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.”
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