Pursue and Provide…

As y’all know, life since March has been hazy for me.  A fog of continual grief…mixed with the joy of life.  My last blog post gave you a taste of my thoughts on JOY and PAIN.  Updates on that precious baby girl will come in my next post.  She is still fighting and what a sassy fighter she is!  My Daddy is officially in remission.  I am grateful.  I would like him to live at least another 20 years. There is NEVER enough time with those that we love.  NEVER.

Today’s post is a new direction…thoughts on a life change and gratitude.  During this season of grief, God was working in my heart in ways that I didn’t see.  As I sat and listened to how my Grandaddy, my Dad and my cousin lived and dreamed, I found myself longing for a new dream.  It was odd to me.  For the last 10 years, I had dreamed BIG.  I dreamed of becoming a Psychologist and owning a home.  I did both. I love being a Psychologist. I am allowed into the deepest parts of people’s pain am honored to continue with them into the healing process.  It is humbling.  And, contrary to what others told me about home ownership, I still sit on the couch and tear up about how grateful I am for this home.  I love it, even when I have to fix things and upkeep is tough.  I absolutely love it.  My calling and my home were big dreams and I am deeply grateful to be on this side of them.

I guess, once I was living in those dreams, I thought I was finished dreaming.  Or maybe, I was too tired to have thought about what dreams could come next.  Yet, as I sat there, grieving sickness and death, I found myself LONGING for new dreams.  A deep longing…so deep and old that I had almost forgotten what that feeling was.

One of my deep dreams is Africa.  I don’t know how I will get there.  I don’t know why I will go.  Yet, I know that my heart longs to connect with the heart of my Daddy and Granddaddy by going there.  That place was a large part of their dreams and I want to stand on that soil, look up and smile.  Travel, as a whole, has always been a part of how I dream.  I have a list a mile of long of places and people I want to see.  Africa will be a special trip WHEN it happens.  I will be following in their footsteps…and they will be in my heart as I go.

I started to feel a dream that surprised me.  Africa felt like an extension of my heart.  This dream felt new and scary.  I felt God was breathing life into my calling in a direction I never thought I would go…private practice.  I was with an agency that is truly a healing place for people.  I care about that ministry.  I didn’t think I would leave there.  Then, he slowly started to move my heart in that direction.  How would I do that?  What if the clients don’t come?  What if I can’t pay my bills?  What if…what if…what if???

Then, I felt God ask me, “Will you let me pursue and provide for you?”  Huh….you mean that God knows that as a single woman those are the things I most long for and he wants to meet me there?  Huh.

I prayed a LOT…practiced the art of sitting in waiting…and waited some more.  I kept thinking, “I’ll just stay…this is probably just me and I am not hearing you well.”  Yet, every time I would think that, something else would happen that would breathe life into the direction of private practice.  God was gentle with me but he was CLEAR about the direction I was to go.

I made spread sheets, lists, appointments with mentors and money gurus.  Mentors said go…my therapist said go…the money guy said it was a no-brainer.  Yet, I knew that if it bombed, they wouldn’t lose their houses.  I had to know in my heart of hearts that this dream was His as well as mine.  I needed to have a partner.  Doing this by myself was too much.  I CANNOT do it all and WILL NOT place that all on my own shoulders anymore. I WILL do what I can.  I believe in excellence.  However, perfection is a LIE and I don’t live there anymore.

I jumped.  I worked hard and took God at his word.  I believed that He would show up and provide for and pursue me in this process.  And HE HAS.

In clients…

In peacefulness…

In safety in my finances…

In time to read and learn…

In a series of trainings in Chicago that are continuing to transform me and my work…

In deep time with friends…

In laughter and silliness…

In the ability to give to charities…

In time with my dogs…

I could go on and on and on and on.  I have felt Him pursue my heart, provide for me, and give me space to breathe, laugh, grow, grieve and love in FREEDOM and TRUTH.

I find myself lately crying at the drop of a hat…not because I am sad (though that happens often too in this season of grief).  I cry because He loves me so well.  I cry because I am so grateful.  I KNOW that more pain will come.  To quote my phenomenal therapist, “Life is TRAGIC…but God is FAITHFUL.”  And He is.  In pain and in joy, God is faithful.

For my single female heart, I needed to experience God providing for and pursuing me.  I don’t know what your heart needs.  But, He does.  I had to do a lot of work in therapy and a lot of soul-searching and God listening to get to the place where I was open to being pursued by Him in this way.  And, if you are thinking that was a quick process, please know that I started on that journey 12 years ago.

My prayer for you today is that you would find your way through all the noise and the history of your wounds to be open to hearing what His question to you is.  And, then…I hope you too will DREAM BIG.  Turns out my brother is right.  It really is worth it.

May God’s voice be the one you hear, and may He pursue your heart today and every day in ways that you can experience the depth of His love for you.

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