Back in 2012, I started my own business. Like any new entrepreneur, I dreamed of working from anywhere I wanted, having a flexible schedule, and making more money. What I got instead was tense arguments in a lawyer’s office, working late nights and weekends, and not making enough money to pay myself.
The stress was blinding, and I prayed for help. Never one to turn His back on me, God heard me and sent me help—just not in the form I expected.
God didn’t solve my problems for me. Instead, He gave me plenty of practice in solving them myself. He gave me infinite opportunities to practice patience, compassion, and generosity. It’s almost as if He said,
“Your sins got you into this mess. Now, practice virtue to get yourself out.”
So, I got to work. I read books about how to communicate more calmly in difficult situations. I thought long and hard about why money was driving me. I tried to forgive the people who’d wronged me (and succeeded maybe half the time.)
Looking back, it felt like a soul-sucking experience. Some of the scars still haven’t healed. But it was a gift.
Like a stretched muscle that becomes flexible and resistant to injury, I was stretched to my limit and ended up more resistant to sin.
When a friend and I began our prayer group at the beginning of 2016, I had originally scheduled it to be on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm at my house. I quickly chickened out from all the responsibility and moved things around. We began meeting Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm at a friend’s house.
Due to traffic, scheduling, and other unexpected issues, before the fourth week came, I found myself hosting a meeting on a Tuesday, at 6:30 pm, at my house. In so many ways, God has extended the invitation to the group’s members, but I realize now that there was a very particular call for me.
I did not know his plans to have me read and study his word. I only knew that I was opening myself to something new. I didn't know what the result would be. I had not yet grasped the subtle yet terrifying tasks that would achieve the changes that I have so desperately prayed for over the years.
Ironically enough, looking back I realize that could have made this process more difficult. How? I could have resisted the invitation, provided excuses, avoided the calls. As I am sure, I have many times before. Of course, God would have found a way, but I see now how my receptivity influenced the pace of the journey.
When things seem frightening and slightly out of your comfort zone, have a little bit faith that there is a plan. God is always extending an invitation. You need not understand. You need only be open and not resist.
“I don’t understand, God, but I know you do and that is enough.”