Walking the ‘Thy Will’ Way

I walk along the soft leaf laden path. The wonder of autumn has fallen and the ground now bears evidence of its presence. Each step I take, lands on a padded surface. I lose myself in thought.

Thy Will Be Done.

It is familiar. It is desperate. It is soothing. It is unknown. It is, above all else – perfect. I recall when Jesus teaches us how to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”. In the same way Jesus knew this to be the only way to live and breathe, He also knew the weight of its meaning. For a prayer of Thy will, means stepping into a space where self is abandoned…crucified and the will of God is surely being done. Jesus’ heart beat the same as His Father. In the very place where He cried out to Him in a plea of asking His father to have this cup pass from Him, He also was already One with Him in perfect obedience.

 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done”.  (Matthew 26:42)

A prayer of Thy will is not a prayer that is without sacrifice. It is not a prayer that is free from experiencing and walking through broken. A prayer of Thy will, is not a prayer that refuses to die to self and refuses to take up one’s own cross.

A prayer of Thy Will is walking with the One who is worth every sacrifice. It is a prayer that experiences and walks through broken. A prayer of Thy will, must die to self and take up one’s own cross.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)

Walking in a Thy will way.

This kind of walk makes me think. As I find my way through the trees, I am reminded. I watch the leaf as it dances through the air. It floats and falls with absolute certainty of its role – dying and letting go. The tree does not hold on. The tree lets go so it can experience the fulfillment of new growth at the right time and the right season.

If we could only see the beauty of releasing our own dead leaves. It is only through our accepting and walking through the Thy will moments that we will experience the forsaking of self; it is also where we will be able to one day experience true living.

To walk in the aching joy of Thy will begins with the heart and the thoughts that are produced from it. It asks for a revelation of any thing harmful, offensive, grievous, dishonest, or wicked way that is within…so that it can be surrendered to the cross. Dying to self…this will allow us to be lead in the everlasting way.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

The wind rushes by and the sun beams down — it refreshes and it rejuvenates.

I don’t have to know or understand every circumstance, but I do need to surrender them all to His will and walk in obedience to where He is calling me in these circumstances. I am reminded that where I am weak, is exactly where He is strong. I don’t have to worry about my perfect obedience, for there is One who has (and only could) obeyed perfectly; I lean into that obedience, His obedience. I invite it to envelop me. I raise my eyes and my hands lift in surrendering praise.

My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:2)

I am reminded of His goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy, His grace and His steadfast love that endures forever. I can trust in His perfect ways. I can trust that He is working all things for our good and His glory. I can trust in Him

So I think…

Could we all, the body of Christ, come together and die to the self we so desperately hold on to? Could we all embrace the sacrificial life of Thy Will? Could His beloved come together and walk in His everlasting way…even if it means braving through the messes and brokenness of life? Could we love each other and encourage each other as we walk the hard road of Thy Will together?

By His grace, I think we can.


The Big Move

I see the words written in my journal. When asked how we ended up here on this new journey, I must go back to the pages that hold some of my prayers and reflections. The month was January and the words, – “Should we sell our house”…with a notation, “then what”. This was not something that we had talked about or a thought we had even entertained. I was confused as to why this question was settling itself somewhere inside of me.

February comes and goes, we have formed an outlook, a forecast if you will, for what our plans and goals were for the next five years. Somewhere, after year five — that is when we thought we would revisit the idea of selling our house. But, God had different plans. 

Words written in my journal, the month is now April. The idea of selling hasn’t been shaken, even after a set plan in place. I pray for direction and why this thought is being pressed so…I don’t understand it. My husband and I begin to entertain the idea. So, maybe it is sooner that 5 years…maybe we are looking at 3 years or so.

We begin to dream. A house sold, a mortgage paid off…and all of a sudden, life is looking vastly different. A big metal home on a small piece of land. Maybe 2 years from now.

Late July. Maybe, we buy land and pay on it while living in our current house?  We look at different plots of land…even made it to the point of taking the steps to making an offer on two. As we moved forward with making an offer, each piece of land disappears…sudden buyers come in and swoop it out of our grasp. We are confused. We are disheartened. But somewhere in our own frustration and our own unknown, the whisper becomes even louder – it is time to sell.

We are now in the first week of August. This is not making any sense. We have no where to go, not even any plans on where we could go. Nothing about this seems right. We wrestled. We doubted. We encouraged each other in our doubts. We prayed. We moved forward.

A text was sent to our friend-and-now-realtor. We were really doing this. She scheduled pictures…two days later she scheduled three showings…the next day we had an offer. Doubts were smashed, Just.Like.That.

The day we got the offer, we went out and drove around…almost aimlessly. Up until this day, we had not had any luck finding anything within a price range we were willing to pay and/or we could not find a location we felt was right. Our hearts were wide open…maybe our destination was not meant to be here. We prayed some more.

Then this day. We quite literally, happened upon the piece of land we now call home. The vision that had been placed in our minds, was here…it even had the large metal shop (though not big and grand, perfectly sufficient).

