Sunday was the closest I have felt to God in a very long time. Now, mind you, I have daily quiet times in His Word and I try to pray without ceasing, but sometimes even when I feel like I have my eyes set on Him, my gaze slowly shifts away.
It was definitely time to reconnect.
This has been a very strange year for me. At the end of last summer, I decided to pursue health coaching at the same time I found out that my position (the job that I have worked for the last 7 years) would be ending. I had already begun creating my coaching program, not having any idea just how many hours it would require to complete, but knowing I wanted to shift careers at the end of this school year made it major crunch time. I have essentially been working two full-time jobs since August, running from my day job as an interpreter home to build my health coaching dream in the evenings and on weekends.
Now, I have loved creating this program. It is one of the greatest honors in the world to be able to share my own weight loss experience with others struggling to get healthy. I am so excited about what I have now and can’t wait to walk through it with more people!
But, I got a little distracted along the way. Sure, I was still doing a lot of the right things and making great progress, but the motivation behind it all matters.
I have wanted my health coaching to be God-led from the beginning. My heart is to share my story with others and give them the tools and encouragement to find the same freedom from the chains of weight issues, poor body image, and low self-esteem that I have found. It’s more than just weight – there are hearts involved. I have prayed my way through every single step, but somewhere in the process, I lost my way.
I became a Martha instead of a Mary. I didn’t give myself days off. I lived according to my to-do list. I self-imposed tight deadlines right and left to keep myself on track. I was my own worst critic, getting frustrated with myself for not knowing how to do everything right the first time and disappointed when I couldn’t execute things perfectly (the entirely unrealistic goal that I had set for myself). I was squeezing every bit of productivity out of myself that I could. Even the things I love in life, like worship practice, became just another “thing” to add to that day’s list that I needed to get through. It breaks my heart to even write that, because I am someone that loves to stop and smell the roses, slowing down to savor life and cherish the little moments. And worship? That should be an outpouring of my heart, not just a blue rectangle in my Google calendar.
But I started measuring my success by my productivity meter.
And the closer it has gotten to my move date, the more that intensified. I figured the harder I worked, the more stable my future would be. I have been an interpreter with a steady paycheck for 8 years now. Stability and safety is what I know (and like!), so my mind has been flooded with questions like, How will I make ends meet financially? How can I make a budget when I have no clue what my income will look like? What if I don’t get enough clients? How on earth do I plan for the future when it feels like my path is currently leading into a huge question mark?
None of those are necessarily bad questions to consider, but not only are they questions that I can’t answer right now, they are just the wrong questions to focus on. There is one piece missing in all of those questions – none of them factor God into the picture. If I had been searching for those answers in Him, I would have heard things like, “I will meet all of your needs” (Philippians 4:19), “You will plan your way, but I will direct your steps” (Proverbs 16:9), and “Give your burdens to me and I will take care of you” (Psalm 55:22).
On Sunday, we sang a new worship song by All Sons and Daughters named, “Called Me Higher” and the lyrics went straight to my heart.
I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down
But You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You will lead me Lord
Oh, how I crave the continued safety and stability that I’ve been living in – my own cozy little comfort zone. But that is not what I want my life to be characterized by. I don’t want to be known for my busyness or the number of checks on my lists. I want to be out there connecting with people, sharing my story and my heart. I want my life to be bigger than myself or my to-do list. Instead of putting my head down and powering through the work that needs to be done, I want to lift my gaze to the hills, quiet my racing thoughts and doubts, and listen intently for His voice.
If I truly want my life to be God-led, then I only need to be asking myself one question, day in and day out. One question that I not only need to ask, but also slow myself down enough to hear the answer to –
Where are you leading me, Lord?
That has been my question of the week. Whenever I feel my worry start to rise and doubt creeping in, or I’m tempted to go back to my checklists for validation, I stop what I’m doing, take a deep breath, and ask, where are you leading me, Lord? I don’t know what my life will look like a month from now, 6 months from now, or a year from now, but that’s okay. I have today. A today that I can fill with gratitude, connection, and, yes, still some work, and that’s more than enough.
Wishing you the same comfort, direction, and contentment today.