The Power of the Pause
Well, yesterday was a BIG fat lesson to me in the power of the pause. We're living in times feel like they are changing moment by moment and what I learned from yesterday was how important it is to SLOW DOWN and allow things to sit a bit. PAUSE. Hit the breaks and let yourself digest what just happened.
As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday was my Sabbath, which if you're not familiar with that term - is the Jewish practice of giving a day a week to God and resting from your own labor. It doesn't mean you have to be completely still (I actually took a couple of really beautiful walks!)... it just means ceasing from anything you are doing to try to make life "okay". To be in control. The funny thing was that, Friday was a day where a lot of things clicked into place for me. I got some real clarity and vision for the Jade Dreamer Project and even a new business I'm going to be starting! In my last post, I told you God told me to look for moments on Friday where I could feel His excitement AND mine. That happened several times on Friday related to vision for this whole thing! It was so exhilirating and I went to be on a "high" from the possibilities!
At the same time, God is my partner in all things so even though I felt the excitement of the new on Friday, I knew I wanted to slow down the next day and really let it sink in and get confirmation from Him that the next steps I was seeing were the same ones He was seeing.
So here's what happened yesterday morning... I knew I was pausing, but for some reason I was putting a TON of pressure on myself to know the answers at the beginning of the day. Even though I knew it was my Sabbath, I thought it would go like this... 1) Make all the decisions (with God, mind you - not leaving Him out) and then 2) go on with the rest of my day and relax.
Was that the way it went down? NOPE. I literally laid on my floor for an hour trying to "hear" Him about this business decision. I poured out my fears, my indecision, my heart. Honestly, my biggest fear about launching out into this new thing was that I was missing God's queues for what season I'm in... that I'm getting distracted with new, shiny things and that pursuing a business at the same time that I'm going to school, creating art and writing the book and starting a recovery program for people who have been abused was just too much. That with this big PAUSE that the whole world is experiencing... maybe I was missing the boat and now isn't the time to create new things. Maybe it's the time to just sit and let things settle. But I couldn't get away from the fact that I KNOW God told me to pay attention to excitement on Friday and I was so CRAZY excited about this opportunity because it could help so many of the people I want to reach. It could honestly really change people's lives in so many ways and it just landed in my lap. Was it a gift or was it a distraction? That was my question.
So I poured all of that at the feet of Jesus, but I wasn't hearing anything back clearly because I was putting myself under so much pressure to HEAR. Finally, I the ONLY thing heard God tell me really clearly was to get up and take a walk - that it would become clear throughout the day... I sighed in frustration because I wanted to be DONE. I wanted this on my timeline. Can anyone relate? I'm not proud of this, but I think a lot of us treat God this way... "Show up and answer my questions when I have allotted the time to hear!" It's control. That 6 letter word should really be deemed a cuss word if you ask me. It messes us up every time!
But I obeyed. I got up and went for my walk. All I could hear was Him telling me to let it go for the day. So I did. I texted the friend who was waiting on me and told her I'd have to obey and just let it go for today... And then, the rest of the day unfolded in a natural, beautiful way. I determined to rest. I read. I painted. I watched Frozen 2. I made myself some really good food. And best of all... God totally showed up and showed me the answers I was looking for. A trusted best friend of mine called and I was able to process it with her (YES - we need each other! We were never meant to make decisions in a vacuum.) and then AS I WENT God just kept giving me clues and hints.
This morning, after allowing the pause, I was ALMOST entirely sure I knew what I wanted to do and then I took a walk and even more confirmations showed up. God talks to me through nature a lot of the time and butterflies and hawks are a huge part of our relationship. As I was walking, I can't tell you how many butterflies I saw and I spotted two hawks. For me, it was the confirmation I needed to hit the "GO" button, so I did.
Here's the lesson out of this, though. I've made decisions both ways, guys. Where I listen to pressure and jump to make a decision. And I've done it this way... where I LET GO and let God lead the decision making process. The thing I have noticed is that even if my decision would have been the same either way, I have so much more confidence and faith in my decision if I know I have let Him drive the ship, not me.
Now, here's the other thing I want to throw out there and it may feel like I'm contradicting myself but bear with me. MOST (if not all) of the hesitancy I felt yesterday was because I was AFRAID of displeasing God. That should NEVER be the case. We truly can't make a decision that will cause Him to abandon ship, stop loving us or not go on the journey with us. Even if we make the biggest bone head decision there is, He is such a Loving Dad and He will always clean up our messes and never condemn us for them. He just uses them to teach us. Kids are messy when they learn, and we are His kids. We're learning, that's all. (See pic below for confirmation). So this post goes out to anyone else like me that has hemmed and hawed and strained at a decision. What I was learned was...
Let yourself pause and catch up with all the thoughts that are going through your mind. It will all be there tomorrow. Pressure is an illusion.
Be SUPER honest with God and yourself about what your fears and hopes attached are... just pour out your heart to Him. I do this by writing sometimes... it helps me to have it to go back and look at later.
Get up and walk away! Leave the decision alone for a bit... let it breathe. If you aren't sure, it may be because more information is coming that you don't have yet.
YOU CAN'T BLOW IT - this is the most important thing. The main reason I needed the pause was to get to the point where I wasn't afraid of making the wrong decision or displeasing God. That was a posture change that had to happen in my heart, not my head. He stayed the same. He could have told me what to do yesterday when I asked, but that would have left me stuck in the same space I was in to begin with... feeling like He was a taskmaster instead of a generous Dad who wouldn't punish me. If you don't take anything else away today, hear this. GOD WON'T WALK AWAY and HE'LL ALWAYS MAKE IT RIGHT FOR YOU (Romans 8:29)
I love you guys! More tomorrow! I know I'm being kind of vague and mysterious but I'm trying to figure out the best way to roll all this out. I'm basically looking at two directions and praying about what will be most beneficial to everyone right now with where we are in the world. Hugs!
P.S. If you want to stay up to date in more detail, with the Jade Dreamer Project and all that's coming down the pike, be sure to sign up for the email list so I can keep you posted in more detail than I'll be doing here. I may even send out sneak peeks of the novel and get feedback from y'all because I believe in collaboration.