“Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.” ~~ (Hebrews 6:15, 17)
So there has been a span of about 4 weeks since my last post, which is indicative of God saying to me once again, “wait, my child.” Wait – for His words instead of my own. If I had stayed on the blog post timeline I had laid out myself, this post would most likely have a slightly different focus. You see, in the waiting for His prompting, He has brought about the THING He has been doing when I first went to the “Place of Something Else.”
At first, we don’t really want to go to the Place of Something Else because it’s not familiar. It usually involves a lot of being alone, isolated, apart from what has been our normal routine, both relationally and spiritually. This is especially foreign to those of us who thrive on people, relationships, and leading. It is so opposite from our wiring that we find ourselves fighting it, and saying, “God, you can’t possibly be taking me here!” It can often lead us to a place of desperation, which is really not where we like to be — we in our oh-so-comfortable-church-girl-life. You see, what the Lord had to teach me had to be learned in the Place of Something Else, because the ultimate work He had for me required testing that could not be learned in the Place of Same. A gifted speaker I recently heard shared about her journey in going through a wilderness time – a time apart – and I was reminded that when the Lord takes us to these places, it’s because He wants us to go deeper with Him, and He knows we will go there. And when we go there, what deep and hidden treasure we find. What a wonderful work of refining, of preparing, of solidifying, of bringing about the Thing He has set in front of us.
The Place of Something Else also clarified and strengthened my perception of who God is to me and that He is who He says He is in my real life. He is the Guardian of my heart, the Lifter of my head, and the Keeper of His promises to me. I will be honest, during this time of being in the Place of Something Else, I felt incredibly isolated, I was hurt by friends I felt had betrayed me, I didn’t understand why these circumstances had come about, and all I knew to do was pray, cry out in desperation, soak in His word and let Him bind up my wounds. A beautiful thing that happened over the course of time, was that He brought women into my life who had been through similar circumstances, and we were able to share together what this Place of Something Else feels like, because not every one gets to go there, you see. As sort of a reminder of this treasure, I have kept a stack of writings, devotionals, sermon notes, a couple of individual bible studies I did on my own, and a copy of Streams in the Desert that truly was like a stream of life in my desert. These were the faithful promises I would read over and over, as I walked with God in this time.
When God takes us to the Place of Something Else, we must understand that the work He is doing there is on His timetable, and we learn to rest in that peace. We must learn to wait on and count on His promises. It can be 2 years, 4 years, 6 years, or 10 or 20 years. But sister, He will act on His Promises, and when He is ready, we can know that in His time, in His way, He will accomplish what He is doing. The Place of Something Else is God’s ultimate training ground for leaders who are willing to go with God on the adventure of seeing seeing our faith truly tested, fortified, and refined!