Here it is.
This is where the bulk of the past 9 ½ months of my life have been spent. Not a bad place at all. There has typically been a water or tea cup on the shelf next to me, my iPad and phone close at hand, occasionally my laptop. Since August I’ve almost always had knitting in my hands or at least within easy reach (there's my knitting bag, right at the foot of the couch, and the blanket on the couch is my handiwork). And yes, it reclines. There are remotes for the home theater (which this lovely red lap of luxury faces) next to me, and I’ve enjoyed lots of Netflix. And Jane Austen movies. And naps during both. It’s darkish (blackout curtains since it’s the home theater zone), cocoon-like and cozy. A wonderful place for my “hibernation” as I’ve come to think of it. I’ve guarded my spot with a Sheldon Cooper-like ferocity, as this was one of the places in my home where I felt most comfortable. Truly my comfort zone.
But things are shifting. I am so grateful to see improvement in my energy and pain levels as a result of my complete diet overhaul and the pounds of supplements my specialist has me taking, and I now begin to realize my spot no longer suits me. It wouldn’t be best to stay in this spot, this comfort zone. I am ready to move on; my spot on the couch seems counterproductive in my recovery.
Spurring me on is my current Online Bible Study, which gave me some interesting insight. Lysa TerKeurst (my writer girl crush, you need to read her if you don’t already) writes about how the fields of everyday life provide the perfect preparation for God to have me perfectly positioned within his will. She uses the example of David being anointed king (no, that’s not my plan for the next gig, thank you very much) but then returning to the fields of a shepherd’s life, not moving immediately into the palace. The time in the fields were the perfect preparation for David to meet and defeat Goliath, building his physical strength (he killed a lion AND a bear) and his reliance and communion with God.
So. As I was reading this I began to recall all the eclectic array of daily life training grounds God has used to prepare me, perfectly and very uniquely, for each role to which He has led me. Every change was a radical, jolting-me-out-of-my-spot, very unplanned (by me), tire-squealing left turn. I truly didn’t know what was coming but could feel a restlessness in my soul each time, and then God revealed the left turn, which always happened to be nowhere near my comfort zone. Women’s ministry, substitute teaching, full time teaching, the finance industry. And then my current situation.
What an odd place of quite these months have been after the left turn of chronic illness that came without the previously mentioned restlessness and completely without warning. And being still was all I COULD be for so long. But now, as I am praising God for my slow but steady recovery, my mind is clear enough to wonder what is next. I am actually feeling like I can DO something and I want to think through and plan and prepare and…
But I am reminded that my everyday life was the preparation ground for all the left turn life changes that came before. Not the things I decided to do, but the ways God honed my gifts for the upcoming left turn that He was aware of, were what positioned me perfectly for what He had next. All I needed to do was show up and obey.
So I will stay in the stillness of preparation. And I have a new spot.
My new spot is sun washed, light-drenched, rather than a cozy dark cocoon, and has me upright rather than reclined. It is not a place of hibernation, but of waking up, facing the sun. It has me thinking and using the stillness to pour out of myself. I still need to go back to the couch some days (slow recovery, keep in mind), but more often than not I can be found upstairs in my pretty home office corner of our bedroom, looking out on the backyard.
I don’t feel the crush of restlessness as I did in the past. I do feel a pull to write, to meditate on His word, to heal my body, to listen, and to bless my family. This is preparation, too, I’m confident, for His divine Purpose, for the next left turn.