Where He Leads, I Will Follow

A few weeks ago I began an on-line Bible study on the book of Joshua written by none other than His Girl. It’s done mostly through a closed group on Facebook, but some of the hikers put it all out there on their blogs. I may be a slow hiker, but eventually I catch up. 

After we read a chapter of Joshua (week 3/chapter 3) His Girl asks us questions that make us really think.  I liked the questions this week because they ask something that I don’t struggle with as much as I do other areas. But make no mistake – I am human and I mess this stuff up ALL.THE.TIME.

With that said, here are my answers…

Question: Are there some areas in your life in which you allow God to lead more than others?

I’m great at giving God the big stuff. I mean, the really big stuff. Todd’s looking for a new job? No problem. You handle it, God. Taylor’s going off to college? Pfft! God’s got it covered. I have a malignant lump in my breast? No worries. The big guy’s in control.

But the little stuff? It’s that seemingly insignificant stuff I have a hard time giving to God. I think I’m too polite. I just don’t want to bother him with something that isn’t so important.

I recently experienced a situation where I was told something I didn’t want to hear. I had been praying hard about this conversation, even having others pray on my behalf, and felt certain God was leading me in a particular direction. I gladly followed because it was a place I really wanted to go. But when the conversation finally took place I was forced to look at the whole scene in an entirely different way. I was disappointed. And yet I was also pleased I had covered this meeting in prayer and was “on God’s page”. The other person pointed out perspectives and scenarios I had not thought of and the more he talked, the more I realized he was right. His perceptions about me were spot on. Thank you, God, that you are in control because this could have turned into a mess! Instead, I allowed God to lead me down a path that is of His making and it’s so much better. Now I have such a peace about the whole thing and will happily continue to follow. God hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

BUT (and this is a big butt, something I know a lot about) when it comes to the little things I don’t want to inconvenience Him. He’s got a lot on his plate, you know, without having to deal with my silly little problems. And yet there’s this blurb about how God provides for a sparrow and if he cares that much for a little bird, how much more does he care for me, blah, blah, blah. So if I allow him to lead me in the big things, why don’t I just follow when the going’s easy? That’s a rhetorical question and it has something to do with being stubborn/lazy/foolish.

Tell of a time you followed God’s lead into an unfamiliar territory 

Six years ago my life was bliss. Happily married; two well-adjusted, healthy children; not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but financially comfortable; folks nearby; cute little house; good neighbors; great friends; spiritually grounded and growing. I don’t believe in a perfect life on earth, but I think my life may have been as close to perfect as it gets.

Todd often came home from meetings and asked what I thought about moving to this or that place and my answer was always, “I don’t.”  But at the end of March, 2005, he came home from a meeting in Chicago and asked what I thought about moving to Philadelphia. Something (a supernatural something) stayed my usual response and instead I said, “Tell me more.”

It honestly didn’t make any sense for us to pull up stakes and move 1200 miles away. Todd and I prayed and prayed about it and so many times I just wanted to say, “no way”, but instead I asked God for his leading. It seemed like every time we turned around God was pointing us toward the East Coast. The more real it became the more frightened I became until I finally ended up in a locked bedroom on my knees, tears streaming down my face and begging God not to make us go. I listed out the very many good reasons for us to stay (just in case he hadn’t thought of them) and waited for a sign or something telling me it had only been a test. Instead, as I cried my heart out to him I was filled with such an overwhelming peace that from that moment forward I knew with a complete certainty he wanted us up here in Pennsylvania.

Our resolve was shaken, however, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks before he was to start his new job. But we trusted God implicitly and made the difficult, but right, decision that Todd would continue up to PA for his job and the kids and I would stay in Arkansas until treatment was over. We lived that way with Todd coming home every other weekend at first and then three weekends in a row with one in PA for an entire year.

