This week, I am tackling chapter 5-8 of Angie Smith's book, Mended, with the group from (in)courage. Last week, I mentioned that in Chapter Six, Smith discusses the story of Lot's wife, who God turns into a pillar of salt because she looks back towards Sodom and Gomorrah as she is being given another chance at a decent life.
I sort of feel like I'm in danger of turning into a pillar of salt. My vice - along with potato chips - is turning back. I used to be..., I used to live..., I used to do..., I used to work... feels so much safer as an identity than leaping forward into the great unknown. But I've felt it on my heart this year to leap. Apply to school, draw my portfolio, set up a decorating business, get writing again -- I feel myself being called forward. And yet I also want to turn back and rely on the things I'm used to relying on, even though I know in my heart that these things are not working for me anymore.
God has been so very good to me this year. Each time I feel compelled to follow a path, I'm rewarded for my faithfulness. I just have to trust the path that lies before me, and shed the things that threaten to hold me back.
At age 41, it seems daunting, at times, to start over again. To contemplate going back to school (especially into a program where my MBA really does not mean a thing!) and setting up a new business is scary. I'm am relying heavily on the quote, attributed to C.S. Lewis, going around Facebook right now:
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream
Lot's wife never really believed this. She felt that while Sodom and Gomorrah was bad, at least it was the devil she knew. As Smith writes in her book, healing is about being able to pull away from the comfortable and move forward into the place we are meant to be. That way, our suffering is not in vain. That way, our pain can be redeemed.
Sometimes I wonder if decorating is too frivolous a pursuit to involve God, but then I remind myself of the Proverbs 31 woman:
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple...
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
I mean, hello, she's basically a home furnishings and fashion designer. I derive a lot of comfort from this. I want to find a way to use my new work to minister to people without being weird. (I once hired a house painter who proselytized from dawn to dusk. He kind of shot his credibility with me when upon learning that yes, indeed, I had welcomed Jesus into my heart, he immediately asked me if I had a good long distance phone plan or was in need of vitamins. Guess he was always selling something!)
Anyhow, the book is very good. And I look forward to reading my fellow readers' reflections and diving into the next 4 chapters.