It’s 2 am and after repeating a nursery rhyme in my mind dozens of times, I finally resolve to just turn on the light. From my office I grab my laptop, and then settle once again in my bed but with screen and words, instead of darkness and thoughts.
There’s a restlessness in this transition. An unsettling.
There is no physical transition. No move from one residence to another. Or change of church or relationships.
I see this cocoon, a fuzzy creature inside, transforming, my fasting girlfriend tells me the other day.
A fuzzy creature. I smile at that image. But also feel the constriction of being wound up in a small place, with no where to go.
And it’s uncomfortable, this place of transforming.
This place where no doing distracts and disturbs from the process.
I don’t like it. I want to return to the busyness, the constant buzz of people every evening, and the to-do lists of event plans.
Why am I not doing?
And I remember a conversation, one I had written at my other place a few months ago.
“I prayed for you before you came.” He leans back in his desk chair, legs stretched out in front, and hands balled in a fist under his chin. “But tell me your story first. What have you been up to?”
This was our first meeting. I’d seen him many times, speaking from the centre of our church platform. He is one of our main pastors, joining our church at least 6 years ago around the same time I began my journey back to Him.
I leaned forward from my position on his office couch. And began. I told him of my activities–leadership training, small group studies in my home, prayer walks I led, events I facilitated to raise monies and items for the compromised in my city, and most recently a mini ‘soaking’ retreat…
“I’m not sure what’s next though,” I finished, leaning back, letting the couch support me. “I feel like I am not really one to bring people into the church, but rather to gather together believers and create a space for them to be with God.”
“We call that being a shepherd.”
I straightened up on the couch. Tell me more, my posture said. And he did. And it registered, my heart settled in a knowing that shepherding was my calling in the church.
Yup! This was it.
So, what’s next, I asked him. What can I do next?
“Lynn,” he said, leaning in, hands on his knees. “I am going to ask you a question. There is no right or wrong answer. Just going to ask you to answer what comes to you, truthfully. This is between you and God.”
“Ok,” I replied, and tucked my hands under my thighs, elbows locked.
“Do you believe in God’s goodness for you?”
I swallowed. Suddenly all my answers, my fluid musings and words spoken easily just moments before, were no longer available. Even now, at this moment, reflecting on that time, gathering words to describe that moment makes me instead pause.
How do you describe that space between wanting to believe in God’s goodness for you and really believing He does have goodness for you even when you have messed up in life, pushing away what is good in the confusion? And when prayers have not been answered? And when sometimes, the hurt you see in the world is just so overwhelming you find yourself looking up and wondering ‘where are you in this?’
“When I was praying for you Lynn, before our meeting, I heard Jesus say to just be with Him, soak in Him, get routed in your identity in Christ and receive His gift of nourishment. He’ll let you know your next move. Be taught by God. And let Him love you as you are.”
My stomach tightens.
It is really my struggle, to truly believe God has goodness for me without the doing. And my biggest fear is without the doing, I will be isolation.
“Then pray, Lynn,” he advised. “Pray He will not put you in isolation during this time of getting more routed deeply in Him.”