We’ve been settled here for nearly five years now and I still don’t know what God’s purpose in all this is. I had really hoped it would be something grand and obvious, but he doesn’t usually work that way. I have seen incredible things in my kids’ lives that may or may not have happened if we had stayed.  Maybe that’s it. Or maybe not. But even if it’s not “the reason”, I truly believe it to be a blessing because of our obedience.

***

And there you have it! Looking forward to the next leg of our hike!!

9 Comments

  1. Stacey Huntington on January 26, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Well, I am eternally grateful that you are here in PA with us. You have and continue to bless so many people around us. I can also think of a handful of chicks who wouldn’t be involved in a Bible Study were it not for you. At the same time, I see a couple of woman in AK who I bet miss not having you there with them, and that makes me sad. I am so proud of you for finding a way to continue to bless us, AK and others around the world through your witty, insightful blog. Love you friend.

  2. CD on January 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Wow. This hit me today like … I’m not sure what to say. I’ve cried a little because how true this is in my own life.

    And it isn’t like I don’t think about it — heart, mind, soul, strength… He wants it ALL… and it is hard to describe to unbelievers or ‘half-believers’ if I were to explain that I prayed over what to eat for dinner each night… Or the millions of tiny decisions we make each day.

    I found your blog from the stats on mine… and just needed to read what your latest post was, I guess. 🙂 And I needed to have a little cry — the good kind of cry, not the other kind.

    Thank You. ♪ ♫

  3. Cyndi Anne on January 27, 2011 at 3:05 am

    Oh My Jenn.. This was awesome.. Once again, I am so glad I decided to allow time for this Bible Study.. (I love being able to sit in my PJ’s) or jammas as Ari says.. I guess I better get some sleep in case my newest granddaughter decides to come tomorrow… (I am praying God will let her bake for a few more days.)
    Love ya..
    Cyndi Anne

  4. Michelle Donovan on January 27, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Jen, I am soooo with you when you say you don’t want to bother God with insignificant things. I think, He has wars going on, what does He want to hear my problems and prayers for. I am glad you are here in PA. I would not be doing this study if it were not for you. The reason for your move to PA could be to make me a better follower and I truly appreciate it!

  5. Betsy G on January 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Jenn,
    You hit the nail on the head when you mention not wanting to bother God with all the small things. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  6. gretchen on January 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Love you. Love your candor and I’m trying to shed the same “I can handle the little things, God; you’re busy” jacket. Doesn’t He grow us through those little things as much as the biggies? Sigh…yeah. He does. It’s inexplicable how He led me to your blog and a friendship and a kinship with you. But He did. And I’m everso grateful for that trail, and that I let Him lead.

  7. whimzie on January 28, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Hi, I’m whimzie. You’re a friend of several friends of mine (which in my mind makes you my friend, too.) I’m in the Green Group of the Backpackers.

    You know what hit me about your faith story? That last paragraph. Where things are tied up neatly and the story line completely resolves like a corny 30-minute sitcom. I love that even though you still aren’t exactly sure why God worked the way he did, you are still sure that you were right to trust Him and you know that you were obedient….and that you’ll be obedient to Him the next time it doesn’t make sense. I think faith seems most like faith when it isn’t easy.

  8. His Girl Amber on January 28, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    the big things ARE easier than the little things, aren’t they? Those everyday ‘minor’ issues plague me too. I can’t imagine how much easier my life would be if I could just learn to give it ALL to God.

    gurl, I love your way with words.

  9. lisa smith on February 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    when it comes to the little things I don’t want to inconvenience Him. He’s got a lot on his plate, you know, without having to deal with my silly little problems. And yet there’s this blurb about how God provides for a sparrow and if he cares that much for a little bird, how much more does he care for me, blah, blah, blah. So if I allow him to lead me in the big things, why don’t I just follow when the going’s easy?

    This is my brain. right here.

    And I’m thinking God wanted you to know just how strong He is in you if you navigated the first year of the cancer that way. Big hugs!! xoxo

Leave a Comment