Our church has a lovely tradition of having parents pick a life verse for their child when they dedicate their baby. For most parents, this is a prayer over their bundle of joy and hope for their future. This wasn’t a thing when I was dedicated a million years ago but I have noticed that throughout the years the Lord has provided what I refer to as “season” verses for my heart. It happens so often now that it has become a running joke with my friends and family. Thus far, I have had three major verses pop up in my life that have truly spoken to the season I was in at the time. Let me tell you about them and how the Lord got my attention.
School was not always the happiest place for me. I loved learning and was a good student but had some rather unfortunate awkward years that set me up as a target. I was blessed enough to participate in Bible Drill which is an activity that aims to help kids memorize scripture and study The Word. During one of my most challenging seasons we had a key verse come up in our drill material...John 16:33.
“I have told you these things, so that you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
This verse felt like a lifeline in a time when I felt very alone and overwhelmed by my trouble. The fact that the Lord confirmed that life was hard but also confirmed our ultimate victory, gave me hope when I felt pretty hopeless. For a long time I thought this was going to be my “life verse” of sorts but as I grew and matured I realized that I was no longer in that season of constantly being overwhelmed and the Lord was in fact, giving me a new bit of truth on which to hold. However, all these years later, I find this verse still pops up when I feel overwhelmed with the world and for that I am thankful.
I love the book of Esther and did a post on her a while back but I was surprised when the Lord spoke this verse into my life, though I don’t know why I’m shocked. Let me ask you a question. Does the Lord ever try to get your attention but it takes a lot because you are hardheaded? That is pretty much the story of my Christian journey and my foray into this season was no different. I remember reading a modern translation of Esther 4:14 that said,
“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created…”
My initial thought was, “Huh? What an interesting way to view this moment in Esther’s life.” The original verse and context comes from her conversation with Mordecai when he is asking her to speak to the king on behalf of the Jewish people to save them from death. He is telling her that maybe the Lord brought her to the palace for this moment...That it could be her purpose and legacy. As I was going about my life, I started to notice that I was seeing this verse EVERYWHERE. A journal given to me by a student. A note card from a friend. A piece of artwork at Hobby Lobby. My morning drive podcast. Esther 4:14 was chasing me down and it took about six months for me to truly pay attention. This came in the midst of a time when I felt discontent with my season of life. I felt I was stuck in a rut and not getting to achieve my goals but once the Lord finally got my attention I started to wonder if “perhaps this [WAS] the moment for which [I had] been created.
Now, this was not an easy realization to come to then or sometimes even now. See, agreeing that this moment was in fact the one I was created for meant I had to surrender some of my hopes and dreams or at least the timeline I had created for them. That’s not always a fun thing to do and for me it included a failed job transition that I thought was going to be the answer to years of praying. Looking back, I can see that I had moments of intentionally “not seeing” the message of that verse all around me. However, when I finally surrendered to the idea that I was in fact EXACTLY where the Lord wanted me to be, I found I could breathe a bit easier because I had a God-given purpose even if I didn’t understand it.
In fact, that is about the time period this blog started. Meg and I had discussed how we felt that a never married, childless, thirty something woman was an anomaly in the church (and in the world). No one knew what to do with us and there were definitely no books written for dating in your thirties if you weren’t divorced or a parent. You were also hard pressed to find a class or community for Christians in that season of life. We felt very unseen by society and said we should start a blog so that there would be a voice from our perspective. So, one night as a joke, we did just that. I guess the joke was on us because God definitely had a purpose for this blog and more importantly a purpose for us in that season.
Finally, this verse in Isaiah is the most recent and, you could say, newly assigned verse for my current season. What makes this verse different from the ones in the past is that it speaks to transitions and changes but also to the patience I need while waiting for those moments. I started seeing this verse on others’ social media posts. I read it in my devotional. I heard it on the radio but my favorite was when I saw it on a billboard. I almost ran off the road from laughing! I can gladly say it didn’t take me months to pay attention this time and I knew exactly what situation the Lord was speaking into with these words,
“When the time is right, I the Lord will make it happen…”
By now you know I often let impatience creep into my life and more often than not I decide that God’s “Wait!” is really a “No!” which isn’t fair to Him or a very good testament to my faith. I find that it is almost easier to just bury a dream than to wait months or even years for it to arrive but Isaiah 60:22 has been my gentle reminder that a “Wait!” is not a “No!” and that I need to learn what I can in my season of waiting. I find that every time I grow anxious that I’m falling behind the Lord gently nudges me with the message of this verse. The Lord’s timing is perfect even if I don’t understand. I don’t need to know all the steps to trust that they are there and the Father’s plan is far more amazing than I could ever imagine.
So, as I sit here reflecting on my verse for this season, I can’t help but feel I am on a precipice or perhaps this is just that bend in the road Anne Shirley was always talking about. I’m thankful that I’ve had a season of waiting because it has been a season of growth and preparation for my next big adventure. I want each step of my journey to glorify God and that can’t happen if I waste the current season He has me in.
Now, dear friend, I ask that you look around and see what message God wants you to hear. Ask Him to open your eyes and your heart to what He has for you and don’t be surprised when that answer comes through loud and clear if not always in the way you expected.