there be dragons…

When I first moved to Memphis, Holy Spirit told me breakthrough comes in commitment. I said, “Yes to Memphis, yes to bread&wine, yes to actually deciding something is my inheritance. I will stick around to slay giants in the promised land.”

Four months and a hundred job applications later, with only two promising interviews that were rejections on the same sad January Monday, I was frustrated. I had no context for the why. I committed. Where is my breakthrough?

On January 6, 2015, I wrote, “I know Memphis is where I need to be. It’s my promised land, which is why there are giants. And why I am not slaying them alone. But wow—I need a job.”

Holy Spirit said, “Be faithful in the little things, because the bigger things are coming and you are a part of it. Joblessness is not a cause for hopelessness. There are an infinite number of reasons to hope. I have taken care of you and will continue to. Jobs & better jobs are coming.”

A week later, I was driving home, feeling discouraged and confused—where were my better jobs? I thought, “God if you don’t show up soon, I will just…” and I stopped myself.

What are you going to do, Glenalyn? Where will you go? You have said it, “This is Your Promised Land. It’s like Peter to Jesus—where else would I go, Lord? You have the words of life. Where else would you go, Glenalyn? Memphis is it. You’ve said yes. “ 

I knew this was true. So quietly in my Spirit, I made this decision. I am not going to leave because things get hard or make no sense. I know the Voice and I hear from Him-if he says jobs & better jobs are coming, then he knows what’s up and I will trust.

When I got home from that drive, I had two e-mails: one about an interview, one about a lunch with a possible employer. I applied for another job the next day and got called within two hours. I had lunch with the possible employer. The next week, she was interviewing me and four days after that, offering me the job I had dreamt up for my LinkedIn profile. I know “Name it and claim it” feels a little too cliché and “prosperity gospel-y,” but I spoke out that job, and in moving to Memphis, had given up hope of getting a position like that, and then God said, “Here you go. Here it is. I am good, beloved, and I give good gifts.”

Commitment brings breakthrough. And sometimes we don’t know how committed we really are until we come to the edge and we have to choose to jump, even when it doesn’t make sense and all the facts stack against us. I think about when the angel finally gets to Daniel—God heard Daniel’s prayers, saw his fast, and sent the angel with the breakthrough, but the angel had to fight to break through—it took three weeks. Daniel committed without seeing; he saw his breakthrough but it took time.

About a week ago, after I had committed to writing this article, Holy Spirit told me, “Brokenness brings breakthrough too.”

Friends, it sure as hell does. That word seemed weird when He said it. I was on a high from my workweek, at my job that God so perfectly provided for me. Life felt pretty good. I didn’t know the dam was about to break. But it did. Catastrophically, epically, things began to whirl and I was left reeling.

And I realized, though, it’s not actually the brokenness that brings the breakthrough. It’s the decision that in the brokenness, we can still stand in the victory. That the brokenness does not disqualify us from our inheritance, but rather gives God the space He needs to move mightily.

I looked up and saw giants in the land. I knew I was in the right place. I knew I could and would fight. I knew it would be hard. I knew there would be blood and sweat and tears. But bread&wine, beer&bacon, are products of harvest. They require toil; they require hard work. You must cultivate the vines, you must plant the fields, you must grow the hops and raise the pigs.

You must participate in the [deep guttural Ted Hanson groan] of the Promised Land. God is gracious and generous in the wilderness, but the Promised Land requires cooperative effort, time and investment.

Inheritance requires a commitment. Breakthrough demands a decision. These things do not come without a cost. Contending for your breakthrough will awaken giants. A day will come when your hand is forced and you see what you’ve been holding onto all along. We hold onto our swords and we hold onto our Father. We enter the Promised Land in the Spirit of Caleb and Joshua; we take possession because we can.

We live in the breakthrough and we contend for more. We are not surprised when the giants wake up—they wake us up and we kick them out. We see kingdom come in brilliant ways because we are brave enough to actually make a decision and stick to it. We see heaven break through to earth because we have the courage to contend for the impossible.

We live in who we are. We fight from victory for our victory. We are the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for when we show up for our own lives. Ha!

 

[this originally appeared in The Voice, Spring 2015]

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mijas.

Today I kind of want to run home to Spain. I still have friends there and their beautiful, sunny, warm Instagrams of dear Mijas make me miss it and want to be there with them.

148974_10101286066938375_1951501205_nI want the clarity that comes from gazing out over the Med from the look-out and feeling the whispering wind reassuring me of this brutiful life and its choices and struggles and highlights.

I want the confidence that comes from being surrounded by people who believe in me so strongly, who hear God so clearly and profess His heart so boldly.

I want the alertness that comes from the expectation that God is speaking and has something to say TODAY. The quickening of my spirit hearing His spirit and knowing deep in my knower the truth of love and relationship.

I want the passion of a stirred up soul on fire for His Kingdom.Spain2014-33

I want to wander the cobblestone streets and stare at the whitewashed walls until my eyes see twinkles and stars.

I want to sit at the edge of the Mediterranean and ponder the mysteries of life. To plumb the depths of soul and spirit and remember again and again that it is okay to be a piece of sea glass, slowly shaped by the ebb and flow of the waves, by the turning over and over on the rough sand and refining pebbles. To be okay with this process and embrace this journey. To enjoy the moments and not always be thinking of the next thing.

But I won’t. At least not today. I won’t run away from Memphis & from what God is doing here. I won’t pretend I’m not struggling with the funemployment and the lack of vocational clarity, but I also refuse to deny all the great things that are happening here.

memphis-7Maybe I’ll go stare out over the Mississippi to ponder the connectedness of rivers and streams and oceans.

Maybe the clarity will come from conversations from dear friends here.

Maybe the presence so clearly felt in Mijas can, in fact, transcend the Atlantic ocean and international borders and settle right here, at the dining room table.

Maybe that’s why I’m here, why we’re here… to steward all the wondrous things about Mijas and find them in Memphis (or wherever you find yourself today).

Maybe it’s not about a place but about a Person… and finding that Person in today, just today.

Just maybe.