I am young. 30 years old. In my three decades, I have made mistakes. I have wandered. I have made decisions in fear. I have made decisions in peace. I have failed, succeeded, thrived, lost.
You can say I have constructed an eventful life. Donald Miller would agree that it is comprised of all the elements that make a compelling story.
On July 12, 2013, I got off the roller coaster of what I was creating and have spent the last year examining. It is as if I have just stopped, sat down on a bench and watched the past. I dissected, researched and scrutinized me: why I do what I do? It was not pretty. It was not fun. There were days when I just couldn’t stand myself. Days where I just thought I wasn’t worth anything and days when I thought I was invincible. I started a business. I closed a business. I entertained 4 new business ventures. I had lunches and dinners and conference calls and bought software. Sorry for the run-on sentences but this past year has just been one run-on sentence with too many conjunctions to count. This is how nonsensical my life has been in the last year. God had been asking me while I was working as a film/TV agent what I really wanted. That is a tough question to be asked by God for two reasons: 1) You want to impress the Creator of the Universe with the right answer. 2) You want to be in faith and think BIG like God. God has asked me this question repeatedly, probably 8-10 times. My answers have all varied. The first time he asked, “What do you REALLY want?” I answered with “my own business”. So, you know what I did? I went and tried to start 3 businesses. That’s right…3. Not all at the same time but when one failed, I tried again. Several people approached me with ideas. I thought they were all “answers” to my reply to God. I would try to open the door and realize it just led to a brick wall. There was no peace. I even worked in the industry only to realize another brick wall was waiting for me. By Christmas, the only thing I had done right was get married. My husband and our partnership was the only thing that made sense. There was peace there. God asks me again, “What do you really want?” I reply, “To be a good wife.” So I start to learn how to cook and I make my time all about him. I organize my schedule to his and make him the focus. I enjoy serving him. Our relationship thrives but another brick wall. With 3 failed attempts at being an entrepreneur, I begin to wonder if I am more. My foundation with my husband is strong but partnership births progress, movement and power. Who are we together? Who am I with his support? How richly can I thrive? Another brick wall.
Stunned and suffering from a migraine, I resort to drastic measures. I stop long enough to crack open the dusty pages of my bible. Don’t be misled by its coffee stains and cracked leather cover. This book took out that brick wall in one mighty blow. I began to read. I began to fall in love with what I was reading. i was reading love letters. These three who are one began to rescue, rebuild and remold. Constant answers to questions began to flow. Truths poured like flood waters capsizing my unbelief. I was swept into a freedom unknown to my childhood days of praying and worshipping in the country fields. I was born again. Better than all the other 82 times before. Jesus was new again just when I thought I knew him. God asks me again, “What do you really want?” I answered without thinking “more of you.” It was honest. True. Like the sun rising and setting. Certain. I just loved him and my desire was to embrace ALL of HIM! Fruit follows. Open doors and rich relationships. My marriage continued to thrive even more and I will be a teacher again. I will teach young minds to listen, focus, respond and accept the beauty of who they are. I will work with fantastic teachers who delight in their profession. I will remember corporate and its malaise as waters gone by and allow the spirit of the living God, His glory to teach. He is the teacher after all. (Isaiah 28:26, 29)
God is still asking me this question, “What do you really want?” My answer is no longer the thing or the title. It is not the wish that I think will answer the problem. See, I thought I had to figure it out. I thought if he asked me a question with so much ambiguity then I was responsible for the right answer. The ironic part is that God gave me everything I asked for. I got the business. I got 3. When those failed, I asked for an industry job. When that failed, I was left wondering who I was or what I wanted. It wasn’t until I gave up trying to answer correctly that I was able to receive THE thing. God gave me everything I asked for but He was the only one who knew what I really wanted. We all want more of God. We just don’t know that is what we want. He is the shade from the scorching, summer sun. He is the first drink of water in the morning or after a long run. He is the colors of the sunset and the endless horizon of the sea. He is the birds chirping after a storm. Rays of sunrise in the distance or the giggle from a child. He is pure, true. He is the physical reality of love. He is safety. He is the answer to the quivering, the shakes that propel you to more. As he quakes, he stills with his whisper and reminds us that He is a gift to be received. He answers the world’s strivings with “it is finished”.
God has my life built. It is a home constructed with the most rare, sustainable materials. It radiates His majesty. Others see and marvel at His splendor. The foundation was laid with Jesus as the Cornerstone. It has never been something I could build. I could have never found the relationships I have been given or impressed enough to be afforded this opportunity to teach. All I did was take pleasure in knowing Him. I abounded in His love and let it wash over me. I received.
Two scriptures reveal Jesus as the builder of our lives. They forecast Jesus as the Cornerstone, confirming his resurrection and triumph over death.
Isaiah 28:16: 16 Therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tested Stone, a precious Cornerstone of sure foundation; he who believes (trusts in, relies on, and adheres to that Stone) will not [b]be ashamed or give way or hasten away [in sudden panic].
Eugene Peterson in the Message version says this:
“Watch closely. I’m laying a foundation in Zion,
a solid granite foundation, squared and true.
And this is the meaning of the stone:
a trusting life won’t topple.
I’ll make justice the measuring stick
and righteousness the plumb line for the building.”
Zechariah 4:5-7 (MSG)
Then he said, “This is God’s Message to Zerubbabel: ‘You can’t force these things. They only come about through my Spirit,’ says God-of-the-Angel-Armies. ‘So, big mountain, who do you think you are? Next to Zerubbabel you’re nothing but a molehill. He’ll proceed to set the Cornerstone in place, accompanied by cheers: Yes! Yes! Do it!’”
When I said, “more of you”, the Lord was free to set the Cornerstone in place. Next, I trust it is built and my striving ceases. If we seek to figure it out, we will have only what we can do. Our lives will be the extension of our labors. There is no room for God to bless. As Joseph Prince so powerfully says, “When we work God cannot. When we rest, God can work.” This message is for the King and the pauper, the executive and the assistant, the child and the parent. You will be surrendering your life to the entity that created light. He simply spoke and it existed. I am sure He can take your business, your family and your life into the extraordinary. Maybe the answer to your problem has not been even created yet? Entrust it to the Creator who took care of the problem of darkness by speaking the word “LIGHT”!
How comforting it is to know that my life is built. It is not something I have to labor to build. It does not have to be impressive or boastful. It can simply be enough to know Him more. Out of this partnership me and Jesus have, I bear His fruit. I trust Him to build a life that satisfies, flourishes, thrives with abundant joy and prosperity. I am created to live, love and dream not toil, spin and worry. What has my striving earned me but more wandering?
I have many things to accomplish and many talents to give but they will be works wrought in faith and expressed in an energy outside my abilities. His strength will be exercised in my weakness and His glory will be known.
In the meantime, I drink of His living water, prop my feet up and let the Lord will and do of His good pleasure.