Shannon Dittemore

January29th

3 Comments

Jim-DennysPresident Obama inspired me. It’s been a bit since I updated you all, and since there are just so many things going on, and since I process better as I write, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone.

That might mean you’re acting as my therapist today, and I apologize for that. Also, I’d like to say I’m going to be entirely transparent, but since we know that these state addresses are rarely that, I’m sure you’ll give me the freedom to stay a little veiled here.

It’s hard to know where to start. As a writer, I know there needs to be coherent paragraphs and structure here, but I’m not feeling that these days. Everything is a jumble. Actions, emotions, faith, hope, trust (pixie dust!) and the conscious decision to choose peace. Every day.

I’m realizing now just how ominous that sounds, but rest assured, there’s nothing life threatening going on. No major illness, nothing like that. But it’s the first time in years that we truly have no choice but to set our eyes on Christ and follow. Yes, of course, we should have been doing all along, and to an extent I know we were, but just now I am very aware of how deceptive that feeling of security can be. Life changes every single day and while it’s easy to think we have the world in our palm, we most certainly do not. And honestly, I’m glad that job belongs to someone else.

A little explanation wouldn’t go amiss, I’m sure. Well, here it is. After a decade of stability, my husband is changing careers. It wasn’t a decision we were planning to make. It wasn’t something we were prepared for. There was no backup plan in place, but it was necessary. And while it comes with some incredible challenges, I am glad God chose to close that door. It’s time for other things. New things. And on that front, I’m very excited.

At first there was that feeling of dread, you know? I mean, our nest egg is more like a nest idea. So, where’s that next check coming from? How do we pay our bills? What about the kids? And, oh my gosh, Obamacare! While those thoughts continue to swirl, the panicked voice inside my head has all but fallen silent.

God did this. God brought us here. He’s not going to leave us, not going to forsake us. He knows our needs better than we do and it’s in Him I rest.

I didn’t think I could be this person. This waiting person. I’m awful at waiting. Awful at resting. I mean, lazy? Yeah, I have that down. But waiting on God, being patient, trusting, completely dependent on Him? That’s different. That’s intentional. Letting Him lead me beside quiet waters, shutting up and listening while He speaks peace, that takes effort.

He’s been preparing me, I think. Deep inside my soul, in the quiet places I share only with Him, God’s been molding me into a person who understands where I belong. Or rather, who I belong to.

And I belong to Him.

I am His. His love. His child. His responsibility. And because I can look back on the road that brought us here and see God’s fingerprints along the way, I know that in five years, when I look back on these days, I’ll see His touch once again. I know it. Deep in my soul. And so I have peace.

Part of the molding, I think, has come as I’ve learned to be an author. And yes, that’s not something that comes naturally either. Writing might be instinctual, but the author part? That’s learned. There’s a lot of waiting there too, and patience, but most of all there’s this: when it comes to words, there is only so much I can do.

For the record, I’m working on something very new for me. It’s moving slower than I hoped because of . . . well, because of life, but I do love it. I love the characters and the hook. I love where it’s headed, but I’m not entirely sure what the story will look like when it’s done. I have an idea and my job is to pen it. To craft it, to trim it, to do my very best. Beyond that, the story does not belong to me. It will belong to readers and they will do with it as they will.

I’m learning that life is the same. We do our very best with what we’ve been given, but that does not guarantee things will go as planned. In fact, our very best may cause us to outgrow the very place we put down roots. A time of uprooting and replanting may be necessary. For our own good. To fulfill God’s plan, not ours. That’s where my little family finds itself these days. And while there is discomfort at times, there is no shortage of peace.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but God does. I don’t know where He’ll lead, but I can’t wait to find out. I don’t know what challenges stand between us and our destination. I don’t know what we’ll have to sacrifice to get there. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.

But I’m okay with that. I’m okay with not knowing (that was hard to type!). I really think I am. And I’m looking forward to the next leg of our journey. With Christ before us and our challenges nothing but shadows in light of Him, I pray the road ahead would be bright and that we would have the courage every day to place one foot in front of the other. That might be too much to ask of our own strength, but I’m ever aware that we don’t have to do this alone.

It’s in our weakness that He is made strong. So with every step we take, I pray His strength would be exhibited. His love for us made known. And when all is said and done, I pray we keep our eyes on Him.

Here’s a cover Sarah Reeves did of Hillsong’s Oceans. I’m keeping the words close to me these days. Perhaps they’ll encourage you today.

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3 Comments

  • Comment by Denise Luke — January 29, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

    Shani …. Beautiful … I can’t wait to see “the story” of your future unfold. I love you all and know God’s plan for you all is so worth the wait. You’ll see …. GOD’S WAY IS PERFECT. I’m so proud of you!

  • Comment by Joanne Kraft — January 29, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

    LOVE this Shannon. Adventures don’t always begin with our own choosing. Actually, those are the best kind. The ones you never planned for and never expected. (Says your writer-friend now living in Tennessee)

    We’re God’s creation living in the natural world with supernatural roots. There’s a common thread of excitement that courses through our fear and if we can just hold on to that elusive piece. We’re good. Use that excitement and EXPECT Him to show up. He will provide. (Psalm 37:25)

    Hang on and hold on sweet girl. You’re a child of the King of Kings. No matter what happens – you’re guaranteed a happily ever after. xox

  • Comment by Karen — January 30, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

    Beautifully written Shan…sometimes these situations are easier to handle when God kinda lets us know a few things…but even when he doesn’t isn’t it wonderful to know we can trust him?

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