A long process then began: more praying, more doubting, more unusual circumstances, more detours, more trusting and more surrendering. A process of selling and buying that, altogether, took us two months. It was the craziest experience I have ever been through, ever. To rely on and make drastic decisions based on blind faith and trust, was not something I was not altogether familiar with…but His faithfulness was more than true and His grace was more than sufficient.

This beginning part of our journey, it stretched our faith and our endurance. We were tested and we hit (many) peak moments of stress. Moving is not for the weak, especially when it is a rather sudden thing…an unplanned thing. But there we were, weak…and moving. Many times, I was brought back to a moment I had in February of this year. While in deep contemplation and prayer with God, He challenged, as well as directed, me – “Don’t be afraid to step into obedience. Trust Me”.  This kind of obedience and this kind of trust…it is more than I can accomplish on my own. It is only because of Him that my husband and I were able to obey Him in this new journey and it is also only because of Him that we made it through this time. His peace was always just a prayer away and He supplied it freely and perfectly.

This journey we are now on…well, we don’t quite understand it yet ourselves. All we know it has been an interesting one; we also know — that it has only just begun.

A Long-Awaited Hello

The blank page before me welcomes me and the clicking sound of every keystroke reminisces sweetly, as that of a warm and sweet”hello” embrace. This little space of mine, is precious to me. It is where I have chronicled the many thoughts and experiences of my life unfolding. It is where I have processed and grown in spiritual truths. It is through words flowing, how I expressed one of my most intimate forms of worship to Him. This little blog is where I embrace a gift given by Him, so as to return the glory to Him. It is a space where I can sing the new song He has given me. (Ps. 40:3)

Left alone. It has been quiet here, in this little space of mine. Some might even think, abandoned. It would be easy to blame it on some major life changes experienced over the last few months. It would be easy to say, life happened. It would be easy to say, I just wanted to take a break. There are many reasons/excuses to give…ones that would be easy.

Vulnerability and honesty, are more pure and true than what might be easy. At my core, I want to avoid vulnerability. I am thankful, though, for a core redeemed. While my flesh may desire to hide and move on to some vague and distant form of truth…His perfectness and goodness strengthens me to do more. Truth cannot be vague, it cannot be distant; if not fully truth, then it is fully false.

So, with a heart to keep this space a place that pursues truth, truth is then demanded from me.

This little home of words which I hold so closely, also became the thing I was asked to walk away from. It was whispered to my heart in the quiet moments, whispers that left no doubt. I was to give up something I considered so good, so important. I begged my various reasons why I could not walk away from it. I ignored His call. Somewhere, I just knew that it must be some sort of mistake…something lost in translation.

Then He took it all away. Words lied empty. A mind full, could not compose a single paragraph. It was the quintessential embodiment of writer’s block. That is when I knew. My disobedience came at a cost. My soul plummeted, and it did so not because of my disappointment in what had been lost, but because of my regret. When asked to practice full surrender, I clung to what was never mine…and lost it anyway.

An excerpt from my journal the day, with tears flowing, I wrote my words of final surrender:

How do you give up something….really great? How do you let go of something that is just as much part of you as breathing. Words formed in an act of worship. Thoughts, swirling through the mind, just waiting to be released onto a page. Being asked to release this, is like being asked to release the air mask that is pumping life-giving oxygen into my lungs.
Sometimes, bravery and trust is to walk away…even from something you love; Sometimes, bravery means surrender – for something Someone greater. It is the journey of His faithfulness that assures and strengthens. It is His goodness and glory that reveals nothing is worth more than He. His promises are true and His ways are good. Bravery, right now? It means entering a space of sacred trust. It means holding back nothing from Him. It is letting go of hopes and dreams in exchange for His desires…for His ways.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD.
      “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
     Isaiah 55:8 (NLT)

Silence followed that day. But in the silence, my heart grew and my spirit was sharpened. I moved forward day after day, never knowing when or if I would be given the gift of writing for Him again. Uncertainty in it, grew my certainty in Him. His mercy generously overflowed upon my broken spirit — He did not leave me in a state of regret, but gave me the hope of grace. I meditated on Him and found that the most precious form of worship I could offer, is found in how I am living (surrendering) my daily life to Him. There is nothing…nothing…more important than He. I offered up my broken way of thinking, a thought process that somewhere placed a form of worship to Him, over He Himself. In the true and full surrender, I found my soul restored.

Friends, this God I serve? He is faithful, he is good and all His ways are perfect. He takes away and gives with sovereignty, mercy and grace. I have journeyed in silence these last four months, a silence that let my heart hear Him. I saw His faithful ways and experienced His mercy, not in what He gave, but in what He withheld.

I sit here today,in front of this computer screen, only because of Him. I move forward with a prayer to cling to His perfect instruction…to His perfect way. I am humbly marveling in this gift restored to me. It was a gift restored in His perfect time and in His beautiful way. To be so very undeservedly entrusted with this gift; to be able to use this space, again; to sing my song of worship through words written; to be given the chance to surrender all, it is for nothing less than His glory.

I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. -Psalm 40:10- (ESV)