The Indirect Route of Reimagining
The Indirect Route of Reimagining
Does everyone else's exploration and dream realization journey seem to be a well-planned, strategically propelled path, Each success adding to the planned ascent to a pre-determined end goal? Meanwhile, does your journey consists of a mishmash of haphazard bends and turns? Does it look like a disjointed dance with lady luck as she twirls you from one experience to another without rhyme or reason? You are my people.
I know that’s what my life looks like to those in my circle, inner and outer. Lately, friends have asked, “Laura, what are you doing now? Is this your goal or fad?” They look at me with unspoken concern, believing the twists and turns result from an aimless heart, a distracted purpose, or discontent in the marketplace. Is this indirect route taking me anywhere?
And I understand their concern - the last few years resemble the journey depicted in a Family Circus cartoon more than a planned career path. I wander here and scoot over there. Explore something under there, then instantly turn my attention way over there.
In the past fifteen years, I’ve worked in children’s ministry as a program coordinator and an academic customer service advisor at a university. I’ve completed a degree in Elementary Education, taught 3rd and 6th graders, and considered moving into Administration. Now, I write and edit for a women’s digital magazine and currently attend training as an inner healing coach. Boing. Boing. Boing.
Do you feel me? Are you wondering if there’s a connection to all of your experiences and interests? A purpose to all of your twists and turns?
I’ve found asking God for His perception reveals common threads and His purpose for my life. I see His guiding as I reimagine my life in this season. As I look with God at the common threads of each position I held, I know the truth of who I am, who God made me.
I started writing in my pink Holly Hobby diary as a 3rd grader - and never stopped. I wrote in high school when my English teacher suggested I join Yearbook and Newspaper and learned to love the power of well-placed, purposeful words. I wrote in journals throughout my years as a single parent, recording my victories, heartbreaks, and prayers. I wrote academic papers that taught me the value of critical thinking and using less to say more. I wrote plays, curricula, and short stories, pulling on experiences in program management and organization to a new creative outlet. I write devotionals, short stories, and magazine articles to inspire women to live life loved as a daughter to the King. And I love every minute of it. I am a writer.
I taught my daughter to read, love books, see her value, and trust her inner voice. I taught elementary students content, self-awareness, confidence, and their value as a human. I taught children God's stories, lessons, and His purpose for their lives. I showed adults how to navigate an online learning environment. I help women how to write their stories from healing and strength. I am a teacher.
I led teams to plan dynamic, child-centered weekend services, summer camp productions, and lessons. I coached adults struggling with academic requirements. I coach friends when they can’t see their purpose or need healing. I coach women to find the gold nuggets and God-infused healing in their journeys so they can share their stories with others. I coach others to find inner healing from brokenness through intimacy with Jesus. I coach.
I love helping people understand their value. I can’t help but speak into people’s lives and to their hearts (I hope) about the impact, growth, and possibilities I see as I watch them grow, learn and struggle to be their best version. I am an encourager.
As I look at my life, at the giftings and passions, God placed in me through His lens, my journey no longer seems aimless and haphazard. Every step, every job, every twist, and turn brought me closer to an authentic piece of myself and closer intimacy with Jesus. Jobs or situations that I thought wasted time or served as a distraction added another skill, another level of self-assuredness, another tool to my toolbelt. A toolbelt I use today and will continue to use in the future. Nothing in my past returns void. Nothing. Why? Because God loves me, and His promises are good, even when reimagining or dreaming for my future. And I no longer worry about what others think or see. I see Him.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)
Suppose you find yourself redirecting, changing lanes, or taking a twisted route to your next dream and struggling to understand the purpose. In that case, I lovingly challenge you to invite God into your conversation. Ask Him to show you the common threads of passion, skills, and interests that He’s highlighted throughout your life. Ask Him to show you the tools He’s given you along the way. He loves you, and as you follow Him, He has already provided so much of what you need.
God travels with you, even in the twists and turns. And with Him, you have everything you need. So go ahead, dare to reimagine your purpose - He’s already working out the path.
Keane, Bill. "The Family Circus - Billy Just Walkin' Home from the Bus Stop." The Family Circus, 1 Jan. 2012, www.pinterest.com/pin/353040058261275181/. Accessed 12 Mar. 2023.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Living with Wonder and Wisdom
January 31st, 2023
Living with Wonder and Wisdom
Looking Back to Move Forward.
It’s a new year! We are officially in 2023. Are you excited or terrified? Ambivalent?
