This theme is a rather unusual one. But, perhaps that’s what makes it great.
Welcome back to the next installment of my monthly theme posts, which you can find the rest of here. My theme for April was “Walk Through the Narrow Door.” What do I mean by that, you ask?
I picked this theme because I’m slowly approaching a crossroads in my life. I’m at a place where there are many directions I am going or could go or don’t know if I should go regarding the future. And, with that in mind, I’ve been struggling with balancing planning and preparing for the future while also remaining in the present.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
How do we find balance in the craziness of life? How do we do the hard task – enter the narrow door of contentment – in the present when there’s so many future plans and broad fulfillments that demand our attention?
This month has been busy for me, yet incredibly blessed. From an incredibly successful missions trip to Jackson, Mississippi to my birthday and the changes that come with a new year of life, there have been so many opportunities to learn and grow.
And the Lord has faithfully carried me through.
That said, any of the following reflections aren’t just from the deep recesses of my brain. My time in prayer and God’s Word guided me. Here’s what I read last month (in order):
- 2 Corinthians 6-13
- Psalms 47-52
In addition to God’s word, I also reference Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery  and was heavily influenced by Alex and Brett Harris’ Do Hard Things (both of which I recommend profusely!).
And now, enjoy these excerpts and musings of a foolish, clumsy person with an incredibly wise and graceful God behind her.
4/2: “Help me live in the moment this week, while also waiting in anticipation for all that is to come.”
4/3: “You became poor so that we could be rich, and see how much You did? Impact does not equal volume. Help me to step forward in faith that You will work in what I have, and provide anything else I need. May all of my life glorify You, Father.”
4/5: “Lord, all other resource or weapon pales in comparison to Your might. You’ve given me power to destroy strongholds, yet so often I let my mind and heart run scared to earthly things.
You’ve given me many chances.
Will I take them?
Will I choose to do what You’ve given me to do to Your glory and with all that I am, or will I let evil tell me I have no power? Help me take courage as I plan for the future while preparing for the more pressing, immediate opportunities in my life. Thank You for giving worth to all done for Your glory.”
4/7: “Lord, I decided tonight to take opportunities as You bring them.”
*The following excerpts were written in Mississippi*
4/9: “Lord, You are above all and in all. Everything will work out the way You want it to.”
4/10: “Your grace and kindness are immeasurable, and we’re all on the same level because of that. YOU are the reconciler. The hostility of racism can be obliterated. The distrust of broken kids and people can be restored. Churches can be revived to preaching Your gospel unashamedly. Through You, all walls will crumble. Lord, help me see with clear eyes. Thank You for the hope of unity beyond borders, because of Your great, impassable kindness.”
4/11: “You have granted us boldness, that we wouldn’t lose heart. Yours is a gospel of unity, so we may bind together in confidence.”
4/14: “I was reminded today that the mission trip is only the beginning. There is nobody like You. And You will empower me to speak up and love my family and friends like You love me. Thank You for promising to help me.”
4/15: “I have a burden on my heart to serve, and I pray that I would act on that burden. I know You’ve heard me and I choose to trust.”
4/15: “Staying here with eyes open to there is strength.”
4/17: “Am I taking courage to share the gospel in its purest, most powerful form? Do people look to You when they hear of me?
I believe I’ve learned that life isn’t just a straight line. There isn’t just the past, present and future. There’s more nuance than that. The purposeless hours spent fade quicker than the Spirit-led, given ones. Perhaps balancing the different classifications of time comes when we quit our worrying and focus on Your calling.
Perhaps we should learn to trust our prayers more, deeper into Your might, and while doing our part to making them happen, steel ourselves in confidence – knowing that You are the WayMaker. Maybe the rest of pieces will fall into place when we hold fast to the truth and distill the busy work of life into one single whisper:
to share Him by His courage.
You gave Yourself. How wonderful is that? No matter what the traverses of my mind lead me to, You are infinitely great. ‘God’s in His heaven, all’s right with the world.’ ~Anne Shirley . Help me to rest in You, and take each moment one step at a time.”
4/20: “Help me to handle what I am doing with faithfulness before constantly seeking more. Guide me with discernment, Father.”
4/21: “Nothing will change if I don’t rely on You. If I don’t listen to Your voice. Your call. I will wait on You. I trust You are doing mighty things, Wonderworking God.”
4/26: “No matter what season, whether in plenty or poverty, Paul knew the truth of how to walk the line between where his heart is (with You) and where his feet are (here) in its simplest, most distilled concept. How to walk through any season.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Peace that surpasses all understanding, contentment regardless of seasons, keeping one’s feet on the tightrope even when the world quakes beneath, all boils down to leaning on Your strength above my own. Your strength over my weakness. Your beauty above my ugly. Your healing over the cracks in my soul and relationships. God, help me to trust Your strength. To lean on You.”
4/29: “You are the Deliverer, and I will glorify You with my life. The path forward is murky, at best, but I trust You. Help me love discipline, live honestly, and love deeper with each day.”
4/30: “Help my heart be obedient, and my whole being courageous to do and say what You have put on my heart.”
The day I drafted this post, I went on a walk. And I moved really slowly.
As I walked down the streets, sat in the park, touched the branches and studied the birds and wild rabbits, I wondered, “How is this world so irreverent? Why are we so fast?”
Nature slows us down. It says, “Take a breath. Look around.” And as such, maybe the key to walking through the narrow door is in how we approach life.
What if we walked into our plans with a whisper of, help me, Jesus rather than shouting?
What if we sought unity to build each other up, instead of striking out alone (which… hehe… is a big one for me)?
What if we chose to take courage and do the hard thing right here, marching forth in faithfulness now so that we already know how to when doing so is even harder?
God is sovereign. Above all. With that in mind, I clearly don’t have all of the answers to balancing the present with the future and honoring God in that – in fact, this post is mostly questions, pleas and wrestlings of my own! But even so I hope that in my musings you found a piece of Christ. A clearer picture of His desires for you. And I pray that you would continue pressing on with all of your might, leaning into His strength – the source of all contentment and guidance.
Sometimes we feel like we have one foot on the easy road, and one on the hard. I hope and pray that we would all learn, one day, how to jump with both feet onto the hard road, even as the very earth we stand on quakes – as that is where the Lord calls us to. The hidden path of courage and bravery – virtues easily lost in today’s comfortable world.
Walking through the narrow door, choosing to trust in His strength and push forth even when things get hard, is only the beginning of living sold out for God. It also involves taking initiative with what the Lord provides. And so, in this next month, I want to “Step Off the Edge.”
Join me as I endeavor to walk forth in obedience and courage, even when I can’t see the bottom of the cliff and what ‘might’ happen has me shaking in my boots.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Take courage, my friends. Be authentic. And don’t be afraid to knock on the door, reverent yet bold. Even asking for the resources to do what has been placed on your heart is a hard thing to do.
Then choose to trust.
Your Father will open the door.