It was a season that I was unprepared for and didn’t know what it would look like, though it was exactly what I needed. I had just given my all at a job for 13.5 years and had resigned my position to pursue full-time writing. My new season wasn’t exactly what I had signed up for.
Honestly I didn’t know what it would look like except it felt good to sleep in past 3:45 am. I did have some expectations going into this new thing that God was doing in me. I was ready for a change. I thought it would be easy. I thought it be great and grand. I thought I was already prepared. I thought a lot of things.
I didn’t think it would look lonely, or leave me with a feeling of insignificance or make me feel marginal in anyway. I didn’t realize I needed any rest and thought I could transition to one season to the next. I wanted to know results to feel productive. I didn’t think I had to dig so deep to discover my purpose.
This new place I was in was the exact opposite of my previous work environment. May I be bit transparent here? I felt a bit weak in this type of rest. I thought I knew what this was about, but God showed me His more important things to accomplish as I prepared for the coming season.
Have I told you that I have a hard time being still? It’s difficult for me to rest. I didn’t realize how worn out I really was. Emotionally I didn’t realize how spent I was on the inside. The transition from a very public personality to a full-time writer was challenging for me. As a people person, I used to talk to people for my job and the moment I left that position, intense isolation and loneliness set in.
I remember feeling so unproductive in my new found reason for rest. I couldn’t hardly wait for God to launch the next step of His grand plan for me. I believed it was around the corner, but at the same time, I missed people in painful way.
So I asked God where was His joy in this resting? Where’s the joy in my feeling isolated? Where was His joy in my new found freedom?
Because I was dealing with doubt, I re-evaluated my decision again and again.
Because I was looking for the fruits of my labor eveywhere, I lost my motivation to share my weight loss story in book form.
Because I didn’t see His value in my purpose, I couldn’t find joy in my writing.
It was a couple of months in, when I realized that God was working on His time frame not mine. I slowly began to regain a right trust for His timetable with His plans for me. My preparation season was my stilling my heart’s desire before the Lord. Only He knew I needed that kind of rest first to project me into the next phase of this writing journey.
He knew that I need to build strength as a writer, He knew I needed a new dose of courage and He knew that I my confidence needed some encouragement. He knew what I needed even though I kept telling Him what I wanted.
I often think about how we try to jump ahead of God or try to produce our own little spin on His great purpose for our lives. There are days that I wonder what God is up to, but I know I can trust Him to meet my needs more than I can supply the words to wrap His ways.
I am mostly left in wonder that my Father, who has no needs, can anticipate all of mine no matter the season.
Once I realized I could trust Him in my new found season of rest, I felt His release to my new phase of ministry.
Once I realized that I was stepping into my calling, I received the joy that He had waiting for me.
Once I realized that I was never alone on any day, whether it was a public setting or not, I sensed His presence in a ways that I can’t describe.
Once I found joy in my freedom, I felt His peace that passes my understanding.
As I draw on His strength, I am assured of His faithfulness each day.
Once I dropped my expectations of what my life should look like, healing came like rain from heaven. I saw the fruits of my labor and I stepped into my purpose as His daughter. I took my place in the kingdom and never my doubted decision again.
It is well with my soul and I’m breathing deep in His grace. That’s true joy friends, not happiness as the world teaches us, but true and abiding joy that lasts.
Finding His joy in the freedom of your calling is a beautiful thing and helps define your identity in so many ways. Finding purpose for your life is joyful, finding rest in due seasons is healing, and finding a deep trust that empowers your faith is life-changing.
How do you look for joy?