Skip to main content

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!

Popular posts from this blog

What About Travis!?

I just watched Hope Floats, the second movie in my I-really-need-to-vegetate night. Now that we have more than three channels, there are so many quality programs on TV! Like movies in the middle of the week. I enjoyed many of the lines in this movie, including:

"I went home and told my mama you had a seizure in my mouth."
(referring to her first french-kissing experience)

"Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me."
(the conversation in our living room then went,
Girl 1: Only Harry Connick Jr. could say that line without it being incredibly cheezy.
Boy: Without it being cheezy? That's all I heard. Cheez, cheez, cheez.
Girl 2: Yeah, but it was sexy, sexy cheez...sigh.)
"Better do what she says, Travis. Grandma stuffs little dogs."

Bernice: At home we had a pet skunk. Mama used to call it Justin Matisse. Do you think that's just a coincidence? All day long she would scream, "You stink Justin Matisse!" Then one day she just…

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.


But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…

Simone Weil: On "Forms of the Implicit Love of God"

Simone Weil time again! One of the essays in Waiting for God is entitled "Forms of the Implicit Love of God." Her main argument is that before a soul has "direct contact" with God, there are three types of love that are implicitly the love of God, though they seem to have a different explicit object. That is, in loving X, you are really loving Y. (in this case, Y = God). As for the X of the equation, she lists:

Love of neighbor Love of the beauty of the world Love of religious practices and a special sidebar to Friendship
“Each has the virtue of a sacrament,” she writes. Each of these loves is something to be respected, honoured, and understood both symbolically and concretely. On each page of this essay, I found myself underlining profound, challenging, and thought-provoking words. There's so much to consider that I've gone back several times, mulling it over and wondering how my life would look if I truly believed even half of these things...

Here are a few …