Hey everyone! My name is Erica and I'm excited to be part of this team. Soon we hope to again be regularly engaging with you, our Bridge community, so stay tuned for updates! Until then, here's a little something from my personal blog that I thought I'd share with you.
I was avoiding Him, and we both knew it. Oh, I wrote it off as, I’m just too busy, I’ve had a lot going on, I just moved, I’m adjusting to the time change…..etc, etc, etc. But two weeks of almost forced stillness brought those excuses crashing down. I couldn’t sit any longer drinking in the stillness and beauty before me and not face it. Each night as I watched the sun sink behind the tall mountains and big pine trees, while setting the clear lake before me in to shimmering shades of oranges, yellows, and reds I realized I had plenty of space, plenty of time, and plenty of quiet to talk to Him.
You see, the ink had stopped flowing to the pages of my journals for a while now, and we both knew that was my way of avoiding, a silent treatment of sorts. But let’s be real, who am I to give God the silent treatment? I was making my own situation worse, cutting myself off from peace, comfort, and truth, even if I was frustrated. I had a plan for how things would turn out this year and many of those have fallen through the cracks it seems. I thought I knew what was best, I thought I knew all the directions God was going, but no surprise, I was wrong….again, and again, and again.
And the more and more things went opposite of my plan, the less and less my pen wrote. Middle of summer, I finished a journal I’d been writing in for a while, and then my silence and avoidance really set in. Why start another one when I didn’t know what to say, or ask, or do, or plan? Wouldn’t it just be easier and better to not write so that I didn’t have to see the questions, the uncertainties, the missteps? But this morning God tapped me on the shoulder, asked for an hour of my time, and asked me to crack open that new journal. So, as I sat in the morning light, watching the new day come to the lake out my window, I grabbed the new journal, and old pen, and started to open the lines of communication again.
Was it all neatly packaged and tied with a bow? No way. It was honest though. I gave God every reason I could think of why I didn’t want to start that journal, but I also gave Him the reason I did want to start it. I wanted to return. I wanted to refocus on just Him. You see, I’d pulled the fleece over my eyes for a while, telling myself I was spending time with God and growing. Yet, the majority of my times spent with God for months were focused on everything but God. It was focused on praying for next steps, asking for answers, or informing God what I thought needed to happen. I’d read some passage or some devotion to say I’d connected, but it wasn’t hitting me as I needed and wanted it to because I was too distracted by my agenda.
All of that was precisely why I was avoiding. I knew two things: I didn’t understand a lot of what God was doing and I had let my focus shift away from Jesus. Both rubbed against my pride, so I didn’t want to deal with it. I wanted to keep believing that I was doing my part, and that the discontent I was feeling was not my fault. So, God took me to a place He knew would simultaneously get my comfortable and exceedingly uncomfortable. I’ve heard and seen God in this place, and the beauty of the environment draws my mind to Him, I am comfortable. Yet, the pervasive stillness of the past two weeks made me more and more uncomfortable as He showed me my avoidance.
For those who are wondering, I’m no longer an east coast girl. I’ve traded my Prius for an old Subaru outback and I hit the road west. For now, I call Camp MiVoden home and drink in every moment in this beautiful place that I get. I’m on a year journey of learning and growing as an intern in the youth and young adult department of the Upper Columbia Conference, and the stillness of the past two weeks will quickly disappear into busyness. Is it where I thought I would be when I graduated? No. Is it where I want to be and where I’ve felt God lead me? Yes. My life is never boring with God, it just happens to take twists and turns I seldom expect, and always keeps me grasping for His hand to steady me.
Maybe you can relate to my avoidance, maybe you can’t, but I can assure you that if you give God the space, He will show you things. He’s always on board to talk, and I’m discovering that we are the ones who are generally not on board if it’s not on the terms we had decided on. Join me in tearing apart our boxes again, and again, and again. I have found that when I think I have let God out of the box I’d created, I’ve really just let Him into a slightly bigger one, but it has walls just the same. It has limitations and expectations that I don’t see until I run smack dab into them and God asks me to let those fall too. So, here I am once again, letting you see my messy faith walk, and letting you know that it’s ok. Real is messy, but God wants us to take every part of that mess straight to Him. But if we won’t, He’ll still be there, waiting for us to see that it’d be so much better if we would. Just beware, God may take you somewhere to get equal parts comfortable and uncomfortable so that you reawaken to your need of and desire for more of Him. Not more of His answers, just more of Him.