Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Building Faith Muscles

Three years ago, when Drummer Boy was a senior in high school, I realized all of my children would be out of our home in ten years. I immediately asked God to tell me what I needed to do in that ten years to be prepared for the next chapter of my life.

In true God form, He gave me three specific BIG things to work on--get an advanced degree, write the novel on my heart and build a writing platform. Pretty intimidating things, but given a ten year window, I thought they were doable. At first I tried doing all three at once and not only wore myself out, but ended up feeling defeated, like I was getting no where, only spinning my wheels. God gently told me to take one thing at a time. Building a writing platform is a long-term, gradual thing, so I'll always be working on it, but the other two are possible to knock off in a couple of years each. So I concentrated on the novel for a full year. It's pretty tough to make it a priority when I have no idea what will become of it, plus life crowds in, stealing my time away. Some things are more urgent than writing thousands of words no one reads.

Now our next child is a senior in high school and I'm evaluating my progress. And feeling frustrated. The writing platform is coming along. Slowly. The first draft of the novel is only halfway done and because of circumstances in my life, I'm wondering if I should switch gears to the advanced degree. I know what I need to do in the next seven years, but don't know how or in what order. These three goals are in addition to my normal activities. How can I fit it all in? Do I need to give up something to accomplish this? I want God to be very clear (and told Him so), yet the answer He gives me over and over is, "Keep doing what you're doing." Sigh.

“Learning to wait on God’s timing and having the patience to follow his lead rather than running ahead of him is essential to those who are committed to seeing their faith journey through to the end. God seldom rushes things along. Getting used to his pace will help you in the long run.”

~ Essentials for Life For Women by Marcia Ford ~

I totally understand that God's timing is not mine. Totally. And I'm okay with that most days, but when I look back on my life, I wonder what I've accomplished. But there's the problem. I'm looking to see what I've done, not waiting to see what He'll do.

He's asking me to build faith muscles, not sprint to the finish line.

God says, "Trust Me," with my material needs, my loved ones, the future, and WITH MY TIME. I do today what He places on my heart to do and then do it again tomorrow, trusting He will accomplish what concerns me today.

Can I get an advanced degree, write a novel and build a writing platform in the next seven years? Not on my own power. The last three years have proven that. If I want to reach the goal, I've got to do it His way, in His timing, trusting Him for each day's activities. I won't quit asking God for specifics on how to do this, because aren't we supposed to bring everything to Him? One day He'll show me the path. Until then I'll learn to rest in His timing and follow His clear words, "Keep doing what you're doing." The waiting will strengthen my faith.

What are you having a hard time waiting for? Can you use it to build your faith?

To read what this quote inspired in other people, visit Deborah at Coffee and Chocolate.


Karen said...

I like that thought about being faith muscles. That's what its all about as we learn to walk, it builds up muscles in areas we didn't even realize we had muscles. Thanks for sharing today.

Loni said...

Love that . . . building faith muscles. Perfect picture! Thank you for sharing!

Marsha Young said...

Tami -

Keeping on keeping on, or "keep doing what you are doing" is a testimony in and of itself. The world finds it difficult to stay the course on almost anything.

So it is a living testimony to keep doing what you are doing.

It certainly does build our "faith muscles" to wait for God's timing in opening up doors for us, doesn't it? Wishing you the blessing of open doors of fulfillment. ...Marsha

D.J. Hughes said...

Those are all great goals. I am too far away from being an "empty nester" to even imagine it right now, but I still have goals and to-do lists. :)

Keep writing what is on your heart - and the novel will come.
Keep growing in Christ and connecting to others - and the platform that He wants you to have will come.
Apply for grad school and go for it!

I can't wait to read your novel someday.

DJ :)

Miriam Pauline said...

It always comes back to trust, doesn't it? Trusting his timing, trusting him with my dreams and my time, letting go. Great post to remind me, again, to just take it in his time. Thanks.

Debbie said...

First of all, I want to say that you are a good writer. I always enjoy reading your contributions to IOWT. And often, you make me think (which is good).

Second of all, as I was reading your words what came to my mind was who you are becoming during this process of trusting God. He gave you a dream. And you're so right ... in His time and His way. And I know that for me that's often different than what I think. But He knows what's best for us.

I think He is building your character. And character is often built as we trust Him and sometimes ...wait.

Blessings and love,

PS. I'm a little late in reading the IOWT posts but am so glad I came to visit.

Bonnie W said...

Keep on working at it one step at a time Tami. You'll get there.

I think the Lord must have told me the same things LOL! I went back to school and finished my degree by the time the kids left home. In the last 10 years I've written 2 novels and have been working on a writing platform.

God is so good - it has been a long journey full of waiting and learning to trust. But we do get there eventually and when we do, we discover just how much He invested into our journey along the way - things we didn't see at the time! Wow I love walking with Him!