Rejoicing in Closed Doors – Part I

“The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

Galatians 2:20 (The Message)


I have been praying the same prayer for weeks … months … over three years now. God has already told me He has released me from what I’ve been praying about … but He hasn’t shown me the next step.

I thought I knew the direction He wanted me to walk. I had packed my suitcase and had it waiting by the front door, ready to put it into the trunk, punch the destination into my GPS and get going as soon as God gave the green light. I thought I was “finishing strong,” I thought I was obeying, I thought I was being faithful in the little (and bigger) things, and yet still nothing was happening. No movement.

This past summer was a summer of growth. God invited me to grow in a few areas, some of which were quite painful:

  • Diet and exercise
  • Choosing joy – not complaining
  • Living intentionally
  • Choosing not to be offended

I realized that instead of focusing hard on making sure I hit the mark with each of the items above, if I choose to live a life of “love,” I would hit the mark more often than not. If I loved God first and then loved others more than myself, I would take care of my body, have more joy in my life and complain less, live intentionally and overall not be offended by others but instead have more compassion, love and grace to extend to those around me.

Approximately three weeks before the beginning of the school year, I felt nudged to seek God in prayer and find out what He wanted my schedule to look like for the remainder of 2018 and the next year (2019). I definitely heard Him speak and began the new school year with excitement. The first weekend our church had a women’s conference and God confirmed all the things He had been telling me over the summer as well as giving me an invitation to … surrender my dreams and trust God with His dream for my life instead.

What?!? I thought I had done that two years ago when He invited me to take a sabbatical from writing for 9 months. I thought I had given up my dreams six years ago, and two years ago, and even more recently than that. But I realized I hadn’t. I was still holding onto the way with which I wanted my life to look. Call it a dream or wishful thinking, but I was holding tightly and I hadn’t surrendered it. God invited me that Saturday afternoon to trust Him completely … to let go of what I thought life should look like and instead let Him paint my schedule His way.

Was I willing to trust His way … or would I continue to insist on mine?

© Cheri Swalwell 2018


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