What do you get when you fit dozens of twenty-something girls into one hostel? I didn’t want to stick around to find out. It was night two on our trip to the Scottish Highlands and I was ready for some alone time.
“I’m going to take a walk,” I mumbled over my shoulder to the other girls on the way out the door.
The crisp northern air mixed with the swarm of gnats around my face as I set out into town. Instead of heeding the millions of warnings I was given about going places on my own in a foreign country, I quickened my step in excitement to spend time with Jesus. I had a lot to talk to Him about.
Many jumbled words aimed heavenward, littered with a few photo stops, filled the time it took to walk along the Oceanside path to the Skye Bridge.
What was this next year of life to look like?
I began throwing my demands and fears and insecurities and uncertainties at my Heavenly Father, not knowing what to do with them. But instead of giving me the answers and peace I wanted, God responded in a surprising way, as He normally does. He responded with discipline.
“Marina, you say you want a deep faith, but the things you allow to fill those deep crevices of your heart are not of Me. You harbor criticism and self-sufficiency and pride. Why do you expect me to give you answers about all these things when your heart isn’t right before me? I am a GOD bigger than your surface level problems. I will fight for your heart and your whole attention, even if it hurts for a time. Turn from these sinful habits! Cut them from your heart and life! Only then will you be able to see as I see.”
The words brought me to tears.
How could I have been so naïve to think that God only cares about my life decisions and surface level problems? No, He cares about every aspect of my existence—most primarily my attitude and affection for Him. As a faithful Lover and Friend, He pursues my heart and massages it with truth. This precise truth is summarize in Matthew 6:33: Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.
Over four months have passed now and the days since have been some of the most overwhelming and future-shaping. Every conversation, every interaction, every passing moment reminds me that God can and will convict and prepare us for the next season of life. We simply must carve out the time to listen.
So today, take a walk. See what God wants to reveal to you. It just might change your life.