Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you. Jonah 3:2
Each time I visit family or friends in various locations across the United States, I joke with them about how thankful I am that they maintain my vacation home for me, even paying for the mortgage and taking care of maintenance. “Really, I’m just glad they allow me to come visit them all,” I shared with some friends recently. My friend’s husband replied, telling me something I hadn’t taken into account. “It’s not that they allow you, Pam; they want you to come visit them.” I hadn’t considered that. I was just happy for a place to go and be.
Do you ever take that position regarding yourself … just wanting a place to be, somewhere you fit in, somewhere you will be welcomed? Someplace you know you are wanted and loved?
I hate to admit that I have felt that way for most of my life … just wanting to be somewhere that I know I belong. A resting place … actually, more of a residing place, a place where I am anchored, where I am needed and loved, a place where I am wanted.
Then the thought lying dormant in my brain that I wish would just go away creeps forward again. What if it’s the place where I am right now?
Maybe you’re at that place, too, wondering why you’re doing what you’re doing and why God has placed you where you are at this moment in your life. Might it be because that’s where He wants you?
The truth is that He wants you! As much as we may resist, He wants you and I to be smack dab right on the spot where we are standing. That’s where He needs you. He has something for you to do right there, right where your two feet are planted.
If you had asked me eight years ago if where I am today is where I thought I would be, I would have emphatically said, “Not on your life!” Then, like Jonah, experiencing the control issues that I was at that point in my life, I would have run as far and fast as I could to not arrive in Nineveh. Why? Because too many times before I had been led astray into situations and to places where I didn’t want to be because of circumstances brought about by the others in my life. PEOPLE kept taking me where I didn’t want to go!
To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you LORD my God, brought my life up from the pit. Jonah 2:6
But God … He takes me where it is best — best for me, for Him, and for others. It doesn’t initially appear that way, but His direction leads me beside still waters; He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake (Psalm 23:2-3). I mean, really, if Jonah would have gone straight to Nineveh, he could have avoided a whole disastrous chapter in his life and wouldn’t have ended up thrown overboard by others, then wallowing in misery in the belly of a fish!
In a million years, I would never have dreamed that at this point in my life I would not have children coming home from college for the weekend or bringing grandchildren to visit. I didn’t imagine myself being a 50-something-year-old widow. Living in the South wasn’t even on the radar. But here I am. And like flies drawn to honey, one after another, young women (and sometimes young men) find their way to me, each with their individual life circumstances, struggles, and issues. Somehow, in some way only God can design, our personalities mesh and I am able to speak into their lives encouragement, wisdom, and support. In return, God gifts me with motherhood experiences.
My life story could stand to have a few disastrous chapters edited from it, but like Jonah’s story, God doesn’t let anything go to waste. Tears spring to my eyes when I comprehend that He uses my experiences for the benefit of others.
There is no place so far that I am out of God’s reach. He has a design, a plan, and a purpose for my life and for yours. He has a mission for each of us. Residing next to the still waters, my spirit knows I am wanted.
Because you are what God says that you are! You are enough!
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Pam Weyant traded the harsh Midwestern winters for the sunny South. When she is not spending her time as a freelance court reporter, you will findher loving up her adorable cocker spaniel, hiking, traveling, writing creative nonfiction, or working out. Her passion is sharing her story so others can join her in celebrating the freedom found in a redemptive Savior. Read more of Pam’s Breath on Paper bio here.