I was learning to practice the art of being still in my spiritual and emotional life. It meant different things in different situations, but overall, I understood it to mean never moving ahead of God – not being led to make decisions based off of emotions alone because feelings are not the same as faith.
The day after Peter and I hung out, he returned to Australia. Knowing his flight was long and drawn out, I waited for almost a day to see if I heard word – a text or a FB update. I wondered how he was. Finally, I decided to reach out to make sure he had arrived safely. I quickly drafted a message and hit the send key.
Upon arriving to Australia, Peter immediately jumped straight into life as normal to avoid jetlag. It was a Sunday, and he had loads of free time to turn the last few days over in his mind. He decided to hop on his mountain bike and take a ride. While riding, he stopped at a lookout.
While there, he said a small prayer, God, why did you let me meet this amazing woman who lives halfway across the world from me? I don’t see how things could ever work out, but if you want them to, you have to be the one who works them out.
When he opened his eyes and got on his bike, his phone chimed, signaling that he had a new message. He looked down and saw the message I had just sent: Hey, just writing to see if you’ve arrived safely. Had fun.
He let a small smile pass across his lips. He saw that God was working behind the scenes on his behalf.
Over the next few weeks, we sent periodic messages back and forth. Always casual. However, over time, they became more frequent. We even video chatted a few times. But things remained quite platonic. My mind was cluttered with too many things to think about a romantic relationship. I was very focused on my relationship with God and with seeking His direction in my life. My mantra was, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps 37:4. I understood that my job was to delight in God. His job was to give me the desires of my heart.
What happened over the course of the next month feels like a year in my memory. I only remember it because I keep a prayer journal.
As I may have mentioned before, I was struggling with a few things in my life during this time. I was seeking God, wanting to be in the center of His will. Sometimes, I thought I should move in a particular direction, only to see the door close. And, in the middle of all of this, I continued to press God on a particular matter. Because I didn’t have clarity on it, I wasn’t able to move forward in my life. Then one day, I had an Aha! moment:
“Hold on to everything loosely in this life. Nothing lasts forever! We think by clasping something tightly, we somehow possess it more and have greater claim to it. However, in clutching and clasping, we cause it to slip away, like sand, fleeing from the suffocating clasp of a fist. All that is left is remains.”
This thought provided a bit of clarity for me in the direction God was moving my life.
Almost simultaneously, I had clarity from God about another potential beau who had been expressing interest in me. Since my return from Lebanon, he made continuous contact. Something always felt off, but I never had anything concrete to go on. Then one day, as if sent on angels’ wings, I had the strongest conviction. It was impressed upon my heart that this other suitor was not “the one.” I can’t explain or describe the conviction, but it was something in my heart and in my being that said “no” and I couldn’t go beyond that.
And though I was receiving clarity, I still wasn’t assured from God of the direction He wanted me to move. I was practicing being still, until I could see exactly where He wanted me to go.