*****This is a guest post from Christa Wells.*****
Hard Stops, New Starts
That’s a phrase I lifted from my friend, Ann. She uses it to refer to the discipline of creating specific space in her daily life – pause for prayer. Setting the stopwatch and honoring the hourly reminder to stop and converse with the Creator. I began to use the phrase to refer to a significant pause in our life.
Kat â€”wonderful Kat – challenges us every day to act on inspiration. We can read all the books about every subject in the world – and believe me, I try — but if all we do is continuously fill our minds with new information, even knowledge of Godâ€¦but fail to LIVE and LOVE differently in light of that knowledgeâ€¦we tragically miss the opportunity to grow, to glorify Him, to bless our communities, our families, our friendsâ€¦
So. We decided to act on the inspiration to walk into a different way of life for a few months.
We have our reasons for making the plans we make. And then God has His.
The trip to Central America, in our minds, was largely about an opportunity for our kids to experience a culture different from ours, for all of us to learn a language that is not only useful but is also the language of our son’s birth family. An adventure well-timed, as my husband was considering taking a drastic turn in his career path.
By the time we left, though, it was clear this trip would be more than all of that. We were doubled-over desperate for a hard stop in our hyperactive, exhausting , overcommitted life, and saw this would be “dream time” for Toby and revealing/healing time for me.
We needed to get off the treadmill and see firsthand that the world is much, much bigger than us, more diverse than our homeland, and more beautiful than we can imagine. That “normal” looks really different around the world, and that joy and contentment need not be dependent on even our most basic assumptions â€” hot water, separate bedrooms, abundant food options, dishwashersâ€¦
The thing is, most of us make too many assumptions that squelch our ability to step outside the status quo, outside the box, outside our comfort zones, or even our city limits.
We assume we can’t afford it. Or that we don’t have enough talent. We assume it will be too risky or too difficult or too uncomfortable. We assume we already know what there is to know, or that there is no better way. We assume we need the things we want, and that we wouldn’t want what we don’t know.
It’s possible He will fully release me from slavery to my desire for approval.
It’s possible He will use the music of a stay-home Mom of five in North Carolina.
It’s possible He will save a child through your work with Compassion International or allow you to participate in the liberation of slaves through International Justice Mission.
It’s possible He will restore Joy to the heart of the abandoned wife.
It’s possible you will add beauty to the lives of your neighbors with your fresh-baked bread and notes.
It’s possible you will empower your husband by becoming his biggest fan.
It’s possible that today you’ll get down on your knees and look your difficult 2-year-old in the eyes and show him what grace looks like.
It’s possible that we will be surprised and delighted by the Life He gives us.
Yes, it’s possible.