I've always found clarity through putting my thoughts into words whether that be in one of the volumes of my prayer journals or on this blog or long text dumps to friends. But for those who have read my posts here in the past, you know that this blog has been incredibly quiet in the last year or more. It's hard to explain but I think it's been one of those seasons where there's really too much to say to find the right words to put it into, and so writing overall has decreased. In the back of my mind I've been thinking that sometime all the words would come and I'd share all the lessons He's been teaching me here but as chapters close and new ones open and I still don't have the words to share those lessons yet, I've decided it's time to write again anyway... not necessarily about the past chapter but about the new one He is opening to me more and more each day.
Three weeks ago I packed my little car with all my belongings and drove the 2,158 miles from where my family lives in Montana to my new home in Tennessee. It was an incredibly long drive but with each mile came the deepening reassurance that this Jesus I fell in love with several years ago was guiding my steps.
For those of you who don't know, I'm now living at Heritage Academy in Monterey TN working as the Girl's Dean and teaching Bible. The story of how He brought me here fills me with thanks every time I think of it because of how clearly He led the way, but that's for another day.
I don't really know what this new journey will bring. I know my days will be packed to the brim with loving young hearts... with listening to heartaches and joys... with begging for more of Jesus to spread in every corner I enter... with participating in all the random and mundane parts of day to day life in an academy and finding joy in each moment I share with my kids... with exhaustion and late nights... with pain in this broken world and seeking to lighten it for the ones around me... with wishing for my days to be longer so I could touch hearts more deeply... with praying for my heart to be made bigger so that it can hold and give more love... and mostly with seeking that my hands and feet be the hands and feet of Jesus in this little corner of the world.
I don't know all the lessons He is going to whisper to my heart in this new chapter but I can guess a little because His gentle voice has been whispering in my ear at every turn since this chapter began. In the moments counting down hours till pulling into a hotel parking lot at night on the way here, the hours scrubbing showers and painting the boys dorm, the days of meetings as the staff and I planned this school year, the happy days visiting friends in the area, and the days spent sitting by the hospital bed of my dear friend recovering from surgery... I sensed Him close. I knew His presence because I heard His whispered guidance and it was like a stabling hand on my shoulder.
And maybe it's that very guidance that is the quiet foundation for the most beautiful chapters. Because yeah, I really have no idea what is to come or how to live my life when it's left up to me. But He knows. He knows me. He knows the deepest parts of me that I'm slow to open even to Him. He knows my desires. My aims. My plans. My fears. My weaknesses.
He knows every single mile ahead of me and how best for me to navigate them. He knows the bends coming up and the mountain passes and the long dark nights. He knows the deep valleys and the steep hills. But more than that, He knows each one I've already passes. He knows the journey that has made me who I am today and He understands every unique way my heart ticks.
And maybe that's the thing we don't give Him enough credit for. We think we know best and that we know how to guide our own lives, and we forget that He knows every single detail of who we are now and what has made us that and who we will be in the days to come. We forget His whisper is worth treasuring and following every single time. We forget His word is worth devouring and living by.
I know far too often I let God's role in my life be that of cleaning up the mess I make and healing the wounds I cause myself instead of being the One to grab my hand and lead me down the safest road. But with new chapters come deepening resolutions and in the Friday evening quiet of my apartment I know one of mine for this new chapter.
I want to listen to every whisper of Jesus... to live by His every word. And obey. To ask His input in every big and little thing and follow it trustingly until His voice becomes clearer and clearer and I follow without hesitation or delay.
The sun shines bright across the cornfields outside my window and I give Him the pen.
Jesus, this chapter is yours. Write whatever you want and let my life be the ink-- willing and ready.
You indeed know better than I.
photo credits: Austin Bates