if you want a lot of different things, you’ll have a lot of change.

For many months now, God has been asking what I want. For many months, I have wrestled with the answer. Really, I always have wrestled with that answer . . . as long as I can remember. As long as I have been aware of having desires at all. What I most want is to honor God and do the Right Thing with my life. I delight to do His will and I want to be soft clay to work with. And. I have been incredibly preoccupied with the process . . . I have wanted mistake-less perfection and I have wanted to be exempted from ‘having to’ walk by faith.

For too much of my life, I have carried fear of wanting the wrong thing; often living out of alignment with what my heart actually desires and too arrogant to own whatever it is I want. It is true that not everything my heart comes up with is good and holy; it is true that my flesh is never going to get with the program and does in fact need to be crucified.

And. It is true that God delights to give me the desires of my heart. But He will not force me to have them. They must be received by faith. Which means that they must be identified and acknowledged. I must ask Him for them.

I have not known myself as well as I thought. I realized a few weeks ago that several of the major things that have recently been clarified in my heart are actually things that God showed me 12 years ago. And I didn’t want to see them . . . I didn’t want them to be true or was otherwise too intimidated and insecure to pursue them. It’s been a grand and surprisingly settling irony. In frustrated moments I had wondered why God wouldn’t tell me all the things. As it turns out, what He did reveal to me was evidently more than what my heart was open enough to really receive . . . how merciful He’s been to me in my detours.

A life locked in time is strange that way . . . that such seemingly small sophomore-in-college decisions could have such great impact on the ensuing ten years. And God knew all along that this would be the season that I begin to walk into what I used to be so averse to.

What I have not understood is that desire is a matter of faith. Having faith enough in God to trust Him with the deepest part of you; to trust His refining process; to trust Him to redirect and ultimately deliver. Rather than hiding from Him what is most dear to us and trying to circumvent His love to get it.

So anyways, I’m thankful now that God didn’t let me get settled in what wasn’t my ultimate destination . . . I’m so thankful He withstood the tension I created in our relationship by withholding what my heart desired over time . . . for pride and fear of making mistakes, and for not believing that He’d give it to me . . . for believing instead: what difference does it make, anyway?

I must stop trying to impress Him somehow . . . thinking that I’ll ever be an ‘equal’ in our relationship. What God wants from me is the humility and faith to tell Him that I want to open a coffee shop on Neptune and have a zoo full of octopuses on Earth when I grow up. Whatever correction and refinement I need He will minster to me without upbraiding or humiliation.

In the past ten years since graduating from Carolina, I have gotten to be a nanny and work at a t-shirt printing start up and manage a private holistic health practice and work in Commercial Real Estate in SOMA, San Francisco and help plant five churches in two different countries and learn to play guitar through writing music and bless other people just by singing.

And now I get to live out my dreams of being a barista at a cozy, adventure-fueling coffee shop . . . I mean, I’m mostly shoving a credit card stick out the drive through window and have made a total of maybe three drinks, but it counts, ha.

How small of me to not consider that a life of varied experiences would be subject to mini-seasons. God has given me far more of my heart’s kind of random that-would-be-fun desires than I have given Him glory for.

As the Lord was working in my heart over the summer, Such A Simple Thing by Ray Lamontagne was an analgesic. It shuffled through my playlist as I drove west on I-85 to experience Lake Norman and it made the cut of covers for my dozen Songtober uploads in the fall.

I am simultaneously maturing enough to recognize the process of developing desires, and to see that I probably don’t know myself as well now as I think I do, even as I can look back and see that I didn’t know myself as well Then as I thought I did. My desires are held more loosely and so is my pride. I am truly learning to enjoy the process, and not demand flawlessness from it as I am being perfected in the love of God.

And what my heart wants has since been refined . . . what I want is to not be lured back into the pride of life when I’m on the other side of the Caribou drive-thru with fun nails and aviators and a #LakeLife Jeep that gets who knows how few miles to the gallon and takes 12 seconds to accelerate from a green light, ha.

take heart,


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