I tossed and turned for three sleepless nights as my mind wrestled with a big decision. I prayed and analyzed the options, made lists of pros and cons, talked to trusted friends, and yet? There I was again. Another sleepless night with a heavy heart and no clear answer. The good parts were equally good and the hard parts were equally hard. It felt impossible.
And it was. It was a change in the course I’d been assuming God had for me, and I didn’t know how to process it. While my prayer in those early morning hours was for a simple “choose path A,” God answered me in other, more subtle ways.
Where I desired a quick answer, God gave me a slow refining.
The decision would be made, but in the meantime? Oh, there were things God knew I needed to see about myself. He knew I needed to face some big fears and insecurities, and He knew I needed to learn to trust the hearts of those around me, to truly believe that He had put people in my life who are FOR me.
I needed to believe that God was for me, too. That no matter how hard the decision felt, it wasn’t happening because He was done with me, but because He had plans to use a new season in a new way. My heart wasn’t ready to move on from the very comfortable position God had placed me in, but He had prepared me to take a new step onto an unknown path.
And then God reminded me of the story of Nehemiah — a man who felt so unsettled in his soul about the destruction of his home town that he risked his life to ask the king for permission to go and rebuild the walls of his city. With God’s favor, Nehemiah’s request was granted, so he gathered a team of men and began to rebuild what had once been destroyed.
They all started out doing the same work.
But when opposition came and Nehemiah needed to refocus and realign his workers, half the men worked and half stood guard. Both important positions, and both necessary. But I wonder if any of the men looked around and thought their job wasn’t as important? I wonder if the guards felt left out of the building process. They were behind the scenes now, where success looked like a quiet, uninterrupted day, where before they could point at their section of the wall when the work was done and say, “I did that!”
I don’t think they did — but I think I might have.
I’m learning there are seasons where we’re called to do big work for the kingdom, and seasons where God asks us to step into a new role to support the work being done by others. Both valuable in His eyes, both necessary.
What season are you in?
Are you being called to build, to create, and be on the ground? Or is God asking you to serve and protect?
Are you a guard, protecting the workers, supporting, praying, standing firm against opposition and serving quietly? Or are you getting your hands dirty in the hard work of creating for God’s kingdom?
No matter where you feel God is asking you to serve right now, I need you to know this (because I needed to hear it)– we need both. You need to surround yourself with guards if God has called you to work because there is nothing the enemy of our souls wants more than to oppose the work of the Kingdom. And if you have been called to protect, seek out some women God is calling to do the work and stand with them. Cheer for them, encourage them, and pray for them. Recognize the work they’re doing and intercede on their behalf . . . because this work?
We can’t do it alone.