I have a confession to make.
I went to Allume hoping to hear a particular message, hoping that all the sessions I attended and conversations I had would whisper the same theme and that it would be very apparent that God was speaking to me.
The message I wanted to hear? That it was time to quit.
It’s just plain hard work balancing an online presence with an in-real life presence.
I was getting a bit weary of the struggle and had a whole list of reasons why I should and could quit…
- My kids were getting older—beyond nap stage, into the schooling years, and needed more of Mommy, more of the time.
- Many of the relationships that I’d formed online had matured into an in real life community, and I no longer needed my virtual community to help me from feeling isolated.
- And finally, I couldn’t seem to just write and blog without getting sucked into the addictive and pseudo-productive realm of social media.
Deep down it was that last one that was the kicker. That’s my biggest struggle online—trying to maintain any level of social media presence without slipping down that slippery slope to mindless trolling of fb and twitter feeds and wasting yet another hour I could have spent reading, writing, or connecting with IRL relationships.
So, being the extreme, black and white, knee-jerk kind of person I am, I wanted to just quit it all. BUT, in the last year, due to the gentle insight of my friends, (particularly Gretchen and September—thank you!) I have become aware of my tendency to make extreme, knee jerk decisions, and, in some ways, am learning to temper that tendancy. So, I waited to take the leap till after Allume, planning to go to all the sessions and talk to all the people I thought would best support my escape plan.
Funny thing was, even though I keyed into Sally’s session (because she always reminds me that my family should be first), and hung out with Laura Booz (who quit her blog last year just as I was imagining doing), and related oh-so-well to Sarah Mae’s story of having her heart turned toward her children above other dreams…
The Lord didn’t tell me to quit.
See, I wanted to make a rule– “No more blogging.”–figuring that would be the solution to my little problem sin. But God, see, He doesn’t want to force us onto the right path with a bunch of fences, He wants us to be guided by His voice.
He didn’t give Abraham a map, He gave him a relationship.
The clearest message I received at Allume came from Ann Voskamp the final evening, when she talked about staying where we can hear the Father’s voice.
She shared the story of her daughter, Hope, asking her daddy to build a fence so she felt protected from the danger of the nearby pond. The Farmer replied that she didn’t need a fence if she would simply choose to stay where she could hear his voice.
Oh, sisters! Such a thrill went through me when I realized application this story had to my life!
And in the hours, days, and now weeks since God spoke to me through Ann’s words, He’s been trying to get me to believe that He really does care—and have a solution—for even the smallest of details and problems I face.
- That He is there, with a guiding whisper, if I will hear it, when my fingers stray to play in a virtual world when my heart needs to be focused in the life to be lived outside of the computer.
- He is there, with encouraging whispers, if I will hear, when I feel insecure and inadequate about the words He calls me to write.
- He is there, with whispered wisdom, if I will listen, when I sit down to write and can’t find the words.
And ever since I committed to listen to the whispers, His voice has been growing louder and clearer, till I’d have to be deaf not to hear. And His words to me for this blog? To continue to write, continue to meet with you here for another season, and continue to find that sweet spot, that place of rest He has in store for those who let His whispers guide their every move and decision.
Not only has He called me to continue to meet you here, but He has also told me it is time to write-gulp!- another book…which I hope I have the guts to tell you about tomorrow!
Has He been whispering to you lately? Have you ever taken a step of faith to obey a whisper, and suddenly His voice was louder than ever? What has He said to you this month?