. After I had that dream, it was only a matter of a month or two before God moved us back to the States.
Now that we are here, I have had to learn to fly in the midst of busyness and stay in the place of worship and communion with Him. This is the position most find themselves in. But regardless of what situations you are facing, what distractions seek to hijack your focus, God is wanting you to stop and discover something beautiful; something simple yet profound. In order to learn to fly, we must choose to love, to be thankful, to trust Him, and to experience the substance of His presence every day and in every situation. He longs to fulfill you, satisfy you, and surprise you with His love! Can't you sense His nearness now? Don't you feel Him drawing you every so gently into His love? Stop wiggling and be still. Everything that once has tripped you up is actually a step to stability - a foundation of strength and assurance. Choose to take moments - over and over again to be with Him, to love, to surrender all, and to be thankful and then you too will learn to fly.