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WHAT IS GOD INVITING YOU TO? and other annoying questions

Spiritual directors have a few questions we keep in our back pockets when we’re not sure what else to say. Ready for them? 

How have you experienced God in this?

What is God inviting you into through this?

It’s that second one I want to spend a second with today, because I find myself asking almost everyone this question lately. Not only that, I keep asking myself this question.

Moving overseas is one of the hardest experiences of my life. I really didn’t expect it to feel this hard. I’m constantly tired. A few small comments can render me sobbing on my bed. A lack of running water for laundry can set me in a foul mood. And after months of challenging myself in language learning, I’m still sometimes met with blank, confused stares when I try to speak. And through it all, I keep asking myself…

What is God inviting me to through these things?

Truthfully, I don’t know. There’s a lot of possibilities. Gratefulness for a privileged life where I haven’t had to worry about water before. Deeper healing for some of those deep wounds that seem to be easily uncovered here. Greater compassion for refugees and immigrants dealing with life in a second language. God could be inviting me into learning all of these things, or, it might be something totally different that I can’t see, because I’m too dang tired from the AC going out in the middle of the night. 

I’m finding, though, that the existence of this question helps me. It helps me to think that there might be some sort of deeper purpose in the struggles big and small. Even more, it helps me to think that God is at work in the struggles, bringing things together. He’s not sitting on high judging me for binge watching Netflix, because I don’t have the energy for anything else. Instead I believe He’s hoping that I’ll look up and see Him inviting me toward Himself in the midst of all the difficulties. 

I find myself often thinking of a song taken from Psalm 40--”I waited patiently Lord, for you to hear my prayer. You listened, and pulled me from a lonely pit, full of mud and mire. You let me stand on a rock with my feet firm, and you gave me a new song, a song of praise to you” (CEV). 

So always the invitation is there. To take His hand and sing praises for His salvation. I think I’m probably still stuck in that mud a little, but I’m thankful for His hand, and for the hope that He invites me into a firm and stable place. 

(THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2021 AFTER LIVING IN PAKISTAN FOR JUST A FEW MONTHS. A lot of healing and change has happened since then. Many invitations have been given by God welcoming me to greater fullness.)

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