Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Breaking the Bank: Walking in God's Purpose

As I sat down to write, I decided to consult my running list of “dreams and revelations” that I keep on my phone for inspiration.  Whenever the Holy Spirit speaks to me throughout the day or I have Godly dreams during the night, I try my best to write them down immediately.  As I scrolled, I came across a childhood memory that the Holy Spirit prompted me to record a while ago.  It was one of those ordinary, dull moments in my childhood that, for some unknown reason, I never forgot.

One Sunday morning around the age of six, I was sitting in the pew at church like I did every Sunday.  I remember a lady turning to my mother and me to vent her frustration, and pulling out a bronze-colored piggy bank and a ziplock bag.  She told us that she had gotten the piggy bank from Africa, and it was very special to her.  Over the years, she had put several coins into it, and now it was filled to capacity.  She wanted the money out of the piggy bank, but it was just so beautiful and sentimental that she couldn’t bear the thought of smashing it to get the coins out.  I even remember her asking me if I could possibly extract some of the money by using my tiny fingers to pull some coins out of the slit at the top.  That’s it – a seemingly insignificant memory that just stuck with me all these years.

Before I get to the significance of the memory as revealed by the Holy Spirit, let me tell you what I understood about the situation even as a child.  The piggy bank was nice, true enough, but if she wanted the money inside, she had no choice but to break it.  She obviously needed the money (why else would she bring it to church to ask random children to try to get it out?), and what was the use of letting the piggy bank collect dust and hold her money captive just to have something nice to look at?  Didn’t she know when she bought it that the whole purpose of the piggy bank was to break it someday and spend the money inside?

Suddenly as I was reading, I understood why I remembered this experience for so many years and why the Holy Spirit prompted me to write it down.  There is an invaluable lesson embedded in this simple experience - one that God has been trying to impress upon me for months now, but I have ignored it.  That lesson is this: sometimes, in order for God to take us to the next level, we have to abandon what we think we love.  Sometimes when you ask God to “order your steps,” fear prevents you from following those orders when you realize that there is great sacrifice involved that you hadn’t bargained for.  That lady knew she needed some money, and she knew where to get it, but she was so attached to her piggy bank that she was trying to think of any other way to get the money out to avoid breaking the bank.  In the same way, sometimes God tells us to do something with our lives or our careers, and we KNOW that his vision is best, but we don’t want to give up what we have or face any risks to follow his plan for our lives.  Example: why do we expect to open a business when we are too busy making moves for a “safety” career that we know is not in God’s plan for our lives? (I’m not sure who that last sentence was for, but I feel like it’s exactly what somebody needs to hear!)

I’ll have you know that every successful man or woman after God’s own heart that I have ever known has a story that involves a huge sacrifice that was necessary in order to step into the true calling of God.  We know that his word says that he has a purpose for our lives, and that he will reveal his purpose to us as we seek him.  It’s up to us to stand up and walk in that purpose.  It is so easy to become complacent individuals who would rather dwell in the land of “good enough” than take an uncomfortable risk in order to live a BLESSED life.  I believe that it breaks the father’s heart to see his children live a life of mediocrity when he predestined us for greatness. 

To end, I have a confession.  God has given me a vision to write a novel.  It’s adventure, love, and God all wrapped into one, and it’s something that has never been done before!  (Trust me, I’ve researched lol).  I’m constantly meditating on characterization and plot twists, and I have never been as fulfilled as I am when writing this book.  (I know, I know, I’m a complete nerd.  Moving on!)  The problem is, honestly, I’m scared.  First off, the whole English-teacher-turned-author story just seems too good to be true.  Second, so many people have ceased to read novels these days, so what are the odds of becoming the next Suzanne Collins?  Lastly, I have spent years building this pretty little piggy bank of the teacher/wife/mother, and I am afraid to invest so much of my time and passion into something that makes me face my biggest fear: rejection.  On the other hand, what if it does really well? Will I one day have to make the grown-up decision of pursuing a writing career full time?  If so, why does that decision scare me so much?! 

Clearly, I still have a lot to think through and pray about on this issue.  I know that I am supposed to do it because God sent it to me in a dream and confirmed it through prophesy. I had to write this blog for me, and I hope that I blessed someone else in the process as well.  I know I have to break the bank, but I just need the confidence to swing the hammer!

Food For Thought:

Psalm 138:8 - The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands

Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Have an issue/idea that you would like to see in a future blog?  Email me at whitney.p.gordon@cobbk12.org!  It’s confidential!

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