Where I've Been. What I'm Learning.

Professional Student.  Do you know the term?

When I was in college this was a term used for those who were there much longer than the standard time one would expect for a degree completion to be done.  It may have been because they were part time.  It may have been because they changed major's multiple times.  Regardless, they were "professional students".

I'm discovering that I am one... spiritually.  Just when I think...

* I have learned something.
* I have graduated from that.
* I am ready to move on.

...I discover there is a "next grade"...

That is where God has had me.  Instead of being close to done in certain areas as I might have thought, I have found that I am only advancing to the "next grade".

Some lessons have me on the same topics and subjects, just more complicated lessons with deeper contexts.  Some lessons are new topics and subjects altogether.

Here is a snapshot of what I have been being challenged with and growing in... (in addition to the foundation and starting point being the Bible!)

From recent sermons at church:

*   Tension is something to be managed not a problem to be solved.
*   Obedience is not done when we feel like it, it's done when we're told to do it.
*   Small daily decision for Jesus unlock eternity.

From "Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge" by Mark Batterson:

*  "If you establish a prayer routine... You don't need to seek opportunity.  All you have to do is seek God.  And if you seek God, opportunity will seek you."

*  "Sometimes the purpose of prayer is to get us out of circumstances, but more often than not, the purpose of prayer is to get us through them."

*   "Most of our prayers have as their chief objective our own personal comfort rather than God's glory."

*  "Crazy Faith:  Crazy is normal.  Maybe our normal is so subnormal that normal seems abnormal.  Maybe we need a new normal.  Bold prayers and big dreams are normal.  Anything less is subnormal.  And when bold prayers become the norm, so do the miraculous breakthroughs that follow."

And from My Own Thoughts:

* This came the morning that I was doing a little "self preaching" about a major step I was to take but I couldn't see how it was going to end (and even though the step has been initiated, I still don't know the end).

"God, I know you to be the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament.  You are still that God today!" and in that time a question came to mind that said, "You're right.  I am still that same God.  But how is it that you expect me to be the same, but that I would expect any less faith from you than that required of the Old Testament and the New Testament?"

I then thought of Noah, Abraham, Esther, Joshua, Moses, Daniel, and on and on the list went... and the levels of faith they stepped out with... not knowing the end of the story, just believing God to be who He said He was and that He would do what He said He could do.

Their stories are serving as mentors to me in what "faith walking" really looks like, regardless of the response in my own mind or of those around me.

That's just a brief snapshot of what I have been learning. 

These haven't been just nice, little, challenging quotes and thoughts.  Rather, they are compelling me to move forward in intentional and life journey directing decisions once again.  Living it out.

Just as any grueling and strenuous learning assignment, it has been difficult and exciting.  It has left me teetering between grief of what I am giving up to the thrill of what I am pursuing.  It has left me questioning.  It has left me confident.  It has left me... well, frankly feeling like I've lost my mind. 

I sure would love to hear what your heart has been learning in recent days!  Share in the comments below and let's encourage each other with stories of what we are processing and how we are growing to become more and more the men and women that God created us to be!


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