Oh, the ups and downs!

I haven’t known what to say for a while.

I even stopped journaling, because I don’t know what to write in it anymore.

Do I write about the struggles, about the ups and downs?

The frustrations that are inside of me but that I can’t put words to?

Do I write about the beautiful joy that soars within my soul to be at home again with friends and family and my church…and to know that the Lord has been leading so many of those closest to me into the same things I have learned throughout my 11 months on the World Race?

Do I write about how well I’m doing here? About how I’m not having huge breakdowns in WalMart or Target, or how I hopped into my car for the first time a few weeks ago and began driving again like “no big deal?”

Do I write about the battle within my soul to know what to do?

From jesseischens.theworldrace.org

About how it has been so hard to accept that I’ve truly heard the Lord say, “Wait.”

Do I write about my struggle to trust and to continue to move forward in the waiting and know even when the doubts come that He is God and He has my best in store and that He will do it?

Whatever it is?

The beauty in the waiting is the moment when I sit at my kitchen table, with my steaming mug of coffee in hand as I stare at the green grass of our backyard through our sliding glass doors, and I whisper, “Hi, Jesus.” And He whispers back, “Hi, Beloved.”
Because that’s His name for me.
Even in the storm, even when I’m mad at Him, even when I’m so frustrated and He is gently, sometimes sternly reminding me that He is LORD and He’s got me in His hands…even then, He calls me Beloved.

Sometimes it’s darling, or He calls me by name, but most days He loves to say, “Beloved.”
He calls me to sit with Him. Just sit.
That’s been the theme lately, and that too, has been a struggle.
Because in this waiting period I feel like I should be resting, or somehow becoming more rejuvenated and renewed. Like I should be getting something out of this so others won’t question me as much or look at me with squinty, cynical eyes and say, “Hmmmm…” when I tell them He’s told me to wait.

I have realized though, that in the waiting I can still move forward. That it’s not going to hurt the long run goals, or God’s overall plan for my life if I get a part time job at my favorite local coffee shop to help me pay my bills. It’s not going to hurt if I join the prayer teams at my church or if I begin to say yes to more things here at home.

The big stuff, He’s going to reveal in His perfect timing. It’s a surprise, and I should be excited. I guess I’m one of those girls that hates surprises, yet secretly loves them. If I knew what will happen already, I suppose I would get all anxious and stressed and wonder how it could ever happen, or how I could ever do it. So it’s not for me to know now.

Right now is the time to put a little structure and activity into my life.

From jesseischens.theworldrace.org
(I feel like this most of the time From jesseischens.theworldrace.org)

Future and current Racers, you’ll hit this point too. The Race is an incredible journey and you grow like crazy. But it is also incredibly unstructured for most of the time. Coming home, you’ll realize you’re all over the place because you’ve been told for 11 months what to do, you haven’t had many choices, and now that you’re on your home turf, there are way too many options.

Don’t be afraid to choose something. The Lord will make it clear which way is the right way, but sometimes, like I’m learning, you’re going to have to “just start moving” in order to find out what direction He’s taking you.

I guess it’s like this: the Lord is steering the bus…you just have to press the gas pedal. And no worries, God’s got that cool second brake pedal, too, so if you get going to fast, He’ll make sure you stop.

As Dory from Finding Nemo always says, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…”

Or as the Bible says in Isaiah 40: 28-31 From jesseischens.theworldrace.org:

“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

That’s the truth I’m holding onto.

From jesseischens.theworldrace.org

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