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Nearly every morning this week I’ve been waking up at 3:45 or 4:00 AM, mind spinning and racing. Nothing is wrong, I’m simply being woken up with the feeling that I need to pray.
See, the last few months, a seed has been growing in my heart. While circumstances differ between us, this is a common feeling I’ve heard people talk about.
When God calls you to do something hard, He impresses it in your life so deeply that you can’t ignore it (even if you try).
Just because God calls you to do something doesn’t mean you’ll experience peace and tranquility about it. Though there should be an element of that in the end, there will also be a great deal of anxiety, unknowns, risk, and stress. Why? Because we’re human!
We have to process emotions, learn to trust, and ultimately, lay down our fears and doubts over and over and over again.
For our family, I feel that God is leading us on a journey that will cost us a great deal–financially, emotionally, mentally, and physically. It is a labor of love and a burden of the soul. Our hearts will be hurt and our patience will be tested.
But if He’s leading, the only response is to open your hands and let Him guide the process.
I don’t know the outcome.
I don’t know how the journey will progress.
I don’t know how He’s going to provide or change us.
But, when He’s calling and He’s leading, you will feel a sense. Things will fall into place. Timing will prove to be perfect. Not to say that there won’t be heartbreak or failure on the journey. There may be. But the end result will be orchestrated far beyond what our human hearts can imagine.
The Role of Prayer
It’s common to question why we need to pray when God already knows the outcome. However, I’m convinced that prayer is often more about shifting our hearts to align with His plans than shifting the outcome to what we want and ask for.
It is through prayer that our hearts soften. It’s where we lay down our fears and practice trusting. It’s when we center our hearts, take deep breaths, and embrace peace. Prayer is an opportunity to release stress, and it’s a vital part of taking care of our souls. Prayer is the ultimate heart re-charge.
Embracing the Unknown
When God calls you to do hard things, it’s going to involve a lot of unknowns. Our family is beginning a journey and we don’t know where the finances are coming from. We don’t know how we will be challenged. We are openly putting our hearts at risk of being broken.
The unknown is where trust grows. If we knew the outcome, we would be self-confident in our own ability, and the reality is that God allows hard things because, without Him, they wouldn’t be possible.
Embracing the unknown is saying you’re open to whatever may come because you know that the miracle, the growth, and the journey will be for His glory. It will be His story, even if it doesn’t turn out how we imagined it to be.
But, I Don’t Want To…
Hard things. Who willingly signs up for this? Missions. Adoption. Ministry. But the call is a prompting that is difficult to ignore. Usually, even if we complain that we don’t want to take the risk and we’re scared, God still makes a way.
Most of us are familiar with the Biblical story of Jonah and how that turned out. We can say “no” but God’s “yes” is still stronger!
Do You Trust Him?
It’s a difficult question to answer. Oftentimes, we want to trust God, but our hearts may be conflicted. Our human brain asks the question “what if”. We worry about loss and risk. Who else would be affected by our decision to take a risk?
Certainly, heavily weighing the risks and effects is called for. This is where getting wise counsel is also helpful. Speaking to pastors, teachers, and friends can help give insight into whether you are entering impulsively or carefully vetting the options. Talking to those who have made similar journeys will give you a clearer picture of what could occur and what you should consider beforehand.
However, the “weighing process” is often a place where we sit in indecision and procrastination. Sometimes, we block out God’s prompting in the name of “rational” or “practical” thinking. It is entirely possible to reason out God’s call.
But, if you’re praying and seeking God’s direction, the promptings are likely to lead you forward, if you can take the first step of faith. It’s not easy…this is “hard things” we’re talking about here.
In the hard things, I cling to worship music. My constant prayer is “help me be open to what You have for me” and “open doors we can’t see and close doors we aren’t supposed to walk through”. Never forget that God is your advocate.
He cares so deeply for you, and while He may allow heartache and difficult times, His grace remains. His comfort is there for you to accept. He is waiting for us to be willing hands and feet.
I don’t know how our journey will go, but I know it will be one of intense growth. He will make diamonds from the dust. And it’s a process I can’t wait to see.