Blinking Lights on the Dashboard

blinking lights photo

Yesterday was a bad day.  Emotionally. Spiritually. I felt heavy and burdened but I knew I was doing the burdening to myself. My mind was creating pain. So on top of feeling like crap, I felt guilty for feeling that way so I just decided to watch the Housewives of New York City reunion and eat popcorn. I’m pretty sure they call that numbing.

This morning I was up early because I had to take people places and then take my car in to be looked at.  The engine light had been on for weeks, maybe months, and I had been ignoring it.  I just kept driving, turning the music up louder so I couldn’t hear the “ding” of the dashboard as the blinking light warned me of impending doom.

What a metaphor, eh?  I was even numbing the pain of my car.

So, there I was this morning…facing the blinking light.  I took my car into the dealer and waited.  I knew I would be in the waiting room for awhile and realized there were no magazines.  The news was on and I watched for a few minutes but then got bored and depressed and frankly, rather annoyed they were reporting on the Justin Beiber/Orlando Bloom fight that took place while Lindsay Lohan and some others were watching.  I started thinking, “This is news? There are real problems in the world!” And then I realized I need to cut the news people some slack, they are numbing too.  And their audiences are begging to be numbed.  We all need a break from what is actually going on I guess.

Anyway, I have Kindle on my phone and many months ago (maybe a year ago?) I had downloaded, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.  I love Donald Miller.  For some reason, I had never read this book.

God had saved it for today. He knew I needed it. Today.

I had never started the book.  It was just waiting there on my Kindle.  But when I clicked it, it took me to Chapter 18.  Normally I would click back and start at the beginning.  It’s just not like me to start in the middle of a book.  I’m the person who has to finish all books even if I hate them in the first Chapter.  I’m organized with my reading.  I like to go in order and finish what I start, etc.  That’s why this was for sure a God’s timing thing.

I’ve learned that God’s timing things are a gift.  The best kind of gift.  So, I just started reading right there in Chapter 18.

“It is always the simple things that change our lives.  And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen.  Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so.  You feel like running, but life is on a stroll.  This is how God does things.” 

That was the first passage I highlighted.  There is so much more in the book that resonated with me.  I came home and finished the entire book today. I laughed, I cried. I felt understood. You know?

I guess I’m telling you this because I’m better today.  And because I cried in the waiting room at the car repair shop and I feel like that needs to be noted.  I didn’t bawl like a baby but there were some Holy Spirit tears.   There was a part in the book where he was writing about how we all come to a point in life where we have to face ourselves.  He says, “The problem is not out there; the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest.”  I was thinking, “Oh my gosh, you mean I’m not alone in this?  You have a needy beast in you too?”  He was getting at what I was struggling with…What are my motives? Why do I do what I do? Why do the same things keep coming up for me? What is God showing me?

God is doing a work in me.  I think when we decide to follow Him, we let Him speak into our lives and He transforms us.  It’s not immediate and sometimes it’s not fun but if we are open to it, He will use everything and anything to get to our hearts and help us see who we really are and then He will help us to become more like Him.  I mean, He will use anything…books, people, music, radio, internet, nature…even blinking lights on the dashboard.

Isn’t it pretty cool that God gives us what we need when we need it? I guess I was supposed to ignore the blinking light until today.  Because God had something to show me on my Kindle.  And today was the day I was ready to see it.

Timing is everything.

 

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

 

 

When “Yes” Isn’t Easy

image These are some of my Holy Yoga sisters in Humble Warrior…we bow and surrender.  This posture is about being strong and soft…accepting God’s majesty and my need for Him. I love this pose and these people. They remind me of who I am when I forget.

Saying “yes” to God isn’t always easy.

It’s not the same for everyone but my experience has gone something like this: the God of my childhood faith is introduced to me and He is loving and generous and powerful. I say yes to Him but He remains “other”. He is different and therefore I distance Him. He is like a long lost relative that shows up occasionally and I love Him and I know about Him but I don’t know Him. I do know that there is a list of things I “should” do to please Him. Or else.

Then a friend introduces me to Jesus claiming I have to “ask Him into my heart” to get to heaven. This sounds a little scary like, “Wait, I’m not going to heaven?” Then all the “should’s” became louder and a little more confusing.

This sends me off on a quest…I become a seeker…going to every church and reading lots of books and trying to “figure everything out”. It became the central question for me. Who is God and how can I know Him better?

Did you get that? How can I KNOW…I didn’t realize that what I was seeking wasn’t going to be found in me DOING but in just BEING  and inviting God into my life so He can know me.

I had moments of clarity…mountaintop moments…kisses from God.  I experienced His love and grace. I worked to serve Him but I kept Him at a distance. Intellectualized the story of salvation. Fought for Him like an attorney but didn’t live for Him. I squeezed Him into my life. I fit Him in where it wouldn’t make me too uncomfortable.

But all of that has changed. By the merciful grace of God, He has continued to pursue me. He pursues all of us relentlessly because He loves us. He is interested in transforming our hearts.  Jesus has become my friend, my shield, my hope. I have asked Him into my heart but not because I’m afraid of what will happen if I don’t.  I’ve asked Him into my heart and my mind and my soul and every dark and dusty corner of my life because I need him.  He does not need me. I need Him.

When the big questions come up for me now, I turn to Jesus. I pray and I wait. He calms my fears and He shows me the way.

He hems me in on all sides. He goes before me and behind me.

Our lives are like winding roads with lots of different ways we can go. Because of Jesus I no longer fear the missed turn or the dark night or the new road.

Wherever I go there He is.

He takes away my fears and gives me courage to say “yes” even when it isn’t easy.

©2014 Sue Bidstrup Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

It’s a “get to”

I posted this picture on Instagram (@suebidstrup) and Facebook (Great Big YES) yesterday. If you are not following, please do! It’s fun!

image

I have been thinking about this picture and how awesome it is that this person is out there trusting, letting the wind carry him.

We don’t have to kite surf.  I’ve never done it. But that doesn’t mean the wind isn’t blowing.

That guy purposefully got on that board, put the kite up and launched off into an experience he didn’t control but with every expectation that it was going to be good. Fun. Exciting.

He doesn’t have to kite surf.  He “gets to”.

We don’t have to walk with God.  We don’t have to read His Word.  We don’t have to trust the Holy Spirit.  We don’t have to do any of that.  It’s a “get to”.

Regardless of what I do, God is still God.

image I’m so grateful I “get to” be on this ride…trusting in Him.  I am grateful that He is near and He doesn’t hide from me.

I picture Him watching me as I relinquish my perceived control and look up into the sun, open my heart and my hands and with my hair flying in the wind, I answer “Yes, Lord, here I am.”

And together, we ride the waves.

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved