I talk about my sisters on here alot. Well, one of them. Lacey’s name comes up on this blog quite frequently for several reasons. First, because she makes me think. Our daily 9:30am phone conversations usually leads to some serious pondering throughout the rest of the day. So when I post on my blog, usually I’ve got bits of a conversation from that morning swirling through my brain, and it somehow makes its way here. Second, because she has her own blog now (FINALLY) that I can point you to. When she writes something good, you should read it. And the best way to get you to read it is to link to it. Hence her name comes up again. Third, I mention her because she rocks my face off.
(Let me explain why I don’t mention Janie much… It’s not because she’s not brilliant-because she is. It’s not because she doesnt make me think- because she does. It’s not because she doesnt rock my face off- because she does that too. It’s because she has told us before that she doesnt like conversations about her that she’s not privy to. Therefore I try not to mention her without her permission first. But I guess I just did. Oops.)
Anyways. For my consequential cogitation for the day, I want to talk about Lacey. This morning while I was on my way to work, I called her to apolgize for something I had said earlier about someone else.
Me: I shouldnt have said all of that…You always say that we should promote others, and if what we are saying isn’t promoting them, we should just not say it. So I just wanted to apologize for what I said about that person earlier.
Lacey: You DO listen to me! That’s so cool!
Me: Of course I listen to you- I always listen to you.
Lacey: Well that’s kind of scary, because I feel like most of what I say is just nothing. I guess that just means I should be more careful. But it is an honor to think that you listen to it and think about it.
Maybe she should be more careful, because I listen to her alot more than she probably realizes. Probably alot more than she wants me to. But that’s what good little sisters do, right?
As a matter of fact, yesterday she said something that struck me and I thought about it for a long, long time afterwards. I called her to tell her about a guy that called Nate and wants to probably buy one of his houses (woohoo!), but before I was able to get it out of my mouth, she launched into a long spiel about MadCAAP (that happens pretty regularly).
(Now let me tell you on a quick sidenote how proud I am of Lacey and her passion for MadCAAP and the poverty-stricken community of Madison and beyond. Lacey is a pretty passionate person- she gets excited about BIG things and goes absolutely obsessive-crazy about a project when she finds one she likes. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to see her latch onto something like this and be so gung-ho about spreading the Kingdom and the gospel. I love watching people who pour themselves out selflessly for the sake of others. Especially people they dont even know.)
So she’s talking about MadCAAP and about what all she’s going to be doing with them and the new director.
I said "I’m so glad you didnt give up on MadCAAP when you were having trouble getting in touch with people and getting plugged in. When you said that you were thinking about finding another organization to work with, I just prayed that God would open the door for you, but also that you wouldn’t stop trying after a few bumps in the road. I’m glad you stuck with it."
Her response? "Well its starting to kind of fall into place. I was really praying hard about whether or not God wanted me to start the MFT program in the fall [MFT is the marriage/family therapy program at Reformed Theological Seminary] and I just felt like I wasnt getting an answer. I mean, I really REALLY wanted to go. I just kept praying and praying that God would tell me to go if I was supposed to. I didnt even fill out the paperwork or anything, I just decided that I’d do all of that once I got a clear answer. And I never really felt like I got an answer. I mean I didnt get a ‘no,’ but I certainly didnt get an emphatic ‘yes.’ I just started having my plate filled up- I mean I’ve got this MadCAAP stuff happening now, and Alexis, and Satu [the foreign exchange student who is living with her next semester] and the flower ministry at church, and so I have alot of things that I feel like Hewants me to do. I guess that’s my answer."
That’s how she said it. Maybe not word-for-word because I didn’t transcribe our conversation or anything, but that’s pretty much it.
Let me tell you what I heard when she said that:
"I had a huge desire to go to seminary for the mft program, which is a good and commendable desire. I really wanted to go. However, as much as I wanted to go, I was not going to jump the gun and base my decision on my own desires, even if it is one that I know is good. I decided to pray, sit, and wait. If God told me to go, I would. If not, I would see where else he’s going to lead me, and be totally content in the mean time. And as he gave me other things and opportunities, I prayed about those also and felt that they were opportunities from Him. So I acted on them. But I still havent heard an answer about seminary. I still want to go, but I’m going to pour my energy into these opportunities that he’s giving me and directing me towards, because I know they’re from Him. My answer for seminary is to wait. Wait for further guidance, and wait with a happy and content heart. But for now I’m supposed to love Him by doing this."
Okay you might tell me that its a stretch. But that is how I interpretted it. There are way too many times that I have been in the same situation, but have handled it totally differently. Instead of waiting for an emphatic "yes!" before I do something that I feel is good, I just go right ahead and instead tell God to just close the door if he wants me to stop. I’ll say that no answer is the same as "Go right ahead, I’m not stopping you." But it’s not.
No answer is just that. No answer. Which means you’re still waiting for an answer. Which means you keep waiting. Patiently. Joyfully. And with your eyes open for the opportunities that God is going to pour into your lap until He decides that the time is right to give you your answer (which may still be ‘no’).
I tend to jump the gun alot when it comes to God. It’s easy to say that God’s will is going to be done in the end anyway, so it doesnt matter which direction you take now. If he wants to stop you, he will. And that’s true, he will stop you. But the whole point isnt to just DO God’s will. The point is to SEEK God’s will. And if you don’t know, you don’t just go ahead blindly and assume that you’re doing the right thing. You continue to seek.
Lacey might still end up going to seminary for the MFT program, just not yet. It doesnt mean that God didn’t answer her prayer.&n
bsp; It just means that part of the answer to that prayer is this waiting period- there’s something that He wants her to understand before he gives her a yes or a no. And if the whole point of life is go know God better and to glorify Him, then we have to realize that this in-between time is a gift that helps us to that end.
It makes me think alot harder about jumping on something just because the opportunity is there. When I’m seeking God’s will as to whether or not an opportunity is going to glorify Him, I have to remember something. Sometimes the way that God wants you to glorify him is by just continuing to seek. Through Lacey continuing to search out God’s will for her, she has illustrated for me how important the search in itself is. And that’s probably not the only reason why God didn’t give her the emphatic answer she wanted. But it’s one reason, and it’s one that I’m thankful for.
Big sisters are such a blessing. (Little sisters are too! I love both of you!!)