Present Anticipation

I’m living in anticipation these days.

When I landed in good ol’ America five months ago without a scheduled exit date, it was a struggle to stay present. I can’t remember the last time I was somewhere without knowing when I would next be hopping on a plane, train, or car, and walking into a new season of life in a new place with new people. Instead, I treated the start of this season differently, as less than any other season I had walked into. I started a new job with new people, but in the same town and under the same roof I grew up in. I was not ok.

I’ve traveled the world, seen color and beauty like no other, done things that make my heart leap, and breathed out the Spirit of God on the lands of Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It’s incredible to think of the places I’ve walked in my short 25 years of life, and I’m deeply grateful for the doors that have been opened to me. Now, I’m back in Dallas and, no offense to my family who always, graciously welcomes me with open arms, but it’s the last place I want to be.

Transition has been rough. It’s never easy for me, and this time was no different. I fought being here for so long. I was like a child who was being picked up by her father from her favorite toys and put in the cry room. The room full of rockers and pillows and tissues and sound proof walls. I sat and banged my fists on the ground, asking, “Why? Why? Why am I here, and not there??” I didn’t understand the Father and I questioned everything on a daily basis.

Through the loving, but piercing questions from new friends, I have cried many tears that flooded and overflowed into the deeper, ugly parts of my soul. Until this season in my life, deep down, I had given up on the church in America. Washed my hands and walked away. Decided that revival in America was for somebody else to carry and definitely not my responsibility. I would think to myself, Surely I’m meant to be overseas. Surely I’m not supposed to be in America. I’m made for more than this place. Get me out of here.

I’ve realized that everything about that thinking is wrong.

When the nastiness of our hearts are exposed, we are left with two decisions. One, to allow it to remain and continue festering in our souls, feeding bitterness and cynicism. Or we kick it out, fists flying and hearts racing, and bring in truth and beauty to fill the spaces.

I talk a lot about how we carry the presence of God, putting on new glasses, looking to where God is at work and joining Him in that. For me, it’s easy to live in that way when in a country full of idols staring at you and buildings blaring the mantra of the day across the city. Of course, my God is the same there as He is here, but I think I have been afraid to admit that I didn’t actually believe that. And that is ugly.

Because here, it is the same situation. The idols look different and the mantra sounds unconventional, but it’s still a place of people walking through life empty, hurting, and broken. If the purpose of life is to join God in His work of bringing all peoples of the world to praise His name, then my ears need to be tuned in to listening for where I don’t hear the name of God being lifted. That could be across the world, or here in the city I grew up in. It’s my decision to choose if I want to actively listen.

Though it’s still a struggle, I’m becoming more and more present. I wake up and choose to live in present anticipation. Not anticipation of leaving Dallas (though I would get on a plane tomorrow if I could), but of hearing and seeing where God is moving in this place, in this city, in this nation.

I’m sitting on the edge of my seat, standing on the edge of a cliff, and I see Him swaying among the trees and pages that flip when He walks by. I’m excited to be here because I know, in the depths of my heart, that He is here. His presence is near and alive. With eyes alight, I’m listening for the ones crying out for more and I’m willing to say, “Here. Come. Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Because, my friend, He is good. In every place of the world, He is good. He reigns. He is worthy of praise, regardless of where we are. Live in present anticipation of His movement today, and I promise you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

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4 thoughts on “Present Anticipation

  1. OH Sarah, we are on the same page. I have been up since 4:00 this morning crying out “Where are you Lord, Is this all you have for me?” I love your message today. I know your message, but we can get so wrapped up in what is not happening we fail to see what is happening. I love when the Lord answers me so swiftly, and that answer came through you this morning. I know the Lord has great and wonderful things planned for your life. I also know that satan comes to steal away our joy and hope, and destroy the work laid before us. You are in my heart and in my prayers. The Lord will use you in a mighty way, but it may well not be as you think.

    Love Sallie

  2. Bloom where you are planted, Sarah. That’s what’s expected of us.
    Hold your plans loosely. God will surprise you as He has many times.
    Be ready for action when the time comes. It will come. It will come.

  3. Sarah, I was so happy to receive your latest communication today as I had been wondering “where you were.” It certainly is easy to see that, at this time in your life, you are “standing still and watching the deliverance of the Lord.” I will be praying that He will clearly show you where He wants you, and you can be assured that He will bless you whereever He sends you —– even in your own backyard.
    Love Beth

  4. I think it was Chesterton who said, “A truly adventurous person wouldn’t cross the globe or climb mountains. He’d just jump over his neighbour’s fence”. Something to think about – America is dark, not because darkness overtakes the light, but because the light is not shining here as it should. You may be in the US for now to shine here as well – you probably are always on the alert for divine appointments God has set for you to interact with those in your sphere of influence wherever you are. Which neighbor will God love through you today? :)

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