For the past few months I have had this unsettled feeling in my spirit that comes as part and parcel when I embark on the process of transition. I am feeling that it is time for a change, a move, a desire to go to something else.
One day this week as I was waking up in bed, and just as the sun was beginning to rise up and claim the morning, I began to ponder these unsettled feelings. As my mind began to track back through this decade and then rewind through previous decades, I noticed something interesting, well at least interesting to me. Since growing into adulthood, with every single change in a decade, I have moved to another city, and typically to another state. I have undergone many of my life’s most profound seasons of change while journeying through the ‘9’ and into the ‘0’ . 1) From an Alabama high school senior to Virginia-bound college freshman, 2) a career upgrade requiring a move from Alabama to Atlanta, 3) freshly single and broken in Atlanta to single yet still alive returning back to Alabama, 4) then 10 years later single and broken again (not marriage related!) and still in Alabama with a return to my hometown, and now this new decade (still single ha!) but strong, self employed and now stabilized in a foundation built upon Christ Jesus.
This week, I was reading a book on the life of King David. One of the chapters went to great lengths to show the process that David went through before God opened the door for him to become King. Even (and especially after) David became Israel’s second King, he continued to experience trial after trial. He was trained through so many trials that when he encountered his most serious they did not consume. We all know that David was by no means perfect but undeniably a great leader possessing a connection to God as His Beloved, that was and may still be unmatched. Only God knows this but throughout the process, David strengthened himself in the Lord and no other. This is a great lesson for all of us.
As I move through life, I see there are no shortcuts; neither in business nor in ministry nor apparently as David’s life illustrates, in kingdom management. Its all process, process, process. My life compared to King David, although not without some steep almost vertical degrees of difficulty, has been by comparison, simple. David got an early start as a giant killer and in doing so got an early leg up to be groomed for a great destiny. Despite being raised in the church, I was a late bloomer to Jesus and to the understanding of true faith. How I wish I had not lost those precious years circling in the weeds of life, unaware that there was a divine GPS to guide me along a righteous path but again I say – it’s a process, and don’t let anyone convince you differently. There is no microwave growth in Christianity – its water, son-light and roots growing deeper and deeper and deeper into the verdant soil of the Divine.
I have noticed that doors, particularly meaningful spiritual doors, swing open on just one or two hinges. These doors cannot be pushed, kicked or broken down – these doors swing wide with no known pressure. Again reflecting on David, he was thought the least of Jesse’s sons and was not even presented to Samuel. David was out in the field, diligently doing his job, minding the sheep and BOOM – a life changing encounter came out of nowhere, an encounter undeniably from the hand of God.
And the word of the Lord came to Nathan (the prophet) saying –
11 Samuel 7:8-9 So now say this to my servant David, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over My people. And I was with you where you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name like that of the great men of the earth.”
Some of the most important opportunities that have come my way, those of which I can take no credit, have emerged from out of the blue. These “doorways of grace” glided open easily with no striving, occurring only in their proper time and season. There was no planning, foresight or known cause for God’s invisible, provident breath to blow these doors of opportunity open wide. But there is something of importance to note: When these doors swing open we must be ready to move as they are on a hinge that snaps back and will slam like that old wood frame screen door on your grandmothers house. Whap! I can still hear that door slamming closed on a few opportunities that I did not walk through due to fear, self doubt and over thinking but because of the goodly nature of God – I, like you, can rest in His second chances.
Not typically associated with “fun”, the process of being in the process is certainly punctuated with times of enjoyment but rarely would anyone describe the work involved as “fun”. “Fun” relates to entertainment – if being constantly entertained is what it took to become great then one would not have to journey through “a process” to arrive. Entertainment is typically reserved for endeavors that engage the soul on a surface level but never engage with the spirit – as it takes The Spirit to successfully navigate The Process. Are you still with me ?
As I write this on the first day of the year and even a new decade, I remain expectant of what and where the process will take both you and me. As we look backward to 2010 and consider where we have come – remain encouraged. I am not where I wish to be but definitely have made significant progress in the 10 years spent (some would consider) in this wilderness, a place where I never desired to grow content or become familiar. When I look in the mirror I am reminded that although “my youth is being renewed as the eagles” those eagles are definitely older eagles – I’m no eaglet! But God has given me a greater peace for the process. Perhaps this is to become my desire for 2020 that I wish for you and for me: Peace.
Happy New Year!
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Related article: My Journey with Jesus Part Two http://wp.me/p1zoxs-gR
Tracy Gatewood is the author of Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus (2015)
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