In Between the What and How. . .


The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands. Psalm 138:8

It is often helpful to know the key players in any story.  Knowing who they are and what their part is in the unfolding tale gives you insight to the direction it might go.  Not knowing who they are leaves you in the dark, so to speak.  We all are apart of story.  Our lives take different turns at various events.  The turns are usually a result of a choice we have made.  Or a choice made for us.  When looking back we sometimes wonder which choice changed our life the most. Was it the one we made impulsively or the one we agonized over?  Was it fate taken out of our hands or perhaps God’s will that purposed our path? I have spent time on both thoughts.

Something that might change that particular thought is when someone comes along and gives you a different perspective on a choice you made at one time or another.  What you thought for years to be one way was in actuality a completely different way.  They say, “Don’t you remember blah, blah, blah….” and you say, “Is that really how blah, blah, blah….”  The conversation at that point, in and of itself becomes somewhat life changing, it becomes a revelation.  I can not tell you how many times during these past five years that I have reflected upon the decisions I made from one circumstance to another.  Where did I go wrong, where did I go right, what does it matter, I am still standing here, right?  

I have been seeking God’s vision for my life, as I have mentioned.  The book that I am reading has helped me so much in recognizing the difference between good ideas and good visions.  I want so badly to find God’s vision, not mine.  The problem I am having at the moment is understanding exactly what He, God, has placed in my heart.  Are these notions that I am listing wishes or are they truly seeds of desire that God himself has placed there.  He says in His Word, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4  I have always believed that by delighting (seeking to please Him) yourself in the Lord He gives you the desires first and then they become yours because you love Him.  You love Him so much you want what He wants for you. 

As I read back over the list that I spent some time writing it basically came down to four simple things..  To be loved by a good man.  To be a good mother.  To be a godly wife.  To be given the opportunity to serve others in full time ministry.  I am not sure why I seem to keep listing those particular things.  It is what’s in my heart.  My passion.  When I dream, I dream of those things…however the picture in my mind does not always add up to reality.  You ever see a television show where they show the character daydreaming and then suddenly they are startled back to reality.  Thinking Yeah, life, it is what it is!!  

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

I almost feel as if I need to start over from scratch with those things.  I mean do I really need a man?  Some have told me that I need to not need a man, to be a strong, confident, independent, single woman. Ok, but…what about my desire, ignore it?  To be a good mother is relative I think, to some extent, on my best day I believe I am a good mother.  But then there are days that my best effort falls far short.  Godly wife??? What does that matter now…I am not married and so far God has not given me a vision of ever being married again.  So why is that still in my heart.  Lord, just remove that one please???? And that leaves full time ministry. Of all the the items on the list this one seems to be the one that I am kind of ambivalent about.  I guess because I have absolutely no idea what I would do full time. 

Yesterday was somewhat discouraging on many levels. Mostly internal.  One thought after another as to why I can’t seem to line all this up.  Why I can’t seem to connect with God on exactly what is that He wants for me from this day forward.  The author of the book made a statement that really kind of stopped me in my tracks.  Well he said several things (it was all in one chapter). First he said, “Many visions die in the time between what and how.”  Meaning we may know what God is placing in our hearts but we don’t know how He will accomplish it. (and it will always be something impossible, only something God could do)  So in waiting on the how, if we can’t see it, we quit or give up.  He says further that what ‘‘God originates, He orchestrates.” Our job is to stay focused on the vision.  Focused on God. And He will work the “how” out for us. 

The statement that stopped me was “Staying focused on God keeps us God focused.  The vision is a reminder of our dependency.  We remain aware that if God doesn’t do something, there is no going forward.  For that reason, people with vision live with a sense of expectancy.  They look for God to do something. they live by faith in the truest sense of the word.  That is, they are living as if God is going to do what they believe he has promised to do.”  That whole statement makes sense to me because I have indeed experienced that.  When God has shown me something that will come true in my life, I have lived and walked with confidence that it is done.  And it was.  So this is where the trouble lies, I am not so sure that those are the things He wants me focused on. Where does He fit in within those things listed?  Of what eternal consequence do they have? Therefore are they of Him?

I started this conversation about our life story and choices.  We are the main character and we have had many others come in and out of our lives playing parts, contributing to our story.  As we go through different seasons in our lives the characters change, the location changes and even the direction of our story changes.  We can look back on those with regret or embrace each and every moment we lived out.  Every word is written and can not be changed.  But what I think God might be showing me is the list that I wrote were the things I went after on my own, getting ahead of God, instead of waiting on Him to give them to me. Those were the things that drove me in the past. 

