March 6, 2012

A Holy Stirring and a Happy Day

Six years ago, Kyle and I went to an Aggie basketball game on our date night. I feigned interest, trying desperately to keep my attention on the game and on Kyle, but I was preoccupied by the stirrings in my heart. We had two small children at home, one of whom was giving me fits, and a thriving ministry. I loved those things, but I craved something more. Not something different, not a different life, but something more. These stirrings, I wondered, were they holy stirrings? I couldn't be sure if God was trying to move me or if I was trying to move myself. Like squinting into the sun, I tried to see, to recognize, to make out the lines and shadows of what was happening inside.

Kyle said, "What do you think it is?" I already knew, but I felt foolish even considering it. Could I say it out loud? With tears spilling down my cheeks, I said, "I would like to write." I had said it to him before, even dabbled a little in writing, but this time I seriously measured what was happening inside of me. Kyle responded, "You have talked about this for so long. Why not take time each week to write?"

So I did. I quickly realized that writing breathed life into my days. It helped me process ideas and thoughts. It changed me. The stirrings grew louder, not softer. Eventually, the bright light passed behind a cloud, and I saw the shapes and lines and shadows of what was happening in me. I recognized desires that had lain dormant for years, desires that God had given me, holy desires.

My weekly trip to Starbucks has become something more. I have spent years and countless hours laboring over my writing. I regret that I have also spent too much time worried, discouraged, and resigned to failure. But the holy stirring would not let me quit. 

I'm remembering all of this because yesterday I received word that I am to be a published author! I cannot yet wrap my mind around such a gift. Forgive my sentimentality, but this is truly one of those moments in time that is so good that it's overwhelming. When I think about it, I don't know how.
God points me back to those stirrings. I worried that they were selfish or foolish. I worried that I might sacrifice my marriage or my children for such a desire. He points me back to those stirrings to point me back to Himself. He gave me those desires and helped me to recognize them. He gave me this avenue of knowing Him and making Him known. He heard me. He gives good gifts to His children in His perfect time. I tend to think of the happy ending as the only good gift, but the long, winding road He has taken me on is perhaps the best gift of all.

He is the focal point of this story, not the happy ending (beginning?).
He is the good gift giver.
He is the gift.

I don't know what is ahead, but I now turn to respond to Him. How? How do I say thank you? How do I fully realize the grasp the graciousness of this gift? Dare I ask for more? If there is anything I would ask, it's that my heart would be His, that I could give the gift back, that He would take it and use it how He chooses.

Question for you: What is God stirring in your heart these days?
Thank you, dear people, for reading my scribblings and for sharing in my joy. As of now, I don't have many details to share about my book, but I look forward to sharing more about it with you! I can tell you that it is a book for church planting wives. Yay!

Right now, I am working on compiling my 31 Days of Love Letters into a devotional ebook. Look for that soon!