photo by manunited
Two winters ago, I was chaperoning our youth group to a teen conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I remember we were in the auditorium and as the band was playing a song, one line stuck out to me: “Where you lead me, I will follow….Even if I walk alone, Lord, this I choose to do,” As I sang along, the reality of that lyric hit me. And I prayed, God I love you, but please don’t make me go anywhere by myself. Please don’t make me have to do it alone. Please don’t…Six months later, I was packing my belongings in boxes, preparing to move to a new city, for a new job…by myself. And yet, now, I was now doing it willingly, even enthusiastically. God had changed my heart: He made me excited about this change and impressed upon me, time and time again, that this was what I needed to do. Even though it was scary, he equipped me with all the courage I needed to overcome this fear.
I learned a lot from that experienced, but what I especially learned was how good God is. I think many of us are afraid that God is going to make us do things we don’t want to do--he’s going to call the person who loves small, hometown life and send her off to be a missionary in Africa. Or he’s going to make someone else who loves to dance, stop dancing. This is a grave misunderstanding of who God is. God loves us. He does not delight in making us miserable. And that’s the fear many of us hold in our hearts.
As I learned from my experience, even when God does call you to do that which is completely unnatural to you, he helps you reach the point to where you can embrace it--where you know it’s good for you. God even says that he will give us the desires of our heart. He is good. And anything that he is calling us to is for our own good. I truly believe that, if we trust him and an idea of what he’s calling us toward, that he will fill in the gap of fear we might have and he’ll make the path straight.
For me, my journey to doing the unthinkable and moving to Michigan by myself was a long road: First I got the idea of finding a job in the Christian publishing world. Then I made a new friend who was talking about moving to Grand Rapids with another friend. Lo and behold, there are three Christian publishers in the little town of Grand Rapids. As it turns out, one of those publishers is the only company who asked to interview me and then give me a job. But around this time, my friend found another opportunity in another city to explore and though I was scared of being on my own, God had given me a heart of courage and a deep sense of peace regarding this decision. I encouraged her to go to Kansas City instead, and suddenly found myself living out the lyrics I had once prayed so adamantly against.