Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Ideals... + Enjoying the Journey

I am an idealist. I'm the adventurous girl, "flying by the seat of my pants," always looking for something new to DO or to create. You might say I get restless when life is mundane and nothing significant changes.

I don't care what it is... whether it's a trip around the world to New Zealand & the Fijian islands, or it's simply visiting an undiscovered, never-before-visited coffee shop in my local area  I love adventure. It's new, it's exciting!

But then God brings me to the "stand still" points of life when he asks me to be still, wait, and be content in simply knowing Him.

Day in and day out,
I work at the same place, I see the same faces.
I go home and do the same routine.

I go online & see colleagues (who I went to photography school with) grow their businesses in leaps and bounds. They're booking a gazillion jobs. They're buying new lenses, packing their suitcases, traveling around the world and Instagramming pictures of macaroons in Paris.

My life is so boring.
...I'm not as successful of a photographer as they are.
......I wish I had my own kitchen.
.........Why'd they have it so easy?! My life is so complicated.

At the beginning of last year (2012), I was determined to move forward and make my business a success. I bought a new office desk and decorated my office "just so." I was finally on my way to making my life perfect. Not four weeks later after buying my office desk, the Lord had me take a huge step of faith by moving into a basement apartment. I left my perfectly decorated desk behind. And for nearly a year, I've been back to floor-sitting and at times, sitting at a dining room table. My ideals went out the window.

It's happened SO many times in my life. I strive for perfection & my ideals, and when reality doesn't look like my ideals, I despair. What's going on, God? What are you doing to me?

Someone recently admonished me, "Leah, be careful that you're not standing in the way of God, because that really is a form of pride." It hit me right in the heart. I don't like to think of myself as a bull headed, prideful person. But the truth is, I amIt's as if Jesus said to me, "Alright Leah, you want to make much of Me in 2013? Okay. Well then, let go of your idealistic life, and accept whatever it is that I have for you."

I'm going to say it  Waiting is so, so hard. I don't like being patient. I want my life to be perfect and I want my life to be all figured out right now.

The hard reality is that my life may never be what I thought it would be like. The truth is, I am traveling through this earthly country for one purpose  to glorify God  not to have my idealistic life.

Instead of thinking about the third or fourth step on the road map of life, the Lord wants me to live with my hands open, as I take that step right in front of me, right now. That simple step might simply be, "Hey Leah, I want you to be a better friend." (Not "Go to Africa.") Instead of focusing on two years from now, or ten years from now, and what I'm going to be doing, I need to be thinking about how I can glorify God in the next 5 minutes. HE will be that lamp for my feet. Psalms 119:105 says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

"If this is God's plan for my life, do I want to run away from it or do I want to run toward it? Running toward whatever He has planned for my life is running toward Him." —Nancy Guthrie