Don't You Dare

I recently came back from an incredible weekend with some of my favorite things.  A weekend of God, students, the woods, and Jesus talks that lasted late into the night.  My Spirit was recharged and so was my motivation for school that has slowly become over-taken by little outbreaks of senioritis.  I, along with many of the students, came back on fire and ready to live life differently than when I left.

And then today, as I was running at the gym, I was struck with an old, familiar fear.  A fear that I had sworn wasn’t going to follow me home from this retreat.  And in the midst of that fear I was reminded of the pile of laundry slowly overtaking my closet, and the assignments I had yet to complete, and the people I have meant to connect with but haven’t found the time to, and the room that needed dusted, etc.  My zeal and enthusiasm was being squandered.  My precious time with Jesus was being rudely interrupted and I was getting annoyed.  Its only day 2…the fire isn’t supposed to go out yet.  So I did something I don’t normally do when I begin to feel overwhelmed.  Rather than calling my mom or texting my boyfriend or venting over dinner with a friend, I prayed.  

I took time to talk to God.  

Then I did something else I normally don’t do when I feel overwhelmed.  

I listened.

“Ashley don’t you dare forget who you belong to.  Don’t you dare forget how big I am or how I breathed the stars into existence. (Psalm 33:6)  Don’t you dare allow the precious time we spend together to become a space where you worry or feel unstable.  This pull that you feel towards worldly obligations, the fear that steals your peace, the worry that begins to creep into your life, that is not from me.  You belong to me and will be given what is needed to accomplish what is desired.  When you’re feeling overwhelmed, its because you’ve forgotten who you belong to.  Don’t you dare forget who you belong to.”

And the battle was won.  

It’s definitely not over.  The laundry still needs to be done (which feels like such an adult thing to say), and the assignments still need to be completed and there are still relationships I need to invest in, and the fear will continue to try and deviate my focus from God, but in the midst of it all the fire remains.

So for those who have experienced the “high” that comes with spending intentional, sacred time with God and who have allowed their to fire begin to dwindle with things of this world…don’t you dare.

Ashley Sider