It doesn’t make sense…

A few blog posts ago I talked about that nudge, that feeling, that feeling that rises up in you when you just know you are supposed to do something. I was 17, I had that nudge and I didn’t listen to it.
I was in Los Angeles for the summer serving with YWAM. The room was small, hot and crowded. Because of my job that summer, I had arrived late to the gathering. I was standing in the back corner and we were in the midst of a worship service. I was emotionally and spiritually involved in the experience. Then I felt it, the nudge. Although the voice wasn’t audible, it sure felt like it. “Graduate early and come back in January to serve with YWAM.”

Hmmmm….

I like that idea.

Sun. Freedom. Ocean. Count me in.

But it doesn’t make sense.

I have mentioned in the past that I was a pretty radical Christian kid. I was passionate about sharing Christ with my peers. I was the student body president. I was involved in sports, clubs and youth group. And by nature I am a pretty black and white thinker. I like things to make sense.

So I went home.

I went home with plans to finish high school like anyone else.

It was hard being home. Really hard.

I struggled in part because I had experienced freedom and independence in a way that I never had before. I had changed. I had new thoughts, new ideas and new questions. My old world felt a lot smaller than it had before.

But there was something else-something just hard. I felt really depressed, which I had never experienced before. I felt distant. I made decisions that I knew were not honoring to God. I felt angry and confused. It had made sense for me to come home. People needed me. I had thought it through. I had weighed the pros and cons and at the end of day I decided to come home. I did what made sense.

One night I woke up suddenly. I am a very sound sleeper, so that was not the norm. I felt that nudge, a gut feeling, to read my bible. Honestly, this was my response “God I do not want to read my bible. I am actually really angry with you. I came home this fall excited to share my faith with others. And what do I get? Depression. Anger. Confusion.”

I felt God speak to me in a way I had never had up until that point and have not since.

“Don’t blame me for your confusion or depression. I told you to graduate early and go to YWAM. Peace will not follow you if you don’t follow My Way”

This may seem a bit harsh. But I’m a straight shooter. And the longer I have walked with God I have learned that God really wants to communicate with us. And He will use any means necessary to do so.

So I did. I finished high school in 6 weeks and went back to Los Angeles.

That didn’t make sense!

There is obviously a bit more to the story than that, but I did it. I told my parents, went to my school counselor to figure out my credits and when asked “Why?” All I had to say was “God told me to.”

A few years ago I was in a different situation. Same cast. Similar outcome.

I had a dream job in mind. Deep in my soul I felt like I was destined for the role. I had the passion, the connections, the drive – just not the job. I felt pretty confident that it was the next step for me.

The job opened up. I was so excited. It was my time. And it wasn’t just me, other people had affirmed passions and gifts in me that would be assets for the job. But every time I would put my foot forward into saying yes to the role, I would feel depressed. I would feel distant. I would feel unrest. So I would wait a couple more days, I would try to step towards the yes and discord would follow.

But this was my time. But this was the job. It made sense.

So I kept pushing. As you can probably guess, it didn’t end well. I kept trying to make sense of the situation and completely ignoring the lack of peace.
And unfortunately this time around, God did not wake me up in the middle of the night. He did not part any waters for me to pass through.
Someone else got the job (perfect fit by the way) and life went on.
But I couldn’t shake it “God, it doesn’t make sense! That was the job! Why would you put that desire in my heart, the opportunity in front of my face, give me the gifts that I need and then take it all away?”

It doesn’t makes sense.

I don’t know why I was supposed to go back to YWAM. I had a hard experience and what immediately followed altered my life forever. I don’t know why I wasn’t supposed to take my dream job. But I do know when I have made decisions based on what makes sense and not followed The Peace, it hasn’t ended well.

I’m so glad that God is not done with me yet. Over the last couple years God has begun a good work in my heart. I can’t always explain it. But I know it started with finally learning this simple truth.

It’s not supposed to make sense

To us.

 

~Lisa

Let me ask you a question..

