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Where I’ve Been

I haven’t written anything for quite some time. I’ve been stuck in this place of swirling thoughts and inklings; ensnared by a net that makes me wonder, “What does it matter?” Could I possibly have anything to say that is new or inspiring? I mean, isn’t that what people want to read?

But what if people just wanted to relate to the writer?

What if people just want to feel connected?

Isn’t that what we do when we jump into a novel or even a movie? We want to experience what they are experiencing.  To feel all the up’s and down’s, twists and turns. Or perhaps we want to escape our own life for a while.

So for those that follow me, here’s where I’ve been.

The early part of this year, and really the latter part of last, I was tired, worn out, and exhausted. I was giving everything I had to ministry. I loved what I was doing, but I struggled with how much it was costing me.  I’d reached a place where I knew I couldn’t keep it up any longer. And so, I resigned from vocational ministry.

And I was broken.

I wasn’t sure how I got to this place and I struggled with the question, “God, did you reject me, or did You release me?” For months I journaled my way through this uncertainty. I stayed in relationship with those closest to me – which is hard to figure out when you have so many circles of “friends” because of your involvement in ministry, but I needed to figure that out, too.

I intentionally took time off, and asked God to teach me again how to “be still.”

I painted my nails. I cleaned my house. I went through every closet in my house. I purged. I put things in order. I walked my dogs. Then I walked them again, and again, and again. I sat still on my back porch for hours. I journaled. I slept. I ate too much gluten and suffered the consequences of it. I visited with family. I drank wine. I tried to write a couple times – even posted a blog once or twice. I lost a friend, and reconnected with another. I laughed. I cried. I grieved. I rested. I sat still.

And then I remembered what I thought this year was supposed to be about. It was supposed to be about seeking. “Seek” was my word for 2018. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me, and I will answer you and show you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

And then I was humbled.

Although I was doing things that helped me feel again, I’d neglected the One who would make me whole again. And that was really what I was longing for – to be made whole – to be restored.

So, I bowed low before my God and asked His forgiveness. I thanked Him for rescuing me from myself. I went back to my journal and began searching for Him – seeking His hand in the events of my life.

It was in this place – my quiet place with Him – that I heard Him answer my question – that one that was even unbearable to ask, “Did you reject me, or release me?”

Here was His answer to me, penned in my journal as if He spoke these words directly to my heart:

“Your brokenness to Me, has made you stronger. Do not look behind you anymore. For I have assigned angels to guard your back – and I the Lord will go before you. Look straight ahead! The things I am teaching you are for My purpose – not for you to try and figure out any longer. Stay by My side. Walk with Me. I love you, Kimberly Marie. You are from My heart. You are from My Royal Fortress. You walk in My authority and are one of My most precious ambassadors. You will carry My banner of love to those who resist Me. Do not be afraid, for I am with you, always. Keep seeking Me – keep pressing in. For I will show you great and marvelous things you do not know. I have not removed My mantle from you – for I chose you before earth began. Great and wonderful are My plans for you. Stay close to Me. I will protect you in the shadow of My wings; I will keep you as the apple of My eye.
I have not rejected or released you – I only pulled you closer.
I needed you close to Me – to learn the rhythm of My heart – to learn and follow its cadence. To stay in step with Me. No longer will you run ahead or fall behind. Your step will be aligned with Mine. This is My grace for you. Remain with Me. Do not be distracted by things happening on the left or the right – eyes straight ahead. Military bearing – know who you are. You are My daughter – a daughter of the Most High King. You are My first choice. I do not make mistakes or change My mind about My children – for I see them as who they truly are – who I made them to be. Though people and words have come against you – or have been used to hurt you – this is not who you are. You are MINE! And nothing – no thing – can snatch you from My hand. You are My special treasure. I hold you close to My heart. I love you, dear child.

Your Heavenly Father, The King of Kings, Dad

I guess I’m sharing this today with all of you, because I needed to remind myself. I don’t know what is around the next bend, but I do know where this path leads.

It leads to Christ.

That is why I must keep my eyes straight ahead, focused on Him. Eyes locked with those of my Savior. Because even though this is where I’ve been, it’s not where I am headed. And at the end of this journey, I will find myself running to Him, caught and embraced by His outstretched arms of mercy, grace and love.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14

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