I’ve tried to keep my blog as generic as I can, so you’re not feeling like you’re spying into my journal pages, and honestly — if you had access to those pages, you life would never be the same, however sometimes sharing what is happening at the core of who I am enables me to feel like it’s reality!
LCBC Church did a message series recently called “Don’t Stop” which was quite perspective shifting for me. The messages were based in Jeremiah 29……… There were many things spoken over those 3 weeks that smacked me upside the head, great things, and I think it’s mostly because of the where I am on my journey in life. I know I’ve written before that this current “state” may not have been the way I had pictured my life being at this point, but there’s such amazingness in allowing God to work and do whatever HIS plan is, in each moment.
One of the weeks, the message was talking about the place of exile. As Jason Mitchell started talking, I thought – “how will this apply to my life?” And then BAM… I knew this was very much a message FOR ME! He talked about exile being the place you don’t want to be, somewhere you see no end, or a place filled with “I didn’t ask for……”. It is that place where you live knowing that this is not what you planned for and wonder how long will this be, no promise of change or freedom.
Again, before that week, I don’t think I wouldn’t said I was in exile — because my life is great, but the more that Jason spoke, the more I knew this message was speaking, cutting right to the core of my being!
“Jeremiah sent a letter here to Babylon, predicting that our captivity will be a long one. He said, “Build home, and plan to stay. Plant garden, and eat the food they produce.”
Build Homes: make plans, lay a foundation, settle in. Do I accept this and dwell there — or am I constantly struggling and trying to escape?
Plant Gardens: do the work but then let the natural elements do their part… produce good things. Grow something beautiful! Do I allow myself to PLANT, to have long-term intentions, receiving life and goodness from the things I have planted?
Marry and have Children: relationships are meant to be part of the process. We can not isolate ourselves in the tough exile periods. Do I open myself to those around me, to speak truth, love, acceptance, and life to me or am I closed off, not allowing anyone to see my true self, vulnerably or wholly?
Work for Peace: a wholeness and complete, right. As God intended…
I think there’s a level of contentment that is required in the exile times! If I was to be completely honest, I did not think my exile (of singleness) would’ve been the 13+ years I’ve experienced so far. My plan was to be dating/married by my early 20’s (like my sister had been)… but obviously that is not what my journey was to be. If I was to walk you through the process of “exile” for me — you’d see the MANY questions, you’d see MANY self-doubting moments, the over-thinking and analyzing of WHY and WHY NOT? You’d see some of the most difficult moments of my life but if you looked closely, you would also see the tiniest thread of TRUTH and contentment, peace, grace, mercy, whispers from heaven woven so tightly alongside each of those moments. There have been MANY tears, countless journal entries and lots of conversations of “process” with #dearfriends — and I LOVE that if I stop and actually look, I see HIS faithfulness was in every one of those moments!
I believe with all my heart that I have built a home… I have planted gardens… I have spent time working on relationships which have supported me in good and bad times, and I have worked for peace, being one step closer to a place of wholeness and completeness, as God intended. I can not say how long my exile (current or other issues) will be – however I know that as long as I remain in that start, I will TRUST. I will HOPE. I will RELY only in my God who created, knows and walks every faithfully me daily!