Israel Bound – An Adventure for My Soul
This song is off the new worship album from Hillsong…I have had the entire album on repeat since its release….I feel like the entire album was written as a soundtrack to this drought season I am in.
This morning on Instagram I saw the above photo posted by Bottle of Tears and I immediately went back to the album to find this specific song….because that is how God speaks to me…hearts and music, and I am terrified that I am about to leave for Israel wrought and numb and miss whatever in the world God could possibly have for me halfway around the world…..and I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to miss seeing my nephew on this adventure…I don’t want to miss a thing.
I don’t want to miss a thing.
It is knocking at my door once again…the fear of missing…something.
Sickness comes in so many forms. I understand that so much better since reading The Body Keeps The Score which I have recommended here previously (click on the book name for a link to where you can purchase it). Our bodies wave warning flags to us…the difference in my life now is how attune to them I am…and then sometimes there are the flags I continue to ignore. I push myself too too hard, and I continue to try to figure out how to stop that. I am an addict in how I push myself. I am addicted to the “one more thing” I can add to my to do list or check off the list or please someone by doing. I spent last Friday obliterating all new boundaries until one of my business partners looked at me and said, “You go. We got this.” in a meeting…and I suddenly started crying. Right there in the conference room. Crocodile tears. Thank God someone finally noticed I was pushing myself too hard. Thank you God!
So yesterday, I slept in, then I celebrated a friend who was healed from breast cancer 11 1/2 years ago, ran a few last minute errands for Israel, took a nap, watched the second half of the Razorback game with friends, came home, and I went to bed. Passed out.
This morning, I slept in (until 6 a.m. and it felt AMAZING!), had a lazy morning in bed reading, did church via Livestream, and now I am sitting here typing because what I was going to do didn’t work and I asked and God said, “Write.” Firmly. So…here I am. After this, I am going to go get a cherry sprite, a mani, and a pedi (in that order), and then I am going to come home and pack…nice and slow…and pray over every item going into the world’s largest suitcase (I am only allowed one suitcase…after you stop laughing, please pray for me. 10 days.), and then I am going to finish drafting a proposal for a utility client for our firm (from my bed on my laptop), and then I am going to go to bed (early).
I have to change my pace.
My pace is killing me.
Sure I am going to leave for Israel with a hundred (or more) unfinished to do items on multiple lists, but at some point you just have to stop the madness and say enough. Enough.
I am praying for whatever God wants to do and show me over the next couple of weeks, but if I were to be so bold as to make a request of him, it would be this….God slow down my pace. Show and teach me rest. Give me your rest. Open my eyes to a different way to live…here…on this earth…now. I want to believe the words of this song….that as it is in heaven, it is in me. I want that. Please Jesus…show me how.
I am tired of being tired. Enough.
I am tired of being so wrought that even writing is not a release.
I am tired of sacrificing my life at the altar of stuff that does not matter.
I have NO clue why God is sending me to Israel. I am as clueless about this trip as I was on that first trip to Haiti back in 2013 (read my confusion then HERE). So….it is understandable that a bit of me is anxious because as you might recall I completely LOST it on that trip to Haiti in front of a bunch of people I didn’t know and was forever changed by a country and its people….so forgive me if I am already (nervously) anticipating how God will show up – because he will – because I am begging him too…just like I did back in 2013…because here is the deal, I am too far in now. Too. Far. In.
