A month or so ago I finished Shadow of The Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot. This book is absolutely amazing! Many of you already know some of the changes that have taken place in my life because of reading this book. However you may not have the quotes I referenced! If you already know what I've changed and you already have the quotes, I'm sorry, you can just stop reading now and go do something more enjoyable with your life. But for those of you who don't know and are wishing I would get on with it, here is a little tale of how my life changed...
Once upon a time I was taking a trip out to Iowa and as I was riding along in the back seat I pulled out a folder entitled "What to do with my life..." as well as my journal, Bible study, Bible and copy of Shadow of The Almighty. I had a piece of paper in my folder that had a schedule of my most desired life plan for Spring 2009-Spring 2010. Next semester I wanted to live in Florida with Mark and Rosie while doing my internship. In the summer I thought it would be great to go to the Middle East for a couple months while attending Jerusalem University College. Upon arriving back in the States at the end of the summer I would prepare to go to Focus on the Family Institute for the fall semester. Then finally I would come back to Indiana and finish up my degree at Ivy Tech. As I was looking at these plans, I really began to be convicted about them. The conviction did not hit so much on my plans as it did on the core of who I felt I was becoming.
As many of you know, two years ago I spent a semester in Italy and while there got to go to England, Scotland and Ireland as well. Two summers ago, I spent a month in Malawi, Africa. I've also traveled a lot in the U.S. and this summer I spent about three months working at a camp in Colorado. I have thoroughly enjoyed my travels and the cultures I've been able to experience. While good has come from these travels, I found that I was beginning to have an unhealthy craving for them. I began surrendering these dreams and desires up to God in prayer.
After time in prayer, Bible study and journaling, I opened Shadow of The Almighty. The title of the chapter I was on was "Dreams are Tawdry". I could not believe how fitting it was for my current situation! Here is the quote that gave the chapter its title; "Dreams are tawdry when compared with the leading of God, and not worthy of the aura of wonder we usually surround them with. God only doeth wonders. He does nothing else. His hand can work nothing less. Praise to the Guiding God of Israel, and that Great Shepherd of the wayward sheep. When He directs a path, no way can seem bleak, no instance dull." Jim Elliot
This chapter has helped me re-surrender my dreams and plans into God's hands and I have no desire to try and reclaim them! I am learning that life truly is more exciting and adventurous when I let go of my plans and let God do the planning. I'm merely the created being, who am I to think that I can dream and plan better than my Creator?