Monday, December 9, 2019

"Be Willing To Go Out On A Limb With Me" From Jesus Calling

"Be Willing To Go Out On A Limb With Me"

This is Day 2 of reigniting The Strong Spirit Path blog to share my  journey and current life challenges, while undertaking to read the entire Bible for my first time, ever.  It began here. Day 3, "The Dancing Mind" with excerpts from Anam Cara, A Book of Celtic Wisdom, by John O'Donohue can be found here.

December 9th Daily reading from Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence 365 Devotional by Sarah Young starts out with the above sentence. Here is more:

Be willing to go out on a limb with Me. If that is where I am leading you, it is the safest place to be. Your desire to live a risk-free life is a form of unbelief. Your longing to live close to Me is at odds with your attempts to minimize risk. You are approaching a crossroads in your journey. In order to follow Me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your tendency to play it safe.
This passage could not have been more timely!

I will soon be spending time away from my home and husband ~ my place of comfort and grounding ~ to be with my mom to provide some assistance. She still lives in the neighborhood I grew up, close to my high school.  And it's getting to a point where she needs more full time care and assistance.

Mom and I from July 2019


I am happy to help my mom.  I love her dearly.  She has often been my number one fan and source of support.  She did so much to provide for my sister and I, however, I do not like being in that neighborhood ~ nor dense urban environments ~ at all anymore.  My nerves get fried from the increased stresses of parking, over stimulation, and some seedier elements which have made their way into that area.

My soul craves more nature, less density, more of a feeling of community. We do have that to an extent where we live now. Many nice people in our little nook that look after each other.  I am certainly grateful for what we have, yet the yearning burns steadily, and has been for well over a decade now.

I know that there is goodness everywhere. We need to train our eyes and senses to see it. So my challenge when with my mom in that neighborhood is to seek out the beauty that is there, which I worked on during my last trip in July.







That said the real reason the passage above hit home is because we have some serious changes ahead. I will be helping my mom ready her condo for sale. She can no longer live alone. While with her, Don will be running our clinic on his own. By the end of spring, when our apartment lease is up, we will also need to relocate. Whether we remain in Arizona, or relocate to be closer to Don's family in the Midwest, or my sister in the Pacific Northwest is still somewhat up in the air. We are leaning in one direction. Yet, we have 'parts' that resist this potential choice.

The human mind likes to know what is coming, and crave a sense of security. Yet our mind, or the aspects of the ego and our five senses are limited in their ability to know, and be secure in the truest sense. It only comes from trust and faith in God. And a little common sense!  Training in self-protection as an example.

The challenges are more than just relocation. It's also financial. We would feel 'safer' having more of a financial cushion prior to such a huge move.  And, especially as we near our 60s! We are also desiring to redefine who we are and how we do business, perhaps finally aligning more with our bigger vision, gifts, and passions ~ another risk in itself!

Our parents are aging. My mother is experiencing increasing memory loss, which is perhaps my greatest source of both grief and challenge. Don's mom also fears the loss of her husband of 65 years. Don's father is taking some strong drugs to prevent his prostate cancer from spreading to his bones. It is definitely weakening him.

At times, I feel like George Bailey, at that point in It's a Wonderful Life where he is praying to God, saying he is at the end of his rope. Perhaps my 'Clarence' type angel is around helping me, and I'm too consumed in my own stuff to notice!

Our ability to puzzle out logistics of caring for my mom, where to live, finances, our business, multiple family members in need or with issues ~ among other things ~ feels overwhelming!  There is no way my small mind will be able to come up with a reasonable plan, try that I may! I realize it's bigger than me, and gladly surrender.  Daily. And still, at times it's like a heavy fog that won't lift.

Except sometimes it does, and I have an enormous peace fill my being.  I know deep down that I can trust God.



A woman who rents another suite at our clinic shared a story with me today. Her grandfather was a wise man. To paraphrase, he told her that life moves along like a steady wave, up, down, up, down.   Sometimes, we hit junctures where the road forks, and a decision is upon us. Go left, or go right? Take the easy way out, or head into the seemingly more difficult path?

He told his then 10 or 11 year old granddaughter to take the more difficult path.

I've often considered the path that seems to offer up the greatest flow to be a sign that it was the right choice, whatever that 'it' was.  Yet I can understand the wisdom in taking the more difficult path instead.

According to our neighbor's grandfather, if you take the easy road, you often end up astray, far from your original path.  The difficult choice helps you stay on the path, even if that is not immediately clear.  You end up learning  more about what you are made of.

We experience challenges to help us grow.  While we are wired to avoid pain and discomfort, and seek pleasure, we have to override our mental parts that will try to get us to take the easy way out.

Adversity is what builds character, fortitude, and mental/emotional strength.  Our mind wants one thing, yet our Soul may want something entirely different.  And it's the ego that interprets everything as 'good' or 'bad' or 'easy' or 'difficult.'

Reading the passage this morning renewed my hope and faith, and willingness to travel blind. Take the risks, even if I can't fathom what to do beyond this very moment. To make things a little better, I packed up a box I will send to my Mom's place, filled with some Christmas lights and little ornaments I didn't use in our apartment. Why not make an effort to brighten up her condo with a little Christmas cheer? I also packed the One Year Bible, as it is bulky to carry. This way, I can keep reading while also being of service for my Mom.

As for being in my old neighborhood, as already mentioned, I whole heartedly believe our  true sense of security is faith in God. God is my shield.  In retrospect, I know God sent His angels to help me on more than one occasion. Once in particular when I awoke out of a trance, in the wrong lane, behind the wheel of a car, and a truck coming at me.  I still to this day have no idea how I managed to avoid a head on collision.  Some otherworldly force saved my life.



Here is more from the December 9th Jesus Calling reading:

Let Me lead you step by step through this day. If your primary focus is on Me, you can walk along perilous paths without being afraid. Eventually, you will learn to relax and enjoy the adventure of our journey together.  As long as you stay close to Me, My sovereign Presence protects you wherever you go.

Care to share your own insights? Ways you trusted God, and life turned out better than you imagined? I'd love to hear from you!

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