I am a question asker. I am curious. I can come off as nosy, but I just love to learn about people’s lives. I love a good story. I love learning what makes people tick, what makes them feel alive. I love to hear about where people came from and where they are going.
More often than not, initially, people don’t know what to do with my questions. As a culture, we don’t ask questions. The depth of our questioning on an average day is “How are you?” as we continue to pass by. People struggle to answer the first few questions I ask. I can almost see it in their face as they wonder “Why is she asking so many questions?” A few questions in, people realize I don’t have ulterior motives – I just care. Their countenance begins to change. They exhale. They answer the questions more freely and with a lot more detail. I start to see beyond their words.
There are exceptions. Like I said, people aren’t used to being asked questions. Some people when asked questions feel guarded and defensive. They may not verbally express those emotions, but you can see it in their body. Some people get uneasy and withdraw into themselves. Others may not respond with any emotional at all, they instead respond with short, surface answers. They respond almost as if they have never been asked a question before.
I am not wired to answer questions with short, surface answers, but I get it. I get why someone would be guarded in their response. It is vulnerable to honestly share your story.
I am always looking for deeper meaning in words, so I looked up the word vulnerable. 1. “Capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt.” 2. “Open to moral attack, criticism, temptation.” When I am honestly telling my story, I feel all those things: susceptible to being wounded or hurt and more than anything, open to criticism. I ask myself “Will people understand what I’ve gone through? Will they take it seriously?” “Will they understand my pain?”
I have always had an interesting relationship with my story. For the last 18 years I have gone through a variety of different phases. I have gone through seasons where I will share my story to anyone that breathes. There have been times where I, subtly, interject my story. I have felt like if people actually knew how much I had been through, then they would like me more. Respect me more. Then there have been seasons where I have been very hesitant to share my story. Because most of my greatest hardships occurred many years ago, some people’s reactions sting. People have been indifferent, unimpressed, uninterested. The casual responses can cause me to become guarded, withdraw into myself and answer questions with little emotion and shallow responses.
I hate to admit it, but I have responded to other people’s stories with similar emotion. Even after asking a question myself, I have found myself responding with indifference, being uninterested and unimpressed. I have been quick to judge people’s experiences and responses.
I was sharing with someone about the resistance I have experienced as I ask questions and my own personal struggles with people’s responses. Her response to me was revolutionary.
She said to me, “Lisa, it’s not really about a person’s experience, it’s how they internalize it.”
Let me explain. Being a mom, most of my friends are moms. Unfortunately I have known a lot of people that have had miscarriages. When some of my friends have experienced miscarriages they have been devastated to the core. Some of my friends moved on pretty quickly.
Was one of them wrong?
No. Their experiences may have been similar, but they internalized their experience very differently.
I found a lot of freedom in that truth. One of the burdens I have carried over the years is wondering how other people would have with dealt with the situations I have dealt with. Have I done it wrong? Could I have done it better? When a person’s response doesn’t match the intensity of my emotions I wonder “Was it really not that big of a deal?” I would judge others’ responses to their circumstances with a similar lens. “Are you overreacting? Was it really that big of a deal?”
I realized that it’s not about how dramatic my story is or un-important some else’s story may seem. It’s not about people’s reactions or understanding of my circumstances. It’s about how the experiences touched our soul and the marks they left behind. And that is the vulnerable place. That is the place where our soul is exposed, where we are wide open for criticism. That is where we are susceptible to being wounded or hurt. That is the place beyond the words. But until we allow people to go to that place with us, healing will not begin.
So as I begin to tell my story, I will be vulnerable. I will expose my soul and the marks life has left. I have not done it well most of the time. I will tell you about my mistakes. I will open myself up to criticism and potential wounds. But I’ll do it because I’ve learned along the way there is no other way to do it, because without exposing my soul healing will never begin.
So let’s be healers. It usually just starts with a simple question. A question, a pause, a listen. Then do it again. Ask another question, pause, listen. Then one day, the answer will be different. They speak beyond the situation, to the mark the experience left on their soul. And when you are invited there, thank them, sit there, and maybe ask a question. But mostly pause, listen and let the healing begin.
Let’s be healers,

Lisa