Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wilderness


"The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason
Why You brought me here
But just because You love me
The way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If you want me to."
-If You Want Me To by G. Owens

Last weekend, I went to a Christian women's conference that blew my mind.  I'm sure my next several blogs will be sorting out the things I learned there so I'm warning you that you may get sick of references to Paige Benton Brown and Kathy Keller.  

But one of the things that struck me as a definite theme of what God was teaching me was to trust Him in the wilderness of pain, hurt and confusion.  For the last few weeks, I have swept things under the rug and tried to build a new future for myself.  I've thrown band aids over things that need to be evaluated and considered.  And when Paige Benton Brown spoke about desperate hearts in the Bible and how God uses them, I felt like she was speaking right to me:

"We live in a culture of cover up and not collapsing.  As soon as something collapses we try to build it back up."

But wait, I don't like being in the valley.  I like the mountaintop.  When I'm down in the valley I just want to pull myself up by my bootstraps and jerk myself to the top of some other mountain.  

But, as the speaker pointed out, total inability is God's starting point.  He does not begin when I start something and invite him along.  He does not create great things out of okay things.  He creates great things out of nothingness.  Out of wilderness.  Out of brokenness.  

Kathy Keller made the point that hurt shouldn't be wasted.  To grit our teeth and just wait for it to be over just makes our sorrows useless.

So... I'm going to try to stop trying so hard to be pulled together, put together, etc.  This weekend I was surrounded by beautiful, amazing women who shared their stories, their hurts and their lives.  They were real leaders.  They were real women.  They were what God created them to be.  

I am in the wilderness and I don't know what the next step is for my life.  I don't know where to go or what to do.  I'm in the wilderness and that is okay.  I am in the wilderness but I am not alone.  

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you."- Genesis 28:15

2 comments:

Claire said...

Wow, this sounds like such a great (and timely) conference! I'm so glad you got to go!

flippinlily said...

you're so cool. -susan