Have you ever experienced seasons in life where you were moving so quickly down a certain road, running full speed ahead, only to come to an abrupt stop? I’m sure we’ve all experienced it while traveling, especially in Southern California traffic. Pushing 75 miles an hour making great time until traffic puts everything, even your internal momentum to a halt.
I’m a dreamer and a go-getter, which tends to be my pace in all of life. If I’m not going a hundred miles an hour I must be sick or having a Sabbath. If I had a quarter for every time someone told me to slow down, take extra trips, or breath a bit more, I’d be living by the beach in La Jolla instead of Murrieta!
Recently, I experienced that abrupt stop as I was on a journey pursuing my dreams. So abrupt it was, that it kept me right there: STUCK and STOPPED for months. I stopped by choice, out of what I had believed was wisdom and God’s protection. My family and I were on our way to live out a life long pursuit of justice, by moving to a third world country to help eradicate sex trafficking.
Even though it was the right choice, I spent months in self-doubt and confusion. Had I sinned somewhere along the way? Was my “breaking” premature? If I had turned a different direction would I be stopped or would I have clear lanes ahead of me?
2 Corinthians 10:5 implores us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. The thoughts that are speculations, lofty imaginations and the “what if’s” of life that we tend to ponder over, even lose sleep over, are what we have been given empowerment to manage by taking them captive.
Even after taking my thoughts and “what ifs” captive, I still doubted myself. I believed the lie that if my choices, my actions were good (righteous even) then I would naturally just be moving forward. That lie kept me from dreaming and having confidence in myself and my ability to hear from the Lord.
So I kept doing what I knew to do. I remained faithful in the little I had been given. I still pursued Jesus in the midst of mystery, and I still kept a core belief of God’s goodness.
Then randomly, one day someone said something to me that changed everything. Not knowing what I had been internalizing they told me that traffic is a normal part of life and that soon, the traffic would clear. Naturally, I would be on my way again. These words brought me great relief and comfort! But the heart of the Lord for me didn’t just stop there. They continued to say, that at the speed that I was going I had to stop on a dime and that the Lord was proud of me because I didn’t crash or cause any accidents. Instantly self-doubt and confusion broke off of me and I became unstuck! The “traffic” cleared in my heart.
Sometimes we focus so much on a certain perspective in life and we don’t know how or we don’t choose to have eyes to see the other perspectives. I mulled over in my mind the “what ifs” without taking into the equation what didn’t happen in the process. I knew I had made a wise choice, but I didn’t realize that the same choice actually made my King proud of me, and proud that a mess was never created.
So I’m still being faithful, still pursuing intimacy with Jesus, and I am still focused on God’s goodness, but now I can dream and move again. The greatest thing I learned in this process is that I may have a tendency to doubt myself, but that my Heavenly Father doesn’t, He trusts me. My thoughts have been redefined from His perspective.
Traffic is normal! Be encouraged if you feel like you are in a season of “halt.” You will be ready to move again soon. After you process it with the Lord, and the disappointment that came with it, then trust yourself! Your heart is good! Your ability to hear from Him is good. In addition to the pause, you are being given a gift of rest and grace. Enjoy the rest, you’ll be moving again soon!
Redefined by Grace,