Wednesday, March 23, 2016

the invisible list: a post for (in)courage

Yesterday a post went live on a blog called (In)courage where stories are shared of what Jesus looks like in the every day, gloriously ordinary, and often messy lives.  When the opportunity came up in December to submit an original post to be considered I held my breath and typed on.  I was contacted at the beginning of the year that I had been selected and my "go live" date was March 22nd.  I could go on and on about the numerous answers to prayer this one situation brought and maybe I will, in another post to be shared, but for now here is that post, The Invisible List.



My days are lived by lists. Notebook after notebook are filled with them. A green one is full of plans for making our new house the home I long to share, a pink polka dot notebook contains life’s daily tasks so that lessons aren’t missed and menus are planned.
On the less tasky, more crucial side, are the life giving lists. A floral notebook holds thankgivings, a thousand-plus gifts, while a yellow moleskin is full of quotes and verses that changed my heart in profound ways, along with a long list of verses telling me that I am God’s and the gifts that come from being His child.
The most important list, however, has never been put in black and white. It’s a list my heart has been writing on its own. One that is written through whispers of the Spirit, deep longings to be placed in priority, spelling out the desires of my heart when it comes to what I desire to attain, not in the world but in the Kingdom. The first on the list, wisdom.
I started my early twenties as a college graduate with my first job in a new state with my new husband in a new home with no new friends. By God’s infinite grace and mercy we found a church on our first Sunday’s search after our honeymoon. Shortly after, I was attending a women’s group on Wednesday nights and was blessed to sit in a room with women, the youngest being ten years my senior, surrounded by wisdom.
As a girl at the beginning point of a different level of life, I voraciously soaked up the words and experiences of others.
The stories of trials and joy brought me to tears countless times and gave me hours of belly laughter, but it also stirred within me the desire to be them. To be a Titus woman who shares the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to encourage and teach. To be a prayer warrior who is, figuratively and literally, on her knees for the cause of others. To be someone with wisdom, the wisdom that comes from knowledge being lived out. The list within had begun, the ability to accomplish it, however, is a lesson I’m still learning.
Eleven years later I’m a mom of three and a wife of over a decade and — praise Jesus! — a person with the love of friends. I find myself in a role I used to look up to, wondering how did I get here and what right do I have to try to fill it? In my head I’m a walking contradiction who relates more than a little to Paul’s vent in Romans about not doing what I want to do and doing what I don’t want to do. A problem, I would guess, is familiar to more than just me.
Each day contains moment after moment where we choose to follow our flesh or our Spirit as they war within us, sometimes more fiercely than others, battling to prevail. I could say the odds are ever in my favor to follow the one of Truth, but no one would believe it, because disbelieve it they should.
But always in the midst of despair, no matter if daily bumps or life altering disasters, there is Hope.
Our battle is won and each of these seeming failures are really just moments that bring sanctification, molding me to be more like the Savior who already fought and found victory. Every step on every path God has designed is another piece of wisdom placed in my heart, another experience I can share with others, another beam of light that the gospel can shine when I use the all He gave me for Him.
In Him is that hidden treasure of wisdom and knowledge {Colossians 2:3, ESV} and from the first time my heart began its silent list of longings to the day I depart to worship at His feet, those hidden treasures will constantly be unearthed and the wisdom my Savior has will be made clearer and clearer. And I pray I will not just hold it dear, but hand it to others along the way.

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