Every January, I spend some time preparing for the new year. My goal? I want to shake off the dust of my past and start fresh.
Everyone enters the new year differently.
Some of us are in full forward mode, and some tend to trod slowly into a new year, fully embracing it at the end of January.
I typically approach a new year the same way I approach my birthday. I approach it with cautious hesitancy and slight dread. Yep. That’s my pessimistic upbringing and natural tendencies shining through. Ha!
What does this look like? I remember my 30th birthday - my January birthday. My life was upside down. I was in the middle of a divorce, living in a friend's spare room on bunk beds with my 8-year-old daughter. I was sick as a dog, lying on the couch and feeling depressed and lost. This was not what 30, or a new year should look or feel like. I was miserable.
I overcame my illness but remembered the agonizing grief, hopelessness, and sadness of starting a new year. So to avoid that awful feeling again, I started a new habit.
In June, I’d practice thinking about the following year. I made a few little plans, but I practiced setting expectations for the upcoming year. In all honesty, I lowered expectations. I’d plan a vacation and to celebrate my daughter’s birthday or set my job expectations. Beyond that, I didn’t dream. I didn’t hope. That could only lead to disappointment and depression, right?
I called this ‘managing expectations.’ But I didn’t understand that I was allowing my past to dictate how I saw and imagined my future!
When I realized how much this jeopardized the future God had for me, the adventures I’d say no to out of a need to control my expectations, I started to evaluate my emotions about the new year and release those to God.
No matter what I felt about the upcoming year, I spoke it out loud and let Him speak into those emotions. Excitement? Anxiety? Fear and Trepidation? Joy? Grief? I recognized it all and let God sit with me and minister to my soul. Afterward, I felt relief, clarity, and an attitude of thankfulness and hope.
But really, I’m convinced the reason I don’t greet each new year with such disdain is because of the hope in Christ that I carry with me now.
According to Psalms, the truth that He knows every step past and future is incomprehensible.
Psalm 139:1-6 says, “Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book, and you know all the words I'm about to speak before I even start a sentence. You know every step I take before my journey begins. You've gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!”
This means God is always in close contact.
Verse five in the NIV says, “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” When He hems us in, it's not restrictive but comforting, close, and cozy. Think sleeping bag, down comforter type cozy.
And this is after God knows my past - all of it! Every mistake, every poor choice, the good and the bad. If He’s all in, no matter what, how can I not be?
When I consider His love, His work on the Cross, I step into a new sense of Awe and Wonder - for this year.
Whenever we focus on God instead of our situation, we enter into a state of Wonder.
We focus on…..
Our King, rather than our chaos
Our Savior rather than our situation
Our Miracle worker rather than our mess
Our Healer rather than our helplessness
Our Daddy instead of our dead ends.
I pull strength from the resurrection when I see my past through His eyes and look at Him in Wonder and Awe.
After reconciling myself to my past, I may struggle to move forward into the future He holds for me. As His daughter, I want to move forward in Wisdom.
Proverbs 8:32 says, “Now then, my children, listen to me. Blessed are those who keep my ways…For those who find me (wisdom) shall find life and receive favor from the Lord.”
This promises that when I seek His wisdom and keep His ways -which already exist in my heart through the Holy Spirit, I find life (can I add “to the fullest) and receive His FAVOR.
The proverbs provide the place where I can RUN for kingdom wisdom about everything.
Dealing with the corrupt systems of the world.
The self-control of our hearts and mouths
Diligence in our craft
Everything Under the Sun/Son….can be found here!
Everything I need to move forward, God provides through his Word.
Everything we need for wisdom and knowledge about our tomorrow is right here. He offers it to us, unfettered, unabashedly, to anyone who asks.
When I consider the love of my God and his blessings of wisdom, meant to produce fruit, not just in my life, but for those I encounter, my fear of tomorrow and the following year dissipates. It disappears.
So when I keep my eyes on Him, the Healer, the Author, and Finisher, I can see my past with Wonder - and dismiss the mistakes and things that held us down.
And when I dive into Proverbs and search God’s heart through the Proverbs, we receive Wisdom to move into our new tomorrows.
I pray that you allow the Great Healer to speak to your past and bring wisdom for your tomorrows, leading you into a new year of hope and intimacy with Him.
Laura is a teacher, writer, and the Director of Community at Heartstance LLC. Her heart is to see women live in healing and live loved as daughters of Christ. You can schedule an inner-healing session with Laura here!