Posted by: glorifyhim1 | January 23, 2012

When It’s Time to Leave

Sometimes God speaks to us in scraps of Scripture that seemingly have no spiritual significance. This happened to me recently when I read Genesis 28:10. “Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.” I have read this verse countless times and considered it as a simple statement of fact, but God’s Word is living. As the writer of Hebrews declared: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” And that applies to all of God’s Word – even Genesis 28:10.

As many of you who know me well are aware, I love to write. However, I would never claim to be a real writer whose books you will one day discover on a best seller list. I write like I do a lot of things such as sewing, cross stitching, photography, scrapbooking, and even cooking. I love to do them (well, maybe not so much the sewing), but my skills in those areas will never bring me any notoriety, accolades, or awards. As I so often joke with my family, I am a dabbler in many things, but a master of none!

But while I may have many interests, writing is really something of my soul. It is through writing that I journal my walk with God, explore questions with which I am struggling, and attempt to sort out and understand various things in my life. In addition, I feel that it is also a way I can share with others many of the things that God teaches me. This is precisely how my published writing began when as a young parent with three small kids I began to write articles dealing with both the trials and joys of trying to be a good Christian parent. Through God’s blessing, this writing evolved into writing preschool Sunday School curriculum for a publisher of church resources. This quickly became my ministry as I had the privilege of writing articles for teachers and parents as well as activities that could help young children learn and grow in their understanding of God, the Bible, and simple Biblical truths.

However, I am learning that no matter how much we may like where we are sometimes, God may have a different plan. For the last two years, because of changes in the publisher’s production of resources for which I had written, this door was essentially closed. With all of this so much of who I was as well as what I saw as my Christian ministry, I have struggled to determine my next step. I have prayed for direction and hoped that an opportunity to continue this ministry might continue, but I know that may or may not happen. So, in the meanwhile, I do all I know to do. I write.

I have submitted to other publishers, received rejections (it’s a tough world out there now), have one or two items pending, and actually have one poem being held as a “maybe” someday! Even this blog you are reading is one of the results of my need to keep on writing. But in all of this, I couldn’t check my email without anxiously hoping to see an invite to return to the ministry I knew and loved.

And then as I opened my Bible to read my Sunday School lesson last week, I read Genesis 28:10: “Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.” Tears sprang to my eyes as I realized God was speaking to me. Perhaps it was time for me to leave my Beersheba. To Jacob, Beersheba figured greatly into the sojourns of his family, the patriarchs. It was in Beersheba that King Abimelech promised to protect Abraham’s right to water in the area (see Genesis 21). Abraham named the place Beersheba and he lived there for awhile. It was in Beersheba that God reminded Isaac that He was still with him. “And the Lord appeared to him the same night, and said, ‘I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake'” (Genesis 26:24). Beersheba probably felt to Jacob a lot like an old home place feels to us. Yet it was time for him to leave. And he set out toward Haran.

I knew without a doubt that my Beersheba was my longing to see a publisher’s invitation to continue curriculum writing. While that may eventually be a possibility again, it is not an opportunity I have today. I also know that as long as I cling to that desire and look for it to perhaps happen someday, I cannot be open to what new thing God may have in store for me today. I need to heed the words of the prophet Isaiah that speak as clearly to my heart today as they did to the Israelites all those years ago: “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

Just as Jacob had to take that first step out of Beersheba, I knew I had to do the same. I couldn’t keep staring at the idea books and writing resources on my bookshelf day after day without desiring to return to something I loved so much, so I rearranged my bookshelves, boxed a few items that had no other application, and prayed. In His time and in His way, I know God will lead me to my next step. I may stay in Haran awhile or He may call me back to Beersheba, or God may call me to some new place, some new thing. That’s up to Him. In the meanwhile I just want to stay close to Him so I’ll hear when He calls – and while I wait – I’ll write!

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Responses

  1. Kathy,
    Your words so blessed me today. Having retired from teaching as well as no longer having the opportunity to write, I certainly identify with your longing for Beersheba! I recently stepped out and made a phone call about a position in a local church. I have talked about it, but was fearful to take that first step toward Haran. I will pray as God leads you and covet your prayers for His direction in my own ministry.

    By the way, I am doing a little writing for WMU in the area of Mission Friends. You might want to consider that.

    Sharon

  2. Sharon,
    I’m so glad these words encouraged you. I don’t think I’ll ever look at Genesis 28:10 the same way again, either! I appreciate your prayers and will surely pray for you as you take this new step.

    Thanks for reading and sharing!
    Kathy

  3. Kathy,
    We never know WHAT God has in store for us. He did not give you the gift of putting words together for nothing! Keep your heart open to His leadership. He’s got something amazing in store for your gift! Will it always be easy? Probably not. Will it be a way to serve Him. Yes. I will continue to pray for you.
    Carole

  4. Thanks, Carole. I’m so glad that you were my very first editor! You taught me so much. I truly appreciate your encouragement and your prayers!

  5. Oh Kathy please keep on writing. How I look forward to these. God will direct you. Love you my friend.

  6. Thanks, Judy. I’m glad you enjoy reading these posts. I appreciate your support and encouragement. Hope all is well with you – I still miss you soooo much!


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