by Erin Napier
Forgive me if this post drifts in the direction of emotionality and introspection, it’s just that real, honest-to-goodness joy is very hard to hide away. I think for the first time it really hit me today that I am living exactly, precisely, the kind of life I have always wanted to live. My life has changed completely in the last month since I became self-employed, and it’s not really because of the actual work I’m doing or the change in scenery. It’s this: several months ago, I began to pray fervently and listen closely to what God was intending for my life. I was unhappy with my working hours (from sunrise until past midnight most nights), I was unhappy with how it was effecting our marriage (I was needy, fussy, far too dependent on Ben to take care of everything around the house, and all around grumpy), I was sick every. single. day (stress does horrible things to your body), and one day, I got this most-needed message in an email from my best friend Hope, who is working around the world in the Philippines:
God sometimes does influence us with a simple touch or feeling, but not so we would act on the feeling. If the touch is from Him, He will then provide sufficient evidence to confirm it beyond the slightest doubt. Consider the beautiful story of Jeremiah, when he felt God leading him to purchase the field at Anathoth. He did not act on his initial feeling but waited for God to completely fulfill His words to him before taking action. Then once his cousin came to him, bringing the external evidence of God’s direction by making a proposal for the purchase, he responded and said, “I knew that this was the word of the Lord” (Jer. 32:8).
Jeremiah waited until God confirmed his feeling through a providential act, and then he worked with a clear view of the facts, which God could also use to bring conviction to others. God wants us to act only once we have His mind on a certain situation. We are not to ignore the Shepard’s personal voice to us, but like “Paul and his companions” (Acts 16:6) at Troas, we are to listen and also examine His providential work in our circumstances, in order to glean the full mind of the Lord. A.B. Simpson
Whenever God’s finger points, His hand will clear a way.
Never say in your heart what you will or will not do but wait until God reveals His way to you. As long as that way is hidden, it is clear that there is no need of action and that He holds Himself accountable for all the results of keeping you exactly where you are.
For God through ways we have not known, will lead His own.
She found this entry in a book called Streams in the Desert, and this devotional gave me every ounce of confidence it took to make this enormous change in my life, to go out on a limb, to take a chance and know that no matter what happened, God would take care of us. I know without any doubt, that this is the kind of life He intended for me, one free of worry and fear, that allows me to be more involved in our church, to make art again, to devote time to journaling our life in this blog, a life where the color and flavor of everyday is brighter, stronger, energized and just… well, kind of magical. I hope that everyone who reads this post is given this kind of opportunity someday — the opportunity to take a chance, and trust that God will catch you no matter what happens.
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I’m Erin Napier, co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Co. with my husband, Ben. I’m an artist and he’s a craftsman and we help people moving to our town find and restore old houses on HGTV’s Home Town. In an effort to count my blessings, this journal has documented only the good things that happen on each and every day of my life since January 1, 2010. I am a wife, a daughter, a homebody, a bubble bath lover, a book reader, a sentimental, stressed out, slightly obsessive southerner. Welcome!