Ok, this is gonna sound crazy-but growing up, I had a few reoccurring nightmares, all of which I still vividly remember. In one of the dreams, I was in what looked like a hospital, walking up and down the halls. I go into a room and see an extremely old man in the bed sleeping. I go to the side of the bed and peer at the old man when suddenly, his eyes pop open, he looks at me, and he starts laughing…not in a funny way but in a “I’ve got an axe underneath my pillow and I’m thinking about tiny kittens” weird sort of way. I would freak out, run away, and wake up in a panic.
I tell you this so you understand when I tell you that super old people kinda weird me out. Not ones that I know, of course, but just in general, yes, extremely old people just make me nervous–which is why when I went to Kroger this morning, I kept a careful eye on the old, angry looking woman who was murmuring to herself while pushing her empty cart down the frozen aisle. Unfortunately, she was standing in front of the door I needed to open so I just kinda stood there, waiting. A few second later, another lady who could have been this lady’s OLDER sister, came by. Their conversation went something like this:
Old lady #2: I know, how are you?
Old lady #1: Good, but I’m so mad I could spit.
Old lady #2: Why, what’s wrong?
Old lady #1: Well, the way they’ve moved everything around in this store, I just can’t find a thing. I get so mad every time I come in here, I think I’m just gonna find a new grocery store.
Old lady #2: Oh, I know it. I couldn’t find the baking soda last week and had to ask one of those boys that barely speak English where it was and of course, he didn’t know. Maybe I’ll just find a new store too.
Old lady #1: Well, you just let me know if you find a place.
Old lady #2: Oh, I will. I [turns as she suddenly saw me standing there]–honey, do you need in here?
Me: Yes ma’am–thank you. [grab my Annie’s burrito and quickly walk away]
Driving home, I couldn’t stop thinking about those ladies–not because they were creepy (they were only a little) but because of their conversation and how mad they were because the Kroger peeps had rearranged their stuff. This is “my Kroger” too, and I admit, at first I couldn’t find my way around easily either. However, once I realized what they had done, I realized it was much better and made more sense.
Most people say that life is full of change but in reality, it’s not really. I mean, sure, things change, seasons change, relationships change but for most people, life is relatively the same. Millions of people live in the same place working the same job for most of their lives. Nothing wrong with that if that’s what they like. However, with most young adults and people following Jesus, they aren’t satisfied with mediocrity and want something “more.” But really, what does that even mean? What does it mean and what does it look like to step beyond the status quo to embrace the extravagant life He has for us?
I suppose it looks different for every person but one thing I know, to get there you have be prepared to get wacked (attacked by the enemy), wrecked (completely in love with Jesus), and exhausted (with the ups, downs, ins, & outs of transition). To hear the promises of God over your life is one thing but to actually believe it, reach it, and maintain it is another–and truthfully, most probably don’t want to pay the cost.
I don’t know which is harder–actually stepping out in faith to begin walking in the promise or having the strength, endurance, and sensitivity to maintain it.
So often we think that when things get rough or ugly that we’re off track or it’s a “sign” from God to turn around…but let’s be careful not to forget the language of God. His voice is firm yet he speaks through love, peace, and kindness. He’s not in the business of giving us punishments or sicknesses. It’s his desire to see his kids–US–flourish!
A few years ago, God me a picture of myself standing in front of what appeared to be a giant wall. I stood in front of it, helpless & self-defeated. Then I heard the Lord say–Mallory, often when you are facing something, you think it’s a wall trying to stop you from moving ahead when in actuality, it’s a door that is going to be used to take you from where you are to where you’re supposed to be.
I think about this all the time when I feel frustrated and confused about whatever situation I am facing. What the enemy might use to distract you, God can and will use as a platform to move you from where you are to where you are going. We just have to keep moving, keep believing, and keep standing on the goodness of God. Soon enough, we’ll look back on that ugly, messy time of transition and understand that what we were so quick to pass through was actually bringing us to where we are.
So, next time you’re at the grocery store, annoyed because they’ve moved “your” brand of milk, chill out. Rest. Keep moving. Rest. Ask for help. And next time you get angry at God because you think he’s messed up, forgotten you, or feeding you to the wolves, chill out. Rest. Keep moving. Rest. Ask for help. Know that He is good, His promises are true, and soon enough, you’ll understand.