where I stand

I woke to see the current temp below 70 degrees for the first time in weeks and quickly laced up my shoes for a long-overdue morning run.  As expected, it was a glorious morning and perfect running weather!  On a cool-down walk through the park in our community, this woodsy scene caught my eye.

My transplanted northern self immediately imagined that little pine tree gracing the corner of a cozy cabin on a mountainside!  But I know those are southern grasses catching the glint of the rising sun, beautifully placed at the foot of queen palm trees!  Far from any mountainside.

I will always be a northern girl at heart.  But this is where I stand.  In south Florida.  By choice.  Something else has captured my heart with a stronger pull.  Some One else.

This week wraps up an online study through the stories in Held and Beloved.  Although our discussions have appropriately focused on the women in the Bible and how their stories reveal various aspects of the heart of GOD, it has also given me another opportunity to share my own story of JESUS.

How interesting to come full circle (with “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave streaming through my earbuds!).  Not denying or fighting against my love of the northern hills, but still confidently choosing to invest in our home in south Florida, where the LORD has purposely placed us.  My mind drifted back to a long-ago favorite song by Twila Paris, “I Will Listen,” and the one line I had all but forgotten:

“this is where I stand until He moves me on… and I will listen to His voice”

While still finishing my cool-down walk toward home, I googled the full lyrics of Twila’s song.  Tears welled up as I scrolled through each line.  This was a much greater full-circle moment than I realized! 

I Will Listen” by Twila Paris

“Hard as it seems

Standing in dreams

Where is the dreamer now

Wonder if I

Wanted to try

Would I remember how

I don’t know the way to go from here

But I know that I have made my choice

And this is where I stand

Until He moves me on

And I will listen to His voice

This is the faith

Patience to wait

When there is nothing clear

Nothing to see

Still we believe

JESUS is very near

I cannot imagine what will come

But I’ve already made my choice

And this is where I stand

Until He moves me on

And I will listen to His voice

Could it be

that He is only waiting there to see

If I will learn to love the dreams

that He has dreamed for me

Can’t imagine what the future holds

But I’ve already made my choice

And this is where I stand

Until He moves me on

And I will listen to His voice”

I Will Listen” was on repeat in my apartment as a suddenly single twenty-something, braving the aftermath of a painful and hugely unexpected divorce.  I confidently belted out those lines, boldly claiming to fix my eyes on the LORD, allowing Him to bring healing and hope.  With His help, I settled into a new home and a new life, with “all-in” commitment to a new church family and budding ministry opportunities.

Decades later, I still find myself “standing in dreams,” wrestling whose plans I will hold dearest!  Mine of His?  How sweet to realize that the LORD never asks me not to dream.  It has taken me a long time to understand that it delights His heart when we feel secure enough in His care to excitedly look to future possibilities.  But I have come far enough down this path to know that it thrills Him exponentially more when I hold my dreams out to the Father with even greater courage to say, “take my dreams… and fill my heart with Yours!”

I am so grateful for the many times His Spirit has gently steered my desires back into His path.  And for the glance back to see growth in my confidence in His plans, whether or not any of them are clear to me.  I can simply rest in the knowing that He knows and He will never leave me!

He never tires of tuning my heart to listen for His voice.  He faithfully gives me the resolve to declare again, “this is where I stand until He moves me on.”

“Listen to GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;

He is the One who will keep you on track.” 

Proverbs 3:6 (MSG)

. . .

from “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave

“This is my story, this is my song

Praising my Savior all the day long

Oh to tell you my story is to tell

Of the grace that is greater than all my sin

Of when justice was served and where mercy wins

Of the kindness of JESUS that draws me in

Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him”

#HeldandBelovedbook #onlinestudy #learningtogether #sharingourstories #northerngirl #purposelyplaced #southFlorida #morningrun #fullcircle #momentsofreflection #beautythatstillsus #musicthatmovesus #oldfavorites #TwilaParis #Iwilllisten #whereIstand #trustingJESUS #ohhowHelovesus #coverofHisPresence #amazedbyGRACE #mysteriouskindness #lostinwonder

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