A Woman Seeking to Know Her God in a Season of Stewarding
Lindsee and I recently spent 11 straight days together... A little thing called Hurricane Harvey came roaring through Houston making our home an island and trapping our other roommate Bethany in Nashville. I'm happy to report that we survived the weather-induced isolation and are still friends on this side of Harvey. Lindsee embodies the verse "rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15). Her eyes will fill when yours do, but she's also the first to laugh again with you. (Other times she's the first to laugh at you, but it's all in good fun!) I'm excited for y'all to get a glimpse of her heart in her words below.
How would you define the season that you are in right now?
There are a million ways I could take this post. I’ve thought and thought and thought about what I would call this season I find myself living in, and at first, I thought it was a season of “waiting”, but then I decided I’ve written 2.7 thousand posts about waiting, so I tossed that. (Waiting might be true in my season, but we are all waiting for s o m e t h i n g.) Then transition popped in my head (because that’s happening, too) but that just felt boring because in terms of transitions, it’s very minor. Then I moved onto singleness. But immediately a buzzer when off in my head like it would at the end of a quarter to alert the basketball players they’re out of time. (The time has nothing to do with my singleness ending, it was more of a move on please don’t write about that broken record kind of buzzer.) By the time I crossed all the “seasons” off my list, I was fresh out of ideas. That always feels neat when you’ve been asked to write a guest post. The thing is, we’ve all been taught and we’ve all lived long enough to know that indeed, seasons do come and go. Are all the above true about my life? Yes, but I would most likely define those as longings and desires I’m still waiting for God to fulfill, so amid those things, what does life look like?
And that’s when it dawned on me, I’m in a season of stewarding. Stewarding what, you may ask? Stewarding God’s Word. What some of you may not know is that, the past two years I’ve been given the opportunity to teach middle school students Bible at a private Christian school. It’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding positions I’ve been in. While I love getting to share about Jesus and His Word daily, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Let’s be real, it’s not always well received. And I get that! As one who was raised in the church, I struggled the most with going to church as a middle schooler. SOOOO much is changing and happening and school in general is tough. So I’ve spent the past two years begging God for His Word to come alive to them through His Holy Spirit, because in my strength alone, I was bound to fail. And miserably. This year an opportunity presented itself and instead of spending my days with 5th – 8th graders, I’m spending my days teaching Bible to our lower school students! Specifically, kindergarten through 4th grade.
Five days a week I’ll have 450 five to eleven-year old’s in my classroom with ears and hearts ready to hear what God’s word has to teach us, and that feels big to me. I don’t want to mess this up. Some may spend their Sundays in church walls, and some may not. Some may know Jesus Christ as their personal savior, and some may not. All I know is that I get the sweetest opportunity to plant hundreds of seeds day in and day out.
One of the sweetest revelations I’ve had in this transition is that, though I’ve longed for my own children for years (and still do!), I can see that the Lord has given me 450 tiny humans to love, teach and encourage. And I couldn’t think of a sweeter gift. I’m walking into this season with full confidence that He has me right where He wants me, even if I wouldn’t have guessed or chosen this for myself when I was 22 and graduating from college. (My future life, I imagined, would look a lot different that it does now.)
In this season, what is currently motivating you to get quiet with God? And/or what keeps you from getting quiet with God?
For whatever reason, this question convicted me. I have all the reasons in the world that motivate me to get quiet with Him. I have questions, confusion, longings, hurts, things I’ve been praying about for years with little to no movement, I get frustrated, and weary, and a hundred other reasons we find ourselves at the feet of Jesus pleading for His mercy. My summers lend themselves to quieter mornings and it’s one of my favorite things about summer break. But I find that during the school year, I have a much harder time getting quiet with God on a consistent basis. Having the be at school early every day is a big hindrance. (I’ll tell you practically what has worked for me below!) But, do you want to know what really motivates me? (This is going to sound terrible. But it’s honest and it works.) When someone gives me a deadline. When I’m told I must have a lesson or Bible study completed by a certain time, I’m much more disciplined. And I’m always so glad when I can look back and say, I finished that Bible study and it was so worth my time! Duh. But I have to be reminded on occasion.
What’s lacking from your "quiet time"? Maybe this is something that you used to do and that you now miss. Or something that you wish you would experience with the Lord but haven’t.
One word: Patience. I have forgotten that on some days when you get up from spending time with the Lord, you feel refreshed and renewed and like the two of you had a conversation that will keep you going the rest of the day. But then there are some days you ask yourself if the Lord was even present? I’ve had to remind myself lately that my relationship with God cannot be based on my feelings. While feelings can often propel me to Him, they can’t be the measure of our relationship. His faithfulness and love and devotion to me whether I “feel” it or not is the measure. It’s all grace.
What are some applicable, tangible ways to encourage others to draw near to Him?
Earlier I mentioned that I struggle during the school year with my early mornings having to be at school. One thing I’ve done for probably eight or so years, is, every morning, and I do mean every, while I am getting ready, I either listen to worship music or a sermon podcast. I know that when I walk out my door, my mind and my heart are focused on Him just by hearing the Word. It helps me tremendously. I would encourage others to do the same if in the mornings, you just feel rushed. Worship music is never a bad idea. Ever.
What works for you when you spend time alone with the Lord? What doesn’t work?
Naturally I process things through writing and talking. (Just ask my roommates, I’m an open book.) My relationship with God looks a lot like that. I went through a season when journaling was my jam. (I never, ever say “was my jam,” but I’m not deleting it.) I would get in bed and write out all my concerns, thoughts, prayer requests, praises, and anything that came to mind. That was really helpful. One of my goals this year is to resurrect that habit. Currently, I work really well with a structured Bible study. I prefer to have my study book, do my homework on my own, and then meet up with a small group to dissect what we jumped into that week. It’s a bonus if my Bible study offers teaching videos. I learn so much from discussion and Bible teaching. That will never grow old to me. While in college I once heard a pastor encourage us to get in the Word daily, even if it meant writing it down in your calendar and setting time aside whether it was early in the morning or at 3:oo in the afternoon. The intention was never to be legalistic, but to be intentional in your time with the Lord. I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to let that go when life gets chaotic. Ironically, it’s what I need the most. I’ve found that discipline often leads to desire. The more time I spend in God’s word, the more excited I get about spending time in His word.
How can the person reading this right now pray for you?
I kind of feel like everyone else with this question. If people are praying, I want to stand in line. I’d love it if you’d pray that God would sustain me this year, give me energy and joy to do my job well, and make God’s Word come alive to my students. That God’s Word would come alive to ME. Children can smell a fake a mile away, I want my love for Jesus to be what they remember about me. But I can’t do that without His Spirit or grace. I’m so grateful for every prayer.
by lindsee eddy
This post is part of the Summer of Seasons that Darcee and I are hosting. Our hope is that as others share about seeking God in their particular season of life, we would all be encouraged to know and love and seek after the Lord more in our daily lives.