Random Thoughts Thursday

Every year since childhood, my famly and I have come up with slogans to fit the new year. For example, the year I turned 12, our slogan was "Getting It Straight in '88." The year I turned 23, our slogan was "In God's Time in '99."

This year, though, we didn't come up with one. Whether it's because we couldn't think of one or because we've outgrown it, I'm not sure. I think maybe all five of us - my parents, brother, sister, and I - are at different points in our lives and God is speaking to each of us separately. Maybe He's giving each of us our own slogan/theme for 2011.

So, a few weeks ago, I'd been wondering what my theme would be, when God gave me one word: change. This word came about after a particular complain-fest I'd had with God. I was apartment hunting - not really wanting to move from my townhome, but knowing I had to. God just listened and waited until I was done. After I finished, God told me, as clear as day, I kid you not, "This year is going to be a year of change for you, Rae. Some change you'll like; some change you won't like. Just know that I know what I'm doing." I couldn't really say much after that. I couldn't go on complaining, that's for sure.

I've always had a sense that my 30s would be the time God took me out of my comfort zone. Since I'm almost 5yrs into my 30s (I turn 35 in September), and I haven't had to go too far out of that zone, I figured, maybe I was wrong. Maybe I don't have to venture out. Well, I'm getting the feeling that 35 will start the "Journey Out of the Zone" for me. While that excites me, it terrifies me a little. I like my zone. I'm comfortable here. All's well in my little world. Now, I gotta venture out into the unknown?

The best way I can put it is like this: I'm going through my very own butterfly metamorphosis. Right now, I'm in the pupa stage. I'm in my nice, comfortable chrysalis, but God is telling me it's time...time to leave my safe chrysalis and venture out. I'm scared, but when I really think about it, I'm excited. The caterpillar is no longer a caterpillar when it leaves the chrysalis. It's a butterfly...a beautiful butterfly. And that's what God is saying. It's time for me to become the beautiful butterfly He's called me to be.

Treasure Davis, the main character in my novel #2, Hidden Treasure, ventures out of her zone to truly experience life. The differences between our journeys are (a) she's 18 and I'm 35, and (b) my venturing out has to do with God; hers is cos she learns that life is too short (her aunt has an aggressive form of cancer). It's funny that the whole story comes about during a time I myself am experiencing change. Guess that's why I totally enjoy writing this book.

One of my favorite scriptures says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV). I also like the way The Message puts it: "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." So yeah, God may lead me to the land of the unknown, but I trust Him. I believe He knows what He's doing. His plan isn't to hurt me, but to prosper me - which doesn't always mean financially, btw - and to give me a hopeful future. I'm excited about what God's gonna do. This is gonna be the best year yet and I'm gonna blog all about it, whether it's changes I like or changes I don't like. Stay tuned...