What Question Am I Asking?

I fell on my face before God about two weeks ago, whispering a phrase I repeat to Him frequently without even realizing it: “What do you want from me?”

In the stillness of my prayer closet, that question escaped my lips and bounced around like a run-away basketball: “What do you want from me?”

Without saying much of anything, God allowed me to sit with the absolute absurdity of my shame-based, performance-driven question for a few hollow minutes.

“It is for freedom that I have set you free,” He whispered in my heart. And I realized that I had, once again, begun to build my own prison out of really good things. I had begun to fill my life with activities that in and of themselves are all incredibly life-giving: Writing, music, crochet, photography, and teaching. These have been wonderful gifts from God that have allowed me to stay sane and spiritually and emotionally healthy in the midst of what feels like an out-of-control situation.

But I stacked them up like a to-do list and managed to crumble under the weight of my self-made expectations…. again. There’s a reason why I’m on permanent disability.

So if my writings are a bit shorter, my pictures less frequent, and my music progress more drawn out, it’s okay. God reminded me of the freedom that He liberated me for.

My margins have widened, to accommodate my unstable health, the necessity of rest, and the largeness of motherhood in the midst of illness. Now is not a time of deadlines and lofty goals. Maybe someday in the future, I can reach a bit higher into the stars.

But maybe not. Maybe…just maybe…this whole gig isn’t about achievement whatsoever.

What I know is this: This season is to be a quiet, soft space of gentle rest and listening, leaning into the rhythm of the tiny people who live under my care, and tuning my heart to the heart of the Father. This kind of life will inevitably yield fruit, the Great Gardener reminds me, but production is not what God “wants from me” right now. It is for freedom that He set me free, and so I am yoked to Him alone, under the ease and lightness of His companionship. So if you are looking for me, I’m somewhere leaning into the freedom, the wonder, and the joy of being yoked to the strongest Partner in the universe.

And the Creator of the universe leans in and takes my face in His hands, and whispers, “Child, let’s talk about what I have for you rather than what I want from you.” And then I remember that I have made God into my own image, and I brace myself for the unveiling of something much bigger than I could ask or imagine.

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Pastor Al Gilbert

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