Have you ever been in a season of life when each direction you’re turning, you have a “Wrong Way” sign flashing intensely back at you?
Your heart is set on a dream. Your emotions are so exaggerated and taking over your intelligence. You fly past every warning sign that this situation, this career path, this relationship, this dream you’re holding onto is not God’s perfect plan for your life.
Dead ends… Ladies, what do we do when the ends of our hair become dried up and dead? WE CUT THEM OFF. We all know that by biting the bullet and cutting off inches of dead hair will in fact make it grow longer at a faster rate. I’m the world’s worst about cutting my hair. If you know me, you know my hair is insanely long. When I go in for a trim, I cringe at every inch being snipped away. But I know it’s for the best. It is the same with dead ends in our lives.
No matter how much we strive to push a square peg into a round hole, it is not going to work. There have been seasons in my life that I forced myself onto a particular career path only to find my soul was miserable because it was not God’s plan for my life. I’m sure we have experienced this in relationships. We hold onto a vision we had in the beginning or a feeling of safety. We hold on with every fiber of our beings only to find that we’re at a dead end. A dead end filled with dried streams that used to overflow with life-giving water in this area of your life. You wake up one day to no more cross roads. No more options but to turn fully around and go the opposite direction.
Change is scary.
Change is growth.
Change is good.
For years I have feared change. God has used nearly every faucet of my life to face the fear of change. I faced the change of finding a new dream after the loss of my husband. Our entire life built was that of a team. Business partners, remodeling a home, raising a child together. All of it shattered in one moment.
But feared change produces so much trust in our God when we choose to stop running from it and face it with a faith that comes from Christ within us.
I have envisioned myself kneeling at a stream. I am standing on stepping stones, kneeling at the slight running water at my feet. My fingers are touching the top of the streaming water. It’s moving slowly, but it’s moving. I look further down the stream, to the right and to the left. The streams are dry. I know where I’m standing won’t be life giving much longer. I know I’m being called to move forward. But the stream is so beautiful. The stream was healing. The stream gave me water when I was dying of thirst. The stream exudes peace and comfort. But I’m not to stay. I don’t know what is after the stream. But I know I have to be obedient and move forward. I’m to trust in something bigger than myself.
Change is scary.
Freedom begins with obedience.
This reminds me of Peter in Acts 12. King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church and had every intention of persecuting them. He took Peter captive, imprisoning him. He was handed over to four squads of four soldiers each. Herod had planned to bring Peter out for a public trial after Passover. Here Peter was imprisoned, but God’s people were diligently praying for him to be set free. Scripture tells us the night before Herod was to bring Peter to trial, Peter fell asleep between two soldiers. (Because I mean who wouldn’t be sleeping like a baby with this much stress in their life… It’s not like he wasn’t about to possibly be persecuted for his faith or anything)
I see you Peter.
I see your unwavering TRUST in your God.
He was bound with two chains and wedged between two soldiers. He was in bondage, physically but not spiritually.
Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and struck Peter’s side. “Quick, get up!” the angel said. “…And the chains fell off Peter’s wrist.” Acts 12:7
And…. THE CHAINS FELL OFF PETER’S WRISTS.
I’ll say it again- Freedom begins with obedience.
Peter had to get up before the chains fell off him.
YOU have to get up before your chains will fall off you.
What is the Lord calling you to do that you haven’t yet?
The Lord has been revealing to me since August that I have not surrendered certain areas of my life to Him. I was scared of what His plan may look like, so I was holding onto my own.
I recently shared with a friend that the Lord gives me a word for each year. At the beginning of this year He gave me the word Love. But I know it was not in the romantic sense. It goes deeper than that.
I can feel my Savior whispering to me ever so sweetly—“I am Love. I am the Love you are looking for. I’ve been here with you the whole time. Don’t you see me? Don’t you feel me caressing your broken heart? I’ve never ever left you. Please come fall into my arms.” That is Love. When I think of the place’s I’ve allowed my mind to go, from deep sadness, to exploding anger, to disgusting selfishness, to icky worldliness, but yet, here is my Jesus pursuing me, calling to me in the middle of my darkness. This Love trumps any romantic shallow term of love. This Love I’m referring to is an out of this world, undefined, knocks you off your feet and challenges you to run to the cross kind of Love. It brings you to your knees in repentance and leaves your dirty ashes shining like beautiful sunflowers. The kind of Love that turns unimaginable earthly pain into a purpose for His glory. There is nothing that compares to it.
I’m learning that His purpose for our obedience is rooted in His Love for us. This revelation has equipped me to embrace change on another level.
Change is growth.
What happened to peter when he obeyed? Not only did the chains fall off him but he stepped out of the prison walls. He was at a dead end, stuck between two soldiers who were commanded to keep him a prisoner for Herod’s entertainment. How many of us get comfortable in our own prisons? (Insert hand raise emoji) We can become quite comfortable in our own dysfunction. But the change that Peter experienced in his situation due to his obedience of “getting up” was quite literally instantaneous. Instantly the chains fell off, he walked out of prison and was a free man.
The evolution of change can be so many things… it can hurt, it can be scary, it can grow you… but oh change can be so good in the bounds of God’s will over your life.
What if you embraced the change the Lord has set before you? What if you surrendered whatever it is that is holding you back? What if you were whole-heartedly obedient to the commands and callings Christ has set specifically on your life?
You never know… A simple act of obedience can change the course of your life and blessings and freedom could begin to flow instantly. Your seemingly never ending ‘dead end’ could turn into a boundless open road full of Life, Love, and Growth.
Change is good.
I Trust my God. I Trust my God. I Trust my God.