She paced the gym floor like a caged animal. “I need to get out of here!” she blurted as she grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the door.
“It’s the middle of the night! We’re not supposed to leave!” I responded tensely.
“I can’t stay here. I need to breathe.”
“Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know. Out. Just out!”
“OK. So . . .”
Hesitantly, I followed her through the church doors and into the night. Was it the chilly air or nerves that caused me to shiver?
Climbing into the passengers seat, I was barely belted in before she threw the car into drive and screeched out of the parking lot.
Two thoughts cascaded through my brain as we merged onto Briley Parkway. I can’t believe they let us leave the Lock-In and this is not a good idea.
Whether I liked it or not, I was committed to this spontaneous early morning jaunt because requesting she let me out of the car on the freeway at 2 AM was not a good idea either.
“I don’t know what to do,” her shaky voice further shattered my thoughts.
I stared out the front window wondering what she was about to divulge.
“If I turn my life over to God, he’s gonna ask me to do something I don’t want to do.”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“He’s gonna send me to Africa, or some other place. And I don’t wanna go! So I’m not sure I wanna commit to Him.”
Her statement puzzled me. “Do you really think God’s going to ask you to move to Africa?” I questioned.
“It’s possible. I know He’s gonna ask me to do something I don’t wanna do. Give something up. Live somewhere I don’t wanna live. And I don’t know that I can follow what He asks me to do.”
I sat in the passengers seat begging God to give me words of wisdom. “How do you know if God will ask you to do anything like what you’re thinking?” I questioned.
“We should go back,” she declared abruptly, shutting down the conversation.
Back at the church, she resumed pacing the gym floor.
A short time later I found myself hearing the same excuse for leaving the church function as she pulled me towards the door a second time.
Once again, we drove the same route and I listened to her reiterate her indecisiveness towards responding to God. My heart broke for the girl. She was running in circles. And although I could counsel her and pray for her, she needed to decide for herself where she was going to stand, and then—stand firm.
Honestly, I could understand her trepidation. Stepping out in faith takes—well, faith. But like Psalm 20:7 states, we either place our faith in God or we place our faith in something else.
It’s been many years since college and that conversation, and I wish I knew what happened to her. Unfortunately, a few weeks after that event, she left school and I never saw her again. However, I’ve often thought of her and wondered what she decided. Did she stop running in circles and finally run towards God?
My prayer has been that she not only chose God, but that she also learned to recognize and depend on His faithfulness. And, even if He asked her to give up some comforts of home, embrace African soil or any other place, that she would willingly accept the calling of Matthew 4:19 and follow God wherever He leads.
Perhaps you are also wrestling with similar questions as the girl from college. While I can tell you from experience that is God faithful in all circumstances, and with Him, your past is forgiven, your present is in good hands, and your future is secure, still, that may not be enough to settle your doubts or fears. So, where does one look for answers?
One of the best places to start is with the Bible, specifically the book of Mark then John, Luke, and Matthew. The Bible is the definitive word of God, is filled with promises of God’s faithfulness, and is the best resource to guide you to truth. One of my favorite promises comes from Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV) “And the Lord, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
Another great resource is this short Billy Graham Video – My Hope: The Cross.
Saddleback Church On-Line has a number of resources including podcasts, drive time devotionals, and message archives.
Proverbs 31 Ministries has resources for women including on-line Bible studies, devotionals, and podcasts.
An additional important step is to find a local Bible teaching, Christ following church community where you can learn more about God.
One thing you don’t want to overlook—prayer. Ask God to reveal Himself to you. Honest communication with God is easy. Simply talk to Him like you would a friend. He longs to engage in conversation with you.
This is by no means and exhaustive list, but merely a few suggestions to get you started down the path of finding some answers. If you want more information, need to talk to someone, or simply want someone to pray for you as you search for answers, feel free to message me via my contacts page.
In the meantime, know that my prayer is that you choose to run towards the cross.