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With each move over the past seven years we have sorted, cleaned out, and packed up in preparation for another life change.

Each location represents a move, a transition, an adventure, a new season, and an inner longing to be home again.

The deep wrestle within, over “what’s next”,  intensified in my heart as time edged forward towards another crossroad in our lives. The questions flooding my mind: What is next? Another transition God, really, how many do you think one can handle? Circumstances mixed with frustrations can make us question where we are, what God is doing, and then blind us to what he’s given us right where we are at.

In my quiet time with God I could hear the whispers, “You’re Next”. Next for what? What does that mean? “You prepare while I work.” Ok God, I will prepare, but what are you working on? “I will give you a resting place.” Where’s the resting place? Am I really hearing you speak in the depths of my heart or am I making this up? Why is the wrestling so intense? God, HELP, I need an answer!

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When the wrestling of our heart grows intense, know that the answer is in the process of being birthed. Birthing is painful and far from peaceful. A minister recently shared in a message, “I know you “have a next” because the breakthrough always comes right after you feel like you’re about to have a breakdown.” Yeah, I was feeling the breakdown and if you’re human, you probably have too.

God does not lie, however we do not always understand what he is speaking over our lives, deep within our hearts or the timing in which he operates and fulfills his promises. I’m in good company, as even the twelve disciples did not always understand what Jesus was telling them, as he walked with them on this earth. We are human, not super-human; it takes us a while to catch on to God-Time, God-Ways, and God-Purposes.

Through periods of transition and loss, we can find ourselves walking in situations or being faced with decisions that do not make sense. Wrestling, questioning, and wondering where God’s peace – that we have felt in the past – is. Yeah, peace does not always lead the way, but God does. Peace will eventually follow when we yield and trust God with full abandon.

Time passes, keep showing up.

Loss is difficult, keep showing up.

Transition is frustrating, keep showing up.

Stretching is painful, keep showing up.

Making the decision is hard, keep showing up.

Follow wisdom, keep showing up.

Trust God fully, keep showing up.

The good plans God has for us will flourish if we keep showing up!

Acts 1:21-26 tells us about the eleven disciples choosing a new disciple after Judas was gone. They considered two men and the criteria that they were chosen by, was that they had been there from John’s baptism all the way through to the resurrection of Jesus. In others words, the criteria was that they KEPT SHOWING UP; they were faithful. The disciples prayed asking God for direction, as he only knows the heart of man, and then they cast lots and the lot fell to Matthias. God honors a pure heart, right motives and faithfulness; keep showing up.

The newness of spring brings a fresh reminder, God does all things well. The trees remember how to grow new leaves, but sometimes we, as humans, forget how to stretch forth in fresh faith. Stretching and stepping out on unchartered territory is uncomfortable. Christianese says, “You will feel God’s peace and you’ll know what to do.” There are moments in time that we do not know what to do or sense his peace. God calls us to take a step of faith first, trust him, and in our trusting, he will give us peace along the way. Believing God all over again, on this new ground, feels shaky and uncertain. He’s faithful . . . right?

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Keep showing up, God is there! You may not feel him or see him, but he is there. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, but his process in our lives is not. His ways are not our ways, they are new like the bright green of baby leaves sprouting up in spring. He’s forming a new thing, do you see it?

“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” [Isaiah 55:8-11]

My heart is grateful for mentors and friends, who open a window for us to pier in and see through their eyes of God-wisdom and experience. We may KNOW things intellectually and FORGET what we KNOW, during the intensity of the wrestling match. We all need wisdom and love speaking out, cutting right through the thickness of the battle, breaking up the cloudy confusion, so that we can see and hear truth clearly once again. Sometimes we just need a person with “God-skin” on, to point out the way of God-wisdom. Be vulnerable and willing to open up your life to someone you can trust.

What a relief to know that God wants me to be in His will even more than I do. God does not get off course, it’s me who loses my way so easily. So once again I learn that the battle is not mine, it’s God’s. It’s so much easier to yield, walking with my hands wide open, fully trusting; it’s just hard getting to that place. If my hands are open, he can hold my hand and I will not clutch on to what is not mine to carry. His plans and purposes will prevail, so I can rest; rest in the one who knows.

When truth is spoken breathe it in, ponder it, pray, and communicate it. As my husband and I did this we begin to SEE the path of God-wisdom. Decide, take the step of faith, keep showing up, and see what God will do. We were making the decision harder than it had to be. Our circumstances did not change, our perspective did.

Having to be out of the home we’re leasing in a few months was the trigger or you might say the open door, for a new season. When you have experienced many transitions and times of loss, it can be hard to recognize and believe a new season of restoration is in front of you. Paul and I made the decision and then he said to me these words, “We are planting roots here, we are home.” The peace flooded my soul like a wave of hope washing over my life. After three moves in seven years we’re finally home. Home is where the heart is, but sometimes the heart needs to know she is home.

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Sometimes we do not know, until we decide that we know and then we KNOW. Peace follows as we walk with hands open wide, trusting fully. A synonym for transition is transformation. God allows transition so that we can be transformed into a conduit for his power to work in and through us.

Whether your “next” is moving on as you leave something behind, standing strong in the waiting, or moving forward and planting roots – walk in it, keep showing up, and God will refresh your soul. “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” [Psalm 23:2]

Join me on the journey to more,

Joelle Povolni

About Joelle Povolni

Faith Caffeine: A boost of hope (caffeine) for your everyday kind of extraordinary faith. Making space to authentically share, see, hear, dream, create, explore, love, and be. Out of the being comes doing and doing means moving. I'm determined to keep moving forward scared and to encourage you and others join me in doing the same. The key is to keep moving, right?! Will you join me on the journey? Whether your faith is wobbly or feels small and insignificant or is on the brink of exploding - for all God has done - know even just a tiny spark of faith matters. It's extraordinary as God takes the tiny sparks that feel like nothing to us and creates new life in and through us when we trust in Him. A bit about me: I'm the strong dark headed girl from California who ended up making the deep South home for the past five years with my husband and two children. In between California and Mississippi was a long stretch in the Midwest and then a short stay in Colorado. Many of my closest friends are scattered far from my new southern roots. I'm still learning to say, "yes" to God instead of running the other way like Jonah or protesting like Moses. Now I mostly protest and then give often kicking and screaming. Maybe you can relate? Writing is my way to make sense of this life, to untangle my deepest emotions, to wrestle out truth over facts and to hear God as I pause in His Word and rest in His presence. My passion, hope, and prayer are that I can encourage you and others to walk in freedom and keep moving towards all the purpose that God has created you for. That is the reason for this blog. I long for you to know that you are loved, seen, never alone and that you matter to God right where you are, right now. Even if that place is dark, awkward, and lonely - know He is there with you. I love to laugh, read, relate to others, and passionately communicate truth. I hope to serve you well.

2 Comments

  • mbethany says:

    SO glad to meet you via #PurposefulFaith, Joelle! These are such powerful words, I had to share via Tweet : ) A needed reminder for me. I tend to feel like I have to accomplish, figure it out, plan it out. Often that’s not following, though, it’s just running ahead blindly, not faithfully. But that doesn’t mean showing up is a waste. Just keep showing up and let God be God. I think I can do that. THANK YOU!!

    • I’m a planner too and with that comes wanting to know what’s ahead and how it will work out. I find myself often stepping on God’s toes, trying to do his job when mine is really much simpler, yet difficult for a stubborn girl like me. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your encouragement and may we all keep showing up.

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