I almost hurried to finish what I only had one day to complete. It would be my first time not submitting, my first time not trying, my first time not getting all optimistic and hopeful that this time I’d surely be selected.
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
Psalms 27:14 NLT
Almost midnight, I get a message with just a question, “What has become of “Colors”?
Accountability, an unexpected “ding” and my reply was ready. “Work in progress. Truly.”
He replied with thumbs up.
The message sent by someone maybe seeming an unlikely supporter, wise one, writerly and truthful.
He’d read the first chapter of “Colors” as he calls the book, and he understood clearly when I spoke strongly of wanting not to be just a cute little inspirational writer, I wanted to be true, honest, brave.
All those things and now, most of all though humble and hopeful.
Closer to me and my story for them, for others, for God.
Ready to convey Hope and Healed in a way others see healing as not just possible but potential and probable.
So, I didn’t submit for the fourth time (actually, maybe fifth) to the well known platform for Christian women writers.
I wasn’t prompted by God with anything to say. I knew the words would be just mine and they’d be impulsively conjured up and confident only in me, not Him.
Yesterday, I told someone I’d always found humility to be tough, tough for people who have already had such a hard time with finding themselves worthy.
It can be so conflicting sometimes to believe in good things, to believe ourselves deserving and hear voices that shout loudly inside that warn of pride.
Thinking less of ourselves does not mean thinking ourselves less than what God says.
Maybe humility is simply thinking more of the me God sees and knowing oh, my lord how much more that is, and is not pride it’s just believing without stopping believing.
I decided I make humility harder than it is.
When all it is, is focus, keeping right my focus. Humility is simply modesty aligned with prayer and an open mind to God’s ways more than mine.
Unexpected encounters are the confirmation of why the best things are never sought, always unexpected.
It’s our seeking that leads to pride, the seeking that starts with hope, starts with maybe just an innocent sweet yearning for good.
We might even call it God’s blessing because we know He loves to bless His children.
But, we’re human. We get off track, get impatient over the wait. Insecure over our worthiness.
We get driven and determined over what started as a meek imploring, hope for something to quickly off the rails crashing towards an object or accomplishment that we can NOT live without.
If it doesn’t happen this time or doesn’t happen at all, who am I now?
Who was I ever to God?
We ignore God maybe, then. We begin to believe we should have it, whatever the it is and our motives change.
Our motives change from humility to pride.
No longer do we want what God wants.
We want what we want.
And if we’re not alerted by our soul’s stirring, we act impulsively, we react from our ingratitude for what hasn’t happened yet.
Because we’re human and we can make our way work, we decide to handle the matter, we get things done!
So, two encounters unexpected last night. Two people sought me out in a noisy boisterous crowd.
The first to tell me she starts every day with my Instagram post. I hugged her and I hugged her again. Such a small offering, a few words, maybe a paragraph that’s all I give.
We hugged again and I told her, “It’s just God every morning speaking straight to me and I just share it.”
She smiled as if she saw that, she saw that
I’m imperfect and seeking.
The best place to be.
Humility is no more than that.
The more we find God, the less we look elsewhere for our worth.
Another person, I believe maybe four hugs this time we shared. Overwhelmed and feeling guilty, she decided to resign from our Board of Directors.
I told her I would miss her, I understood, I still hoped to see her.
My husband was standing with us and she told him she just “felt so guilty” about all the things she should do but, she knew she couldn’t.
He pointed towards me and said, “She knows.”
Then she told us what her husband said to her, a comfort and confirmation.
“If you’re feeling guilty it’s not because of you, that feeling, that discomfort, it’s God trying to tell you something.”
Esssentially, her guilt and her discomfort were negative emotions and God never wants us to feel badly about ourselves. He wants us to come to Him to ask for understanding, for guidance, for ways forward.
We don’t need to make tough decisions on our own, they’re always going to leave us conflicted, angry, resentful and divided unless we align with Him, diligent in prayer.
Closer to knowing Him, His ways, His will.
I told her I’d just come to this truth recently, that God does not bring us guilt, doubt, dismay.
We are human in this human and imperfect world. We grasp for understanding when we’re not capable of ever understanding all.
We grasp for what measures our success and what we gauge our contentment by.
Our grasping is always striving, never submission, never settled and waiting for what comes when it is
Not sought after.
The deadline came and passed for the submission. A half-hearted morning prayer was uttered that day “God, give me words that mean in courage.”
Moments, really were all that happened between the reluctant ask and the confident decision, not now, not hurried, not for you, Lisa Anne, not for you.
Because all of my encounters with people and places and platforms that hold my words close and up for others to read have thus far been unexpectedly given, I am completely sure they came from God.
Humility is most of all, prayer and patience. Closer to being the one He knows and Has wonderful unsought after plans for.
Prayer and patience…