If I had waited on Him the blessings I would be enjoying now would be far different from the circumstances I have experienced.  Do not misunderstand me. I love God and I truly know that He loves me, of that I have no doubt.  Maybe the things I listed are still in my heart because He wants me to have the desires of my heart on His terms, in His time.  Being a mother has been the greatest challenge and joy of my life.  I loved being a wife as apposed to being single.   The opportunity to serve others is full time because it is apart of who I am in Christ.  The question is how do I bring these passions to the present?  How do I find the vision for them in my future?  Or perhaps the better question is how does God want to use these passions in my future?

Several circumstances have triggered this discussion between God and I.  The book I am reading, visiting with some old friends from many, many years ago and frustration with the feelings that keep cropping up when I pray about these things to the Lord.  Admittedly, I am afraid to be brutally honest here, and tell you what they are, probably because I am afraid of saying them out loud.  To do so would make them more than they are.  They are only words, words that Satan, I am sure is wanting me to take to heart.  To believe. And I refuse to give in to that.

The characters in my story do have a significant role in why I am writing this post now.  Each and everyone at some point played a part in how I remember the turning points of my life.  I realize now that I am who I am today because of them.  The things that I write on my list are the things that God placed into my heart so many years ago.  He wants to be the one to work them into my life.  Ultimately it is about Him and His purpose through my life.  I believe that He was preparing me from that day to this to receive what He intended for me from the very beginning.  All I have to do is be faithful and wait.  And of course pray!

But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Exodus 9:16


8 thoughts on “In Between the What and How. . .

  1. I\’ve been amazed at the meriad of choices which are out there in life. Somehow I find that they all lead me back to the same place. My life has ever gravitated toward ministry and even when I found my wife and we had kids we all found ourselves pulled into ministry. Times come when it\’s tough and it seems we just can\’t go on as we are then still we come back to this. I can only believe that this is indeed God\’s purpose for our lives. Timing may come into question but still the core is the same. I think that verse on the end there says it all. No matter what we will see the name and power of the Lord proclaimed in all the earth…no matter how that plays out in our life it\’s going to happen one way or another.

  2. hi shell, relate to some of your blog, as I normally do. seems the lord is stirring us all up for some reason and we must try not to let satan capitalise on it. many thoughts are going round in my head at moment, dont know quite how to put them into words – one of the main parts of my prayers is also help me to be a good mother, a good grandmother, to make wise decisions, to be led by the light of christ and the wisdom from the holy spirit – to be used to minister in whatever way god chooses for as long as he leaves me on this earth. but guess too often "I" get in the way of His plans. take care and god bless – its a journey we travel together with many pitfalls on the way, thankfully our saviour is there to pick us up, dust us down and put us back on our feet. – nita.

  3. I can really relate to a goodly part of your blog. I felt it deeply as I read it through. We, you and I (and many other Godly women) have similar thoughts and thought processes as we live and try to learn what is expected of us by the Holy Spirit who lives within. You have expressed the the thoughts well and I thank you for that.

  4. Hi Shelly.I loved your post! Sometimes I think we love to have the problem solved "now",and that is not God\’s way,He wants us to wait on Him.It\’s wonderfull to have these desires,don\’t give up on them,He will make it clear to you.Just be patient ,and that seems to be the hardest thing for me.I like results and God does it in His time when He says we are ready,not when we think we\’re ready.Hugs Margaret

  5. Hey Shell…You know Blah Blah Blah…too. Wink!Seriously, those of us who can relate know that all we can do is make the best of this day. Then starts tomorrow. As you know I have been in study with Abraham’s soap opera. A lot of time transpires, many years, before God’s promises come to pass. So…We keep the faith, hold our heads up, and take another step forward. I don’t share too much personally. But believe me when I say I understand where you are coming from.Peace be with you and your loved ones…Greg

  6. Hi Shell. I loved your blog. I can relate to that too. Its good to know there atre people like you and that you can be much more open about god etc than we are in the UK. Any how keep writing Paul x x

  7. It is lovely to find people who can be so open and honest about their feelings for God. I wish we were allowed to be more open here in the UK without being threatened. I was brought up a Christian and I was christened when I was just short of 4 months old. In 2004 I became a uniformed member of the Salvation Army. They had supported me through the trials and tribulatios that I had with my son when he was diagnosed with Autism. My previous church threw him out of the creche as they could not cope with his challenging behaviour, he was three at the time! He has now entered adulthood and we have both learnt how best to live with his condition. He has turned out to be a wonderful person and is now looking forward to starting at University later this year. God Bless. Debs

  8. Shell, This is a great blog.Guess and also know that we just have to trust God… To know what he is doing and it is the best for us. Thank you so much for your visit and all your support. You are a blessing to me my friend. Wishing you and your family… Health, love,Peace and joy. Take care.

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