There is a way my life was that was familiar, secure and trusted.
I was meticulous, detail oriented, excellent in all my work, damn close to perfection. I saw things way ahead of the curve and knew where each ‘t’ would be and when to cross it and placed each ‘i’ to dot it well. I thought through projects on a dime and built budgets and execution plans in minutes. I assigned tasks with clear job descriptions and led the way through seemingly impossible situations. We delivered quality on small budgets with lean teams working long hours, loving it and completing everything with great joy, satisfaction and confidence. We were well on the way to the next big thing in budget events…
…then it all changed in a blink!!! God had messed with me and pulled the rug!
Life fell apart. Perfection went through the window. The teams could not be built. The budgets didn’t work as simply. Execution was now a struggle and the heart to keep doing it went out of the window. Creativity died, tenacity failed, vision was clouded, then there was a deep darkness. Suddenly I looked like such an amateur that someone tried to show me how to cling wrap a dish and I stood aside and let her demonstrate something I could do with my eyes closed.
It was as if I had lost heart, hope and sight: it was totally different.
In a blink I didn’t care about finesse as long as things got done and it riled me up. I could still do perfection but it was laborious, no longer feeling natural, second nature or like the old friend it had always been. Things still came together but no longer seamless. My thought process paled in comparison to the past even though I could still function somewhat effectively and efficiently. Something significant had changed…it was gone.
This meant I couldn’t serve my Daddy because a certain standard had to be maintained and I wasn’t in that space anymore. It meant that I lost all my confidence. It meant that I couldn’t pull a proposal together alone and the needed partners to pitch and execute. My work stalled and ultimately died, my skill remained unutilised and my heart broke a little more every day.
For about six weeks I couldn’t figure it out until I begged God to make it clear what was happening and all HE said was “Trust ME.” What??? How? There’s no way I could be so helpless and inept so I kept trying. The harder I tried to get things together the more they fell apart until the day I decided to just be still. Sit on the sofa all day, staring vacantly at the TV, in the air, at a book or just sleep the day away.
Papa broke me intentionally.
He broke me with reason but it took a little while to understand that because at that moment I wasn’t teachable. I was unresponsive to His voice, caution and correction. I had placed my trust in my gifts, skills, calling and anointing. I was confident that nothing could, should or would block my path. I laid my trust in my ability and lip serviced God’s importance in the whole equation. My trust in me, my suppliers and crew made Him a distant fourth or even tenth in importance and relevance and He wasn’t about to stomach that in a life that was all His. I could have stopped but I wasn’t listening so He stopped it, crashed the car, shipwrecked the boat, blew up the building, infected the body…ground my life to a screeching halt.
Indeed, He didn’t disappoint and leave me stranded after the crash. He allowed the crash, let the neighbourhood come and see and stood by ready for me to cry for help, and boy didn’t I cry. He had done something big and it would take a while to work through. There was so much more to unravel, layers to uncover, lies to see and deal with, fear to face and overcome, focus to change, desires to deal with and override, lessons to learn and courses to change. I was skilled but the industry was about to change in a way that would be bigger than my ability to pivot and He knew it so He had to relocate me completely.
My circle changed and in this new circle all they saw was the insecure, uncertain girl. They hadn’t met the confident decision maker, team leader, CEO. They hadn’t met the master planner, excellent budgeter, highly efficient eventeer. Many assumed I was younger than my age and attributed my confidence or lack of to youth, innocence and inexperience. How far that was from the truth?
Surely if God loved me He would do something.
He was at work just not how I would have expected. He was unravelling to roll again, pulling down to rebuild, peeling away all the madness and showing me my true self. He was teaching me that when a house is built on a wrong or weak foundation it has to be brought down and rebuilt from scratch. That is precisely He did.
He had sent a wrecking ball to destroy the structure with a few strategic blows and each hit was spot on. Nothing important was missed, nothing useless was left upright, everything unravelled and then excavation and construction began.
It has been painstaking and outwardly slow. It involved seclusion, separation, the appearance of foolishness and inability, doubt, questions, tears, fear, sadness, deep grief and a deep sense of loss. It meant wondering if David was being honest about no fear of evil in the valley of the shadow of death. It meant days, weeks, months and even years with some questions unanswered. It meant learning everything a fresh, building from square zero. It meant accepting that I can no longer fit in my past life.
It also meant that sometimes we didn’t have enough food, electricity, school fees, water but always enough sunshine since we live in the land of the sun. It meant we wore faded clothes because that’s all we had, or kept only two or three sets of going out clothes so that if you met us daily for two weeks there would be an obvious pattern. It meant choosing between food and clothes or electricity and clothes or fees and an extra trip to town.
I remember days spent wondering if Daddy is a lunatic (he knows I call him that) when he says ‘God is faithful.’ How could he say that in every situation, it is well? Did he know what we were going through? Other days it was too hard to get out of bed, or speak positively about things or people, or see the beauty of life. It meant feeling like I had no anchor, no solid ground, no one I could lean on. It meant being able to receive help from others when they offered and asking for help as needed. It meant being unsettled…
I am unsettled again but for very different reasons:
- I am unsettled because God’s word is come.
- I am unsettled because I now know that indeed, ‘all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose’ (Rom 3:28)
- I am unsettled because we are on the move again to a place He has assigned, looking for ‘the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.’ (Hebrews 11:10).
- I am unsettled because the time is short and ‘the harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.’ (Matthew 9:37)
- I am unsettled because there are generations tied to me that will not rise fully if I refuse to obey.
Therefore I stand as a daughter of my Fathers:
- I stand as foolish to some, insane to others and an inspiration to others still.
- I stand with my brothers and sisters, wombs and eunuchs willing to follow the Father fully.
- I stand as one whose gaze is set like flint because anything less will enable distraction.
- I stand as a student of God, receiving daily instruction, walking each moment with Him, certain that indeed, ‘He will complete the work He has started in and through me.’
I stand, unsettled but ready.