It made me think about an analogy I heard in a recent sermon describing a rocket. As rockets shoot into the sky, parts of the rocket fall off in the process. Not all of the rocket can make it to space. The pastor compared the rocket to us, describing how not everything can go with you to your next destination.
This is how God speaks to me. Sometimes, he’s direct. But often, it’s through breadcrumbs threaded through my path. He’s gently guiding me, providing more of the picture with each passing day.
My gut instinct has always been strong. It’s also easy for me to read the room. If my Dad calls me, I can tell by his breath if he’s about to deliver bad news. Sometimes if I think of a friend I haven’t heard from in a while, they call or text me the same day. If one of my best friends walks into meet me for lunch, I can usually tell if they’re having a bad day or not before they even speak. On a first date, I usually know within the first 30 minutes if I connect enough with a guy for a second date, which kinda sucks for them. I know myself. And it’s not hard for me to read others.
But in the winding path of life, it can be hard to determine the difference between my gut and God’s direction for my life. What is he trying to say to me? Where is he guiding me? Sometimes my gut and God’s will align perfectly. I imagine it like a painter working with an assistant. All the strokes within the painting come out clearly. The painting is perfect. Other times, I veer off what God sees for my life and in turn I become more confused and the painting becomes a mixture of colors and looks murky.
So, when I saw the leftover markings of the plane and thought about the rocket, I wondered was God speaking to me? Also, was I becoming one of those weird people who look for literal signs in the sky? I kept driving and ignored it.
There are only a few weeks left of the year. And when that happens, we all can’t help but reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. With each year, God has taken me further and further out of my comfort zone. There have been greater levels of faith and trust required with each season. Quitting my job, finishing a book, starting a book festival, teaching college students, caring for a mom with Alzheimer’s. A mixture of long held dreams and trials have required new levels of obedience.
And with new levels of faith and trust, has also come the shedding. I’ve had to let go of parts of myself in order to receive the dreams I have now. I’ve also had to let go of control and live surrendered during the days that don’t make sense. It’s hard to surrender to a God that I can’t see. To a voice I can’t always hear clearly.
Later that same Sunday, I walked around Eastern Glades. The sky was still disarmingly clear. I admired all the families, enjoying the weather. Some were having Christmas photos taken, others were walking their dogs or having picnics in the grass. I looked up in the sky and spotted the same trail of white dust painted that I saw earlier on 610. I couldn’t help but smile.
That day served as a reminder: God is taking me higher, helping me achieve even greater dreams than I could’ve ever imagined for myself. I know in this next season, there will be more leaps of faith required. More steps of obedience. And just like the plane trail markings I saw at Eastern Glades, and the rocket, I know as I soar higher into my purpose, I’ll have to release even more. But in Scripture, there’s promises laid out for me that make it easier for me to trust. In Psalm 23, God promises that even in dark valleys he will never leave me. That he will renew my strength and guide me along paths that bring honor to his name. That my cup overflows with blessings.
And the best yet: that surely his goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
So, what is God calling you to release so you can be everything he's purposed for you to be?