Irresistibly Drawn

I am not a fan of the ho-hum of life. Day after day life keeps rolling by.  And I get the blues just thinking about it.

This has been growing and growing in my heart and this week I spent big chunks of time feeling unshakably discouraged about life.  I have experienced depression in the past and I do not want to go there again.  Unfortunately I’m not alone in this.  My husband is feeling this way too.  Usually we are able to give each other strength and encouragement.  But not in this.  We are both feeling that we’re on the edge of depression.

The past three years have been a marathon.  We’ve seen amazing provision from God and we are so humbled and encouraged by the many miracles we’ve experienced.  All of our needs have been met.  Food turning up on our doorstep.  Bills being paid by friends and also by people we barely know.  Generous gifts of money, clothes, gift cards and so much more.  It really has been remarkable.  Yet, we are not finding the joy of life that we know God has for us.

It’s just that, after all these years, we aren’t seeing an end to the drudgery of this life.  My husband works and works and is so tired.  But to what end?  Just to earn enough to pay our basic bills.  We’ve been so dedicated and focused to our budget but the Dave Ramsey diet is hard to do when there’s very little “getting ahead”.  At this rate we’ll be in this state of treading water for years and years to come.  And it’s making us sad.

My family hasn’t met our 16 month old son and I haven’t met my two Aussie nieces.  I would so love to see my parents again.  I need to get my wisdom teeth out.   Our daughter is the age to be going to preschool.  We haven’t had time off together as a family for years.  We would love to be home owners some day.  All of these things, and our other dreams, seem totally out of reach.  And it’s making us sad.

I know, I know.  Most of the world lives on way less and would never have access to the opportunities we have.  I know.  And yet, I don’t think these dreams and desires are bad.  I feel very strongly that this sadness should not be dismissed or discounted.

As we chatted, he worked out that the sadness is actually because we’re craving adventure.  For years we got to do awesome adventurous things with the youth group.  Now we’re feeling our wings are clipped physically, emotionally and spiritually.  There is a deep yearning for something more than this life we have.  Like we were made to do something but we’re not doing it.

Yesterday was my final day of Beth Moore’s study of James called “Mercy Triumphs”.  One of passages Beth referred to in the closing video teaching was Acts 20.  The words grabbed my heart and something deep has been stirred up in me.

And now I am going to Jerusalem, drawn there irresistibly by the Holy Spirit,  not knowing what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit has told me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus — the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.  Acts 20:22-24 (Emphasis added)

Yes!  This is the feeling I’ve been craving.  The irresistible drawing of the Holy Spirit!  The life that is full of worth from doing the work Jesus gives me.  Ahhhh yes that’s the joy I’m missing.

I texted my amazing husband during the study: “Acts 20:22-24 says “I am… drawn irresistibly.”  I think the hole we are feeling could be a calling… Are we being drawn to something? Is God wooing us to the next season? Are we being prepared so we will be ready to say ‘yes’ when He calls us?”

I have this new hope growing in my heart.  I feel like this sadness and dissatisfaction with our life is a gift.  It is a field that is being plowed and prepared to be planted with a new crop.  The dirt is crying out for the seed.   Our sadness is a vacuum looking for an answer.

I feel like I understand the reason why people can have a “mid-life crisis”.  I need something to spice up my life!  And now I stand with a choice:  Fill it with the stuff of life OR wait for the irresistible drawing of the Holy Spirit to the things Jesus is calling us to.

As much as I’d like to go blow a bunch of money on things to spice up my life… I’m going to choose to wait for the plans of God.  It hurts to even type that right now.  I think I’m going to have to choose it daily, moment by moment.

There is nothing wrong with having things, going on trips, filling our lives with good and fun adventures…. UNLESS it keeps us from being ready and able to hear the call of Jesus for our lives.

Selah.

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,  the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 (Emphasis added)

How are you? Are you in a season of waiting?  Are you at a crossroads of choice: spice your life up yourself OR wait on God’s call?  What dreams do you feel God stirring in your heart?  Do you sense you were made for a purpose?

6 thoughts on “Irresistibly Drawn

  1. tamarah lee says:

    Justine,
    Although my life looks, on the outside, oh so different from yours, I know the emptiness and that call which says, “More.” There is a joy the Bible speaks of and it is not what I’m living. I know that I’m on a journey. I feel God moving us, but the pull of suburbia is subtle and deadly. But what if this IS my calling? What if this IS the adventure I’m always looking for and I’m missing what has been given? Or what if, in my quest for “more,” I lose sight of this training period for an adventure that is here or in the future?
    Someone told me once that they were learning to say, “It is good,” and how to live in, “godliness with contentment is great gain [more]”. But how? Where’s the thermometer that measures when you have lapsed into complacency instead of contending for contentment? How do you defeat the depression that is closer than you care to admit, fighting your way out to find God regardless of the circumstances of life? How do you live your adventure in the mundane, always being ready to drop everything that makes you comfortable to go to the next place God is leading and know Him fully there too?
    God is cultivating in me an “it is good” heart and, at this moment, is teaching me gratitude, showing me how to find the good each day and let it shine in the “everydayness” of living. He’s showing me how to delight in the noise the wind makes as it whips around the house, to cherish the moments the children step away from a fight, or remember a thought shared which might settle into a heart, planting life. These can hardly be classified as an adventure, and look lowly in the land of Christendom, but they are where God is working in my life here and now. Recognizing his fingerprints in the minutia of life changes my view of what is “big,” because there is no “big” without underlying structure of the “little.”
    God is asking me if I am willing to humble myself so that He can use my gifts the way He sees fit, not the way that seem to be the most efficient. My answer? No, I’m not. But, as he reminds me, I ask Him to show me how to lay aside my rights and take the “humble position” and say with Him, “It is good.” He has gently pointed out to me that Jesus probably didn’t see taking on human form as the best use of His gift mix, but trusted His Father’s plan to the bitter end (Phil. 2:5-8). Gratitude for the unnoticed things helps me focus on God in the moment, shows me joy in this journey, and helps me trust Him to orchestrate the broader picture, knowing He will not leave me behind. (Phil. 1:6)
    Anyway, these are my thoughts today.
    Your fellow sojourner,
    tam

    • coloursofcolor says:

      Love this Tam! Yes we so desire a big adventure… something beautiful and exciting… and then overlook the little. I think this generation next generation will have a hard time transitioning into adulthood because of that big desire. How do you “do something big with your life” / “Fight for social justice” / “Change the world” when you’re no longer a teen with hours of free time!? Choosing to cultivate a heart for the “it is good” small things is so important. Adding your thoughts to my mind brewings. Thank you!

  2. Anne Sikes says:

    Oh wow! Your words could largely have been my own, now and over the last few years. I am in a valley…yes, a season of waiting…and waiting…and waiting. 🙂 That, with disappointments and at times a feeling of being deeply unsettled in ways. And at times just crying out for Jesus to just take me home. I have many needs, and keep thinking God says He’s going to provide what we need, so He will. And I’m waiting…and waiting. 🙂 But I’m smiling as I type that, because in the midst of it all, He is very much here with me, and there are things He has been doing for me that weren’t on my list…little bonuses, as if to say, “you have to wait a little longer for those other things…but here’s a little something extra in the meantime because I adore you, my child.” That comforts me…the knowledge that He truly adores me, undeserving mess that I am. 🙂

    I so very much appreciate your heartfelt words…so meaningful to me. I found myself feeling excited for you and what He’s going to do in your life…and in mine too. He adores us, remember? 🙂 And by the way, Ephesians 3:14-21 is my very, very favorite Bible passage/prayer. 🙂

    Blessings,
    Anne

What do you think?