Way back in November 2012, I sent off my application to be a year-long intern to Crooked Creek Ranch, a Young Life camp in Fraser, CO. It was an exciting moment, knowing this is what I dreamed of since my first summer of interning at a Young Life camp. A few days later a woman contacted me to let me know they received my application, but it was going to be a while before they started looking over applications. Time to wait.
After the chaos of graduating in December and the busyness of the holidays, I decided to call Crooked Creek and check on the status of my application. Less than a week later I had a phone interview, and just 3 days after that, I received a call that I was hired as a 2013-2014 year-long intern. Wow. It all happened so fast and I was overjoyed by the opportunity, but it was still 8 months away.
Eight months of waiting for the next step in life. That can be a very long time, and it was. But in that time I learned something invaluable. I learned what it means to obey.
Like most, I grew up believing that to obey meant listening for an exact set of instructions and doing as told, which also translated into my relationship with God. I thought God would give me a to-do list of sorts, and it was my job to check the items off the list. There was a task God needed me to do and obeying Him meant completing that task. But I found freedom in these wise words from Beth Moore...
"Obedience does not mean sinlessness but confession and repentance when we sin. Obedience does not mean arriving at a perpetual state of godliness but perpetually following hard after God. Obedience is not living miserably by a set of laws, but inviting the Spirit of God to flow freely through us. Obedience is learning to love and treasure God's word and see it as our safety."
Freedom emerged from this because it no longer meant I needed to be perfect. It no longer meant I needed to check off the items on God's to-do list for me. It no longer meant there was a target I needed to hit. In my season of waiting, I learned that God wasn't calling me to some grand task to accomplish, but to practice obedience.
And practicing obedience is just as Beth described, "perpetually following hard after God and inviting the Spirit of God to flow freely through me". I began to let go of some of the expectations I put on myself for what the eight months of waiting would look like and trust the Lord would meet me where I was. I made it a priority to dig into God's Word and use it to guide my days. I prayed the Lord would recognize my pursuit of Him and draw closer to me.
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18This season of waiting is about to come to a close. There is no doubt it has been long, but I'm thankful for such a season and all that's its taught me... to be patient, to obey, and to trust.