The old dirt road crunched under the weight of my SUV as I made the transition from the pavement. The last shades of fall were all around me, with russet and yellow leaves long faded to brittle brown. These few stubborn leaves were still clinging to the barren trees of the forest lining the road.
A simple A-Frame log cabin came into view, and my heart instantly lifted. I had arrived! And it was none too soon. In a year full of challenges and changes, I was frazzled and spent.
Working too many hours and pushing too hard had taken a bit of a toll. There was an edge to me now, just under the surface. A sharp edge that came out at weird times. Like when I was driving in traffic and wanted to bite the head off of the driver who cut me off. Or when someone made a negative comment that honestly wasn’t all that negative, but I wanted to find offense. Okay, maybe I didn’t give in to that one, but I wanted to, you know?
It had been a long time, too long, since I had gotten away for some personal time with my Dad. Just God and me together. These are special, sacred times for me. I get to recharge, spend deep time in prayer and the word. We scheme and dream together, and I always leave with new energy, new direction and especially, deeper peace. He helps me know what to give up and what to hold onto.
I never know quite how these times will go, and this time was no exception. There was a lot to accomplish, so my natural instinct was to jump into planning mode. I made my to-do list. Then I prayed, and guess what? God completely re-arranged the list. I felt him nudging me in an entirely different direction. He wanted to start by building into me.
But Papa, I thought, I have all these things I need to do.
Don’t you trust me? I heard him whisper inside. I know what needs to get done. Will you let go and trust me?
Slowly, I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding. Felt my shoulders gently relax. I gingerly sat on the couch, taking a deep, cleansing breath, and simply let go. Of my agenda, my timing, my desire to check off all those boxes. In that moment I handed it all back over to Him.
“Yes Papa,” I said out loud. “I do trust you.”
I swear I could feel him smile.
Do you have moments like that? Times where you know you need to slow down and listen for your Creator’s voice? Sometimes in the hustle of life I can start to believe the lie. That there isn’t enough time to get away somewhere special with God, even if it’s just for a few hours.
I can sense God reaching toward me, and I want to reach back, only I don’t. The Enemy tries to enter in, nudging me come up with a thousand excuses. But not this time.
Over the next few hours, we just sat together. He pulled out the gunk that was lurking beneath the surface, and put it under his cosmic microscope. Helped me to analyze, learn, release and move forward.
He gave me what I needed in unexpected ways. The simple yet satisfying breakfast I ate. The whispering trees and the beauty of my surroundings. The rafter of wild turkeys that decided to meander down my drive. All of it built into my spirit and centered me, reminding me of what really mattered.
Connecting with God in deeper, special ways is a gift he gives to me. A gift that is available to all of us. My time at the little A-Frame cabin reminded me of how desperately I do need this. How incredibly important self-care is, especially when it’s what I call God-care. He knows best what I need and how to build into my spirit. My job is to simply slow down enough to listen.
And in case you were wondering, I did get to everything on his list. Not my original list, mind you, but the list I could sense meant the most to my Creator. Truly, God is good.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
The one resource we all have that is finite and limited is time. There is only so much of it. When it’s gone, it’s gone. There is no getting it back.
How are you spending your time? Are you building into things that will last? Things that are eternal and will matter to you not only in this life, but the next?
Consider prayerfully sorting through your priorities this week, and ask God what his list for you might look like. Then, unapologetically embrace that list. Let go of your own agenda, so the Creator of your soul can move you forward. Take you on the remarkable journey he has already laid out before you.
Papa God, thank you for the wisdom you possess and give to me so freely. You always know exactly what I need. Why do I ever doubt or mistrust you? Forgive me for my tendency to think my ways are more important than yours. Equip me with your Holy Spirit in ever increasing measure, making me sensitive to the whisper of your voice. Allow me to be still in your presence so you can infuse me with your goodness and peace. I love you Papa. I am so grateful for you! May I walk in step with you today and always. Amen.
To learn more about author & motivational speaker Barb Lownsbury or to have her speak at your next event, CLICK HERE.
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