Some have asked me why I think the “wilderness” portion of my life right now feels so long, so heavy, and I quickly respond…because I was so stubborn for so long. I had a lot of unclenching and releasing to do. When I told God back in 2012 he could have my WHOLE life, that I was done controlling it…I really meant my whole life. Some parts have been easier to give up than others….and all of the areas of my life have been full of landmines (most of which were of my own making). I give God tremendous credit for the patience he has shown me AND the creative ways he has used to break the yokes that were strangling me AND the healing he has brought into my brokenness. I give God 1000% credit for healing me to this point. I am grateful beyond measure to be sitting here 4 1/2 years later in a MUCH better place – in all areas of my life. I think that is why this last few weeks have felt so brutal. I feel guilty. I should be oozing gratitude and joy…yet something is missing. I feel like I am waiting for something…I don’t like living in the waiting. So…this week my counselor gave me two homework lessons for this trip. First, write (pretend I am talking to her), write, whatever I have to do…write…oh and WRITE. Second, make a list every night of five things I am grateful for that day…every day of the trip. Fresh ones each day. I see what she is doing, but sometimes it is the most obvious things we need to be told. The thing is…I have learned a crazy thing about myself – the enemy can use my cerebral side against my heart side. Writing is what helps me connect the two. I am basically distracting my brain so my heart can be heard…if even for a list of five things. My counselor is basically brilliant. I love her. I am a walking enigma. Guess what, so are you. LOL You’re welcome.
I am starting my lists today of five things I am grateful for…:
- I am going to Israel. I am in a financial and work position to take a 10 day trip to Israel with my nephew that will forever change both of us. I am going to Israel. Good. Grief. *Shaking my head here laughing.*
- I am healthy.
- After four years, I have a clean personal balance sheet. All of the houses and land and farm partnerships and vehicles and stuff that went in all of those places GONE. I have a room full of stuff still to finish sorting through and distributing or giving away, but the last of it…along with every single thing I still own (outside of my business) now fits comfortably in 900 square feet (and if you have seen my new vehicle, it almost does too. 😉 ) Thank you God! Truly! #lessisMORE No kidding…I mean I lost money, broke even, or gave away every single bit of it, and I promise you I have never ever EVER been happier in my entire life.
- Family. Who trusts their sister to take their child to Israel? Mine. I am grateful. As we say in ours, after so much unspeakable loss and brokenness, we may be small, but we love each other BIG.
- Time. God has given me more time than I ever truly thought I would have….I was a worrisome child. Time to love, to heal, to live, to forgive, to be forgiven, to help, and time to learn. I pray that I always use the time he grants me wisely. I realize that each day is a gift.
The enemy is a liar. He has spent the past few weeks showing me my past in big and small ways and it has felt BRUTAL, but then you remind your heart of all that God has done…all he has overcome….just for me, for my heart, for my life. My life looks crazy from the outside, but it is perfect for me. Smaller, more deliberate, personal, vulnerable, raw, and open. This is what I asked for…a life that felt like LIFE and not like a poser. He has given that to me, in spades, but life feels like pain, it feels like joy, it feels like loss, it FEELS.
So…that is the lesson….the truth is that God is giving me everything I asked for as I lay alone on that pine floor so long ago…I just didn’t know what it would look or feel like when he did because all I asked for was for him to take the control away from me.
I see what you did there God. Smooth. Well played.
I head to Israel in less than 48 hours and I am already crying so I am feeling really great about the chances that I am going to weep through Israel with my nephew and a bunch of strangers while God plays my heart like a marionette.
Do your will God. Do. Your. Will.
On the eve of my first trip to Haiti, I wrote this..
“Our lives are a journey….we are out here in this world not satisfied with the safety of concrete paths, but steadily and faithfully with machete in hand…making our own fresh trail through the woods. Even on my worst days, I am still glad for this…Always.”
As of late, there have been a lot of “worst days” and yet I am sitting here….still glad for this.
Please keep me, my nephew Jon, and our entire team in your thoughts and prayers as we travel in and throughout Israel over the next two weeks. Pray for our families back home who are sending us off. Pray for my firm and my team (including two business partners) back here who will have limited access to me – give them peace and give us strong technology (they want me to be able to approve payroll from the Middle East). Pray for God’s most perfect will over our lives and our journeys. If time, pray that I learn a new pace on this journey…the pace God wants for me and my life here on earth, the pace I was designed for – not the one the enemy would like to keep me on. Thank you for reading. Thank you for praying.
Oh…and I am out of the country for the final two weeks of the worst election season ever. Be jealous.
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! 🙂