Sometimes what I set out to write is not actually the same as my finished product. Case in point, I set out to write a very different blog entry when I wrote “Dying to Self” on Monday night. I think the results are actually much better than I expected or intended, but there remains the topic that I originally decided upon. Perhaps the reason that I have yet to write on that topic, though, is that I still find it very hard to verbalize. I’ll give it a go.

Somewhere though my childhood I developed a love for clouds. I enjoyed looking at them (possibly because I thought Jesus was just on the other side of the clouds watching me) and as I got older I liked being able to identify the various types. In high school it developed into an interest in weather. In fact, I originally applied to NC State and was accepted into the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences to study meteorology. I did not pursue that career path, but I still am awed by weather – especially strong storms. I did an independent study my senior year of high school and I remember the teacher talking to me about weather fronts. He was explaining how the winds shift 90 degrees when the front passes. I even remember his story about sitting in an airport watching the weather stats and knowing when the front had passed based on the direction of the winds. While it’s not exactly instantaneous, of course, it’s a significant shift in a relatively short period of time.

I feel like a front has passed through my mind and heart since this year began. It wasn’t instantaneous either, but I felt a significant shift in a relatively short period of time. Whether it was a 90 degree shift like the weather front or the proverbial “180 degree turn,” I can’t say, but everything is different.

As a prime example, I haven’t the slightest desire to get on Facebook these days. Some of you know how regular I was in my Facebook checking – I could spend hours digging through the mass quantities of information my friends made available to me and I did. Yet, in the last 4 weeks I’ve been on Facebook perhaps once a week. Similarly, I haven’t watched an episode of CSI, Law & Order, NCIS, or any of the rest in that same period of time and until recently that was a nightly occurrence. I have watched 2 and a half seasons of Lost, but the TV hasn’t been on for just the sake of noise and distraction. I relate these facts with a sense of bewilderment. I find it shocking that I haven’t even missed those things either! I haven’t yet mastered the art of going to bed at a decent hour, though, so God still has some work to do on me.

I was talking with my counselor, Nancy, a few weeks back about a particular issue. There’s no need to get into the specifics, but the gist of the conversation was something like this:

Nancy: Can you see that it’s better for you to move past this?
Me: Sure, I see it, but I just don’t want to.

I felt like a stubborn child in that moment in her office, but it was the truth. I’ve definitely gotten to the point where I don’t simply opt to say what I think Nancy wants to hear – that’s a waste of my money. In that moment I had to admit that I saw the reality of the situation from a rational perspective, but my heart wasn’t ready to move on. I just didn’t want to. On the drive home that day I believe my conversation with God was something like, “God, I want to want to move on, but I just don’t want to and I can’t make myself want to. Can you help me want to?” Good thing He knew what I meant. In His awesomeness, He did answer that convoluted prayer too, once again helping me bridge that gap between my head and my heart that had been like the Grand Canyon for so many years.

This – dying to self / turning / being about that which he has for me – thing has really shocked me in so many ways. Good ways. Do I think it’s because I’ve been “called” to the mission field? That’s debatable. I believe anyone who knows that Christ died for their sins is called to tell this good news, so that is not a new addition to my life. Some would argue that God doesn’t put callings on our life that are any more specific than The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). I don’t know if I would describe it as a “calling” or not. I do know that I feel more content than at any other point in my life. I’ve felt glimpses of this contentment before, but nothing with this longevity. I feel equipped, even specially designed, for what lies ahead (regardless of whether it’s Peru or not). I feel certain of what my next steps are too, not because I *have* to take them, but because I want to and I know they are pleasing to God. It’s not even about the end result either, it’s about the journey. It’s a really fantastic feeling. Perhaps I’ll find some better words to describe it further along the way.