Friday, July 20, 2012

The List

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:16

You might not know this about me, but I am a list-maker.  

I wasn't always one, but as I've gotten older, I've found list-making to be the best way to keep track of important things like time and money.  I used to go to the grocery store without a list, buy random things, and then get home without a full set of ingredients for anything.  Before I had a full time job, I would meander through my days without structure and end up settling down at 9pm to get done what I should have been doing all day long.

Now, though, I make lists for practically everything.  Lists of things to buy at the store, things that need to be done, people I need to reach out to - the list, ironically, goes on and on.  I plan my days off by listing what needs to be cleaned and errands that need to be run.  I manage my life by keeping a constant list in my head.

The past few weeks have been challenging ones for me.  Without going into detail, since the detail isn't really important, let's just say that my world has flipped on its axis a bit and everything is heightened, confusing, and unknown.  In the natural, at least, that's the way it appears.

God has been speaking to me a lot, though, especially in the past week or so.  Even when I don't even realize I'm praying, I'm praying.  He's spoken through everything possible - people, places, events, circumstances, road signs, and by literally stopping me mid-kerfluffled-mind-rant during church.  He's spoken audibly. He's lobbed cosmic cream pies at my face one right after the other.  And everything that He has been speaking to me has seemed just totally impossible.  My general response to what He's been saying has been, "Uh huh - I'll believe it when I see it."

Hypocrite much?  Anyway...

This past week, I've heard from two very different yet very strong, spiritual ladies about lists.  Twice, now, I listened to a woman I admired and trusted in faith tell me that during a similar time in her life, she put pen to paper and made a list of what she was believing for from God.  Both women said it felt a little silly, a little frivolous, but that they were believing for what God spoke to them and for the longings and desires He had put in their hearts.  And that, miraculously, every single thing on those lists came true.

After last night, when the second woman told me her story about her list, I couldn't get this idea off my mind. I'm a list-maker.  I make lists for literally everything else.  And so, this afternoon, I picked up my little notebook that I carry around everywhere, turned on a song that I've been listening to on repeat for six weeks now, clicked my purple pen and began to write.

First, I wrote at the top everything God had spoken to me.  And then under it, I made a list of what I wanted, what the deepest desires of my heart are, based on what He said.

Now, I'm a miracle-believing Christian.  Mark 10:27 is my life verse.  I have seen and witnessed miracles of every kind and I will be the first to tell you to believe for what God has spoken to you.  But writing these things down felt like the craziest, silliest, most frivolous, and most pie-in-the-sky fairy-dust thing I have ever done in my life.  (And oh, I've done some crazy stuff - just ask my mother!)

I'm ashamed to say it, but it just seems so ridiculous.  Writing all these things down feels like I'm a five year old making a list of what she'll do when she grows up to be a princess who lives on a cloud at the end of a rainbow with pixies.

And yet, here it is.

Earlier this week, I shared with my pastor some of the things God had spoken to me and that I was hesitant to believe it.  He looked at me and said, "Don't you believe God can do that?"

Well.  Um.  I didn't really have an answer.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” -Mark 10:27

It's right there.  I guess I don't really have a choice.  Which, to be honest, is actually kind of great.

I made my list.  Now it's up to God to begin checking things off.