I have really been struggling these last couple of days. For the last two years I have participated in PWOC, Awana and a moms' Bible study at my church. This year it seems everything is falling apart. PWOC has changed some of their childcare policies and I do not feel peace about participating with things as they are. It is nothing to do with spiritual things, but I am a really high-stress person and I don't think I would adapt well to dealing with constant uncertainty over whether or not I would have someone to watch my children. There are some other things going on as well, and I can't seem to clearly hear that I should attend. The Bible study leader at our church stepped down from her position last semester and no one has stepped in to replace her. I really respect her decision, and I have prayed about whether or not the Lord is asking me to lead, and I really don't think He is. We struggled with a lot of disorganization in our Awana club last year and while I am planning on attending this year, it remains to be seen where I will serve. Basically, everything that I have been a part of in the last two years is in some state of upheaval as of right now.
If you know me AT ALL, you know that I like to be prepared. I am most comfortable with the familiar and "new" is extremely stressful for me. I know that it is not imperative that I be involved in all these activities, but each has been a place where I could share of my talents and also receive insight, love and encouragement. It is hard for me that it is already August and I don't know where this is all going. I really feel the call in my heart to just "wait" but patience has never come easily for me. I get frustrated that I don't know what to do, I also get frustrated when there are things I want to do but don't have the time, talent or ability. Clearly, I get frustrated often....
I have been praying about all of this for the last few weeks, and I have also been reading through the New Testament. Today, however, I felt lead to read in the Psalms and I started in chapter 16. I stopped on this verse:
"The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delighful inheritance."
I think part of my problem is that I don't like boundaries. I don't like to be told, "no". As much as I like the familar I also don't want to feel like there are things that I can't (or shouldn't) do. But as a believer, boundaries have been set for me. That shouldn't aggravate me, it should make me feel safe. Loved, knowing that my Father cared enough to set restrictions to keep me safe (and maybe others safe from me!) and not only that, but he didn't make them miserable, harsh lines-heavy gates and high fences, they are pleasant. More like rivers and flowering hedges. If I stay within the bounds He has set for me then I won't run into problems that I wasn't meant to handle. I don't have to worry about these things-He knows what is going on. For some reason He has seen fit to set these boundaries for me now.
" I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me.
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
It was hard for me to believe that those are verses 7-8 of the same chapter. I can rely on the Lord to show me my boundaries, that tells me where I should go. He has given me His Holy Spirit and I don't have to rely on my own feeble "wisdom" to make choices. I don't have to be shaken, fearful or fretful. If He is my focus I will know what I need to do, but also I will clearly see the lines that aren't to be crossed. Just because the grass is greener on the other side of the fence doesn't mean that it is the place I need to be. Boundaries are another one of those things that we tend to think of as negative. We see them as a "no, you can't go there" rather than a "Yes, you can stay within this area and have all I have to give you. You can be cared for aand learn and grow within this safety." I want to hear the Lord saying, "yes" in these limitations right now. I know that my boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places, I know that He will counsel me and He will be at my side, keeping me from being shaken. My life is surrounded by pretty picket fences, I can be secure knowing exactly where I am in the Lord. I don't have to worry about the things beyond my control. I know He is taking care of everything outside-at the same time creating beauty inside the lines, too. He is showing me right now where my boundaries are, perhaps creating new ones, or removing ones that I no longer need. I just have to have faith to believe that it is all coming together for my good and have the patience to see it through.