I guess I’m supposed to feel far from God right now. At least, the worried glances of my concerned church family and the continued reassurance that “no matter what, God loves” me have me wondering if they know something I don’t know.
Because I don’t feel far from God at all. Sitting here, alone, in the quiet of my new middle-of-no-where apartment, with hands a bit dirty from handling wood for the fire, rain boots muddy from stamping down tire ruts, and a steaming plate of kale stir fry, I feel anything but far from God. I feel like I am precisely where God expected me to be in this moment, on this day. I feel like He’s right here with me, in every new and awakening moment of rustic life lived independently, I feel Him in every contented breath.
I feel far from people. Not all people, of course. In every experience of growth and change, or even in the failures and the falls, there are always people who surprise you with their grace and with the authenticity of their love. There are always people, however, who surprise you in another way completely. I feel far from those people. I feel far from the church, not the people who comprise her, but from the mammoth statue of tradition that “church” implies.
I feel adrift somewhat, though by choice and not chance. I feel as though I’ve kayaked out to sea and have turned to gaze back upon where I was. It’s a moment of decision. Is that really where I want to be? Is that girl who was living on that island really who I am meant to be? It’s surprising how ugly the view is from out here, blemishes not easily picked up upon when you’re in the middle of it all. I guess that makes them too large to see up close. I’m grateful for my vantage point.
I don’t feel far from my destiny, but I do feel the disappointment of people who feel like I am. The murmurings of “we had such hope for her”, “she could have done so much”, “such a waste of talent”. At first I was tempted to agree. Surely I was on the right track to accomplishing great things for God. I’d made the right choices, signed on to the right projects, presented in the right way, I was a shoe in. Only problem was, I was the one making the decisions, choosing the projects, tweaking presentation. I was so busy chasing “my destiny” that I forgot to chase God. I forgot how to chase God.
I respect a people who believe in prophesy. I respect a church who invites a prophet to their pulpit. I’ve lost respect, however, for prophesy chasing. It’s too easy to lose sight of what’s important. A huge prophetic word can change a person in the eyes of the church, and suddenly everyone is on board to get this person with the ‘big calling’ where it is they need to be. The battle cry begins, “we are fighting for your destiny!”
It all feels good for a time.
Except that I am a person and not a destiny. Except that while we’re all busy ushering me toward my destiny, my life is suddenly on a different track than it might have been, than it might be supposed to be. “I’m supposed to preach so I’ll work on my public speaking skills.” “You should read this book about prophetic singing, it’ll teach you what you need to know.”
I don’t want to chase my destiny. I don’t want to spend my life following a (or every) prophetic word. It’s not that I’m unwilling or disinterested, it’s just that, well, it’s my destiny, right? I imagine just living life is what’s going to get me there. Chasing destiny burnt me out. Living life brings me peace. Besides, a prophet can be wrong. Even more so, a prophet can be misunderstood.
It was said over me once that I would be famous, and “not known about your town kind of famous but known around the world kind of famous”. Oh, now there’s a prophesy worth chasing, right?
Except Anne Frank is famous. Just a girl, living her life, without any idea she was someday going to change the lives of others. World famous.
I’m so grateful for my peace. At whatever cost it comes.