God wasted no time in speaking to me at my Awakening weekend. My first encounter was a spiritual direction session that ended with the spiritual director telling me I had a problem with trust! I had been diligently seeking the Lord for several years and felt I had surrendered my life – my whole life – to Him in submission to His will. Obviously, there was a disconnect somewhere. In fact, the Lord had made it clear to me about eighteen months earlier that soon He would ask me to leave my career in the corporate world because He had more important work for me to do. I had been eagerly and expectantly awaiting that call ever since, although I had to admit, my faith around that promise was beginning to falter.
Now, God and I have had several intense conversations about the meaning of “soon.” It seems His definition of that word is vastly different from mine. I must frequently remind myself that He lives outside of time, and what seems to Him no more than the blink of an eye can be a lifetime to me. After all, Abraham waited twenty-five years to see fulfillment of God’s promise to him. But he trusted God.
As the weekend progressed, I grew increasingly uncomfortable as I continued to be confronted with evidence that I might not be as “all-in” as I thought I was. I was bumping up against a Truth that my heart and mind could not understand, and I desperately needed a breakthrough. By Saturday afternoon, I needed some extended time in silent prayer with God, so I decided to skip soul-stretching because I felt prayer was a much better way to spend that time. I mean, prayer is a lot more “holy” than physical activity, right? Almost as an afterthought, I decided I had better start my prayer time by asking God if it was okay for me to skip the soul-stretching session, and I heard a resounding “NO! You are here for the whole experience. GO!” Feeling a little stung by His gentle rebuke, I packed up my yoga mat to go.
The scripture reading during soul-stretching began with God asking Adam, “Where are you?” Suddenly, from deep in my spirit, I heard, “I’m hiding from You, Lord, because I don’t trust You!” To this day, that encounter still brings me to tears! At that point in my walk with God, He had miraculously gotten me out of debt, and had done many other incredible things in my life. I was ashamed, disappointed in myself, and deeply discouraged to discover I still did not trust my faithful Abba who had proven Himself so faithful to me on so many occasions. He deserved my trust! I had been paying lip service to submitting my whole life to Him while secretly terrified that if I resigned from that job, I would never get another one like it. I had successfully ignored the fact that the thought of resigning elicited near paralyzing fear. I had worked all my life and always had my own income. Facing the prospect of relying solely on God to be my Provider felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff looking over a bottomless abyss, and God was saying, “Do you trust me? Then jump!” I spent the rest of that evening and much of that night crying out to God and repenting for my lack of faith; asking the Lord to heal my unbelief.
My Awakening breakthrough came, in spades! But it didn’t look anything like I expected. It came through tearful and repentant submission to God, and receiving His beautiful, tender, and loving forgiveness, in return. God helped me let go of the “lifeline” I had clung to. The career that, in His reality, had become chains of bondage to a job I no longer valued. Holding on so tightly to that job had kept me from having open hands to receive the better thing God had planned for me.
A couple of weeks after my Awakening weekend, God whispered, “It’s time.” That very day, I submitted my letter of retirement. Sometimes, to help us open our hands to receive God’s best for us, He must pry our fingers loose from the things we are clinging to so tenaciously. He is the Author of your life. You can trust Him to know what is best for you. When you do life His way, you will find more fulfillment, provision, and joy than you could ever find on your own. He is worthy of your trust.
A final note: experience every single aspect of the SOULWELL journey that is available to you. You never know when God will to speak to you, but you can be sure of one thing: If you seek Him diligently, and listen expectantly, He will!