Webster defines a shift as a:
“change in place or position or change direction.”
At one point or another we’ve all had one. Maybe it’s been a shift in an eating habit, a show watched, a career trajectory, a shift in a parenting philosophy or willingness to relocate to a certain city. It’s hard to get too far in life without shifting in your thoughts or plans at one point or another.
Two years ago, I made a tectonic shift or as my friend Webster would say, I “changed directions” which had “a strong and widespread impact.” My tectonic shift began during a Sunday morning church service where I routinely sat checking boxes in my Christian walk and wondering why I felt so lost and so empty. I had spent the last several years wondering quietly if this was really all there was for me in life. Questioning that when I neared the end of my life, if all I was created to do was to be a ‘drug rep’ who paid her bills on time, was a ‘dependable’ woman who could check all of the ‘right’ boxes and completed all of the ‘appropriate ’wifely and motherly duties’. Something about this life never resonated with me, never felt genuine as to who I was meant to be.
I was nearing the end of my 40th year, the proverbial ‘mid-life crisis’ no doubt looming somewhere in the corners of my brain, when I heard our pastor talk about God using ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
It was this comment that struck a deep yearning in my heart for more. I wanted that. I certainly fit the bill as ‘ordinary’ and wanted desperately to be used to do ‘extraordinary’ things. I wanted more than a ‘box-checking’ life. I wanted to be someone who took risks and chased after God until He used me in EVERY inconceivable way He had planned. The selfish and self-centered person that I am wanted the life God had planned-risky or not-easy or not-I wanted to be and do and see and experience EVERYTHING that He had in mind when He created me. I didn’t want to leave ANYTHING undone on the table.
It wasn’t long before I realized I wanted God, a new & different life, a God-centered crazy, faith-filled, illogical life MORE than I wanted ANYTHING else. As this hunger in me grew, I noticed a shift in me. What was once important grew increasingly insignificant. What I once couldn’t imagine living without, became an anchor holding me to a life I didn’t want anymore. This shift began small but grew steadily over time and continues to grow even through our current season.
There’s a new-found excitement in the freedom that is felt as I lay every aspect of my life down and seek God’s will in it. A show I’ve watched for years, becomes one I see with new eyes for the time-wasting, life-draining show it has always been; I just never noticed. Each part of me is slowly shifting to seek His will in all that I do. The more I shift, the greater the desire and the hunger for MORE of God’s blessings and favor, I develop. There’s a new willingness to not hold tightly to anything God never intended for me to have and a new trust growing to face a lifetime of fears that have kept me enslaved.
Do I know where God is taking me? No idea. But what I know is that since this shift, I have had more peace, more courage, more patience, more self-control, more of the gifts He instilled in me decades ago; I just never fully developed.