Walk By The Way

Friday, May 05, 2006

Coming Around

Today is Day 4 since the big “Walk Which Way?” blog dilemma. Is it God’s will for me to attend the Glorieta Christian Writer’s Conference? I’m still not sure what the answer to that is, but I know that God is talking to me about it. Or showing me signs, sending me messages – however you feel comfortable phrasing it.

Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of God talking with people. Speaking. Having a conversation. But that’s actually where I am in my relationship with God. I feel like we are actually in conversation. If the conversation ends, it’s my fault – not His. He’s always there. I’m the one who walks away from time to time. I have to say things always go a little crazy when I get out of hearing range.

The past several days, I’m not sure we’ve even been talking so much as wrestling with each other. I’ve gone over all my fears about the conference – and it’s not really so much fears about the conference as it is fears about going forward with my writing.

So I think God summed up my fear this morning. You know, God usually speaks the loudest to me when I’m in the bathtub. Since I had my little boy I think that is the one place where He knows He has be best chance of getting my undivided attention. At any rate, I was in the bathtub reading “Sisterchicks in Sombreros” by Robin Jones Gunn and the end of chapter eight wraps up like this: “I didn’t have any desire to ask God if He had unfulfilled dreams for me. The risk was too great. What if His answer was yes, and those dreams weren’t my idea of a good dream?”

Ouch. Well, I’ve come a long way in just four days. I really want to go to the conference. I still have some fears, but I also have some peace. Funny thing is that I have recently been asking God to increase my faith. I wrote about increasing faith in our church bulletin. Asking for increased faith is like asking God to grant you patience. He doesn’t grant it like the fairy godmother in Cinderella – bibity bobity boop and you’ve got your patience. God wants us to go through a process with Him so we can know Him better. So to get patience, you get situations that require it. Well, to get increased faith, you get situations that require increased faith.

How you respond to those situations determines whether you develop increased faith. If you respond, “Uh-uh. It’s not happening” and keep your heels dug in, you won’t have any more than you started with. If you say, “Okay, let’s go for it” you may be completely surprised at how the situation gets resolved.

I’m saying all of this, not from a knowledge and application of it in my life, I’m saying it as the beginning of a process of realizing and understanding the truth of this – the application hasn’t even begun yet.

So here’s the short of what has happened in the past four days. I began by asking God if it was His will for me to attend the conference, but deep inside I was dreading the idea of going although part of me was still excited about the conference. Now I have come to a place of deeply desiring to attend. I’m excited about what God might want to do with my writing and I think that might be a good step toward understanding the gift He’s given me. I know His dream for my writing will very likely look nothing like I imagine. After I decided I really would like to go, I kept praying about whether it was His will. And I felt like He was saying, “Well, you never asked me if you could go – so I wasn’t sure you really wanted to.”

Of course, God is sure about everything, but this is part of building our relationship with Him. Asking. Sometimes I don’t give my child things that I know he wants because he doesn’t ask. Or he doesn’t ask with the proper attitude. I want him to ask because I want him to know he can come to me. I want him to ask with the proper attitude because demanding is a sign of disrespect – a lack of love.

Well, there’s much more to say here about the process I’m in, but I feel like I’m not making good sense of it at this point (at least not at conveying the sense of it externally). Maybe that will come as I’m a little further along. All I know right now is that I really want to go to this conference – and it will take faith to trust that the financial aspect, child care, and spousal concerns will be worked out if it’s God’s will for me to go.

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