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The Inside Scoop

In my last post, I promised a more full explanation of the November turning point. So in a rare moment of transparency, I've decided to just lift it straight out of my journal. And then I'll add a few thoughts I've had since then.

The context: I'm in Tofino and have set aside a day to think and pray through whether or not I should stay with my current employer.*

The journal:
...I have a rich life - no financial concerns, decent health, multiple close friendships, and many opportunities to enjoy the culture and nature of the city I am in. i'm so grateful for this, God. You have truly given me many, many good things.
And yet one thing weighs heavy on my heart. This issue of job/work/occupation/calling. I am not content where I am. Although I am seriously considering an external change, I need to examine my own heart and be willing to make internal changes before or instead of changing my situation...
I want to model a life that is simple and not overly structured, getting out of a bubble of church life. I want freedom to figure out who I am, to try vastly different things and to be uncertain. the people are a huge pull for me to stay, but cannot be reason enough...
I don't feel angry. I feel sad, and there are a few things that still frustrate me. But I understand that these changes take time...

The moment:
I took a break from the journal and went out to the beach to listen for God. The peace in my heart continues, and I feel confident that my attitudes and motivations are more right than if I had made this decision before this fall. I am reminded of what God said to me back when I decided to apply to work here - "Beth, this is the step of faith that I want you to take right now. And when I want you to take the next one, I'll tell you."

I stood for a long time, just watching the waves crash in. A verse came to mind:

Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
(Psalm 42:7)

What a beautiful thought. Standing on the shore, I felt in my heart the beauty of the moment, and I thought in poetry, desiring to capture the moment and the scene in some sort of portrait. And it felt like God said to me, "This is how you see the world - in poetry and pictures. Embrace that. Stop fighting for a more "pragmatic" approach to life and enjoy the way you're wired. Delight in it. Delight in me."

The conclusion:
Since November, I've been doing a lot of thinking. And what it boils down to is this. The past four years have been instrumental in developing my general identity and "calling" as someone who is loved by God and loves Him in return. There is now a level of certainty and rest in my heart that I didn't know during university. And now, from this base, I think it's time to start building on my specific identity and calling as Beth. Someone who's been writing silly stories and poems since grade school. Someone who loves to look at lovely things, and uses music to identify and process her emotions. Someone who is happiest in nature, solitude, and shared laughter.

Just before I moved to BC, in the fall of 2006, a group of friends prayed for me. One of them shared that as she prayed, she had an image in her head of a tree. It was sparse and there were no leaves, because it was winter. But what you couldn't see was what was happening below the surface. The tree was putting out roots, sucking in nutrients and preparing for the fruitfulness of spring. She said to me, "Beth, I think that you're heading into a winter season and it may be hard, but you're putting down roots..."

I forgot about this for a long time, but it's come to mind recently. I feel like this season of preparation and nutrient-sucking is heading into a time of new growth and fruit-bearing. And that is both exciting and scary.



*my day was structured around some ideas in a book called Listening to God in Times of Choice by Gordon Smith. I highly recommend it if you're making a decision.

Comments

Mindy said…
Isn't God amazing? I'm excited for you too, Beth. Thanks for your transparency :)
Mindy said…
Nice layout, by the way.
Jill Brown said…
:) I'm excited for you...
Very well said, Beth! I know that God has a plan for your life and in His perfect time He will reveal it. I'm so thankful that you are being obedient to Him!
Justin E. Chan said…
It's a been a privilege to journey with you for a time. Your words are beautiful and soothing.

I am forever excited for you!
JC
The Tricketts said…
Beth, may God continue to bless you and use you to bless others. You are such a fun, competent, and gifted woman. I'll miss you, but it sounds like the next few months and years should be a very exciting time for you. It is very encouraging to hear your heart to follow God wherever He leads.
Celeste.
Evelyn said…
Thank you for sharing from you heart, Beth. Glad that God led you out west, otherwise I may have never met you. Excited to see where God leads you as you continue to take steps of faith!

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