Questions in the Wilderness

"I feel like I'm headed into the wilderness."

That's what I said before we moved to Kansas City. And I think I was right. I feel that I've been in a wilderness of sorts for a long while now. There were some difficult things that happened before we moved and more awaited me after we moved. To boot I turned 39 and so that mid-life what-am-I-doing-that-matters stuff began to happen.

Bottom line: I've been having a little big identity crisis.

This morning Benji Nolot, of Exodus Cry, tweeted this:

"God has a wilderness for every person struggling with their identity."


The thing I've discovered about the wilderness is that while it doesn't appear attractive and seems from the outside to be deserted, I have found that there is One here with me. I've encountered God more deeply here than I have anywhere else before. In my barrenness He fills me and He speaks to me. He provides an oasis just when I need it. He puts refreshing words in the mouths of others who don't know I need them. He has sent me a friend. He has even given me my own personal cheerleader, who follows me around all day saying, "You're the best mom ever. I love you forever."

It's not easy to live in a wilderness, but I wouldn't trade it. I will come out on the other side. His purposes will be served.

The two questions I hear asked of me in this place and the questions we must all answer are:

"Who do you say that I am?"  

Who do I say God is? Who is Jesus?

"Who are you?" 

Who does He say that I am? Who was I created to be? How does He want to express His life through me?

Answer these questions and I will be unshakeable. These are the questions in my wilderness. Maybe they are the questions in yours.

Who do you say that He is?

Who are you?


Speaking the truth in love. And otherwise.

Over the years I've learned a few things the hard way about speaking the truth. These are some rules (a term I use loosely) that would serve me well during those times I really feel something burning inside that wants to be said. I do not always follow the rules...but if I did I would save myself and others a tremendous amount of trouble and pain. I am using the second person tense for simplicity. By you I mean we/us/me.

1. Just because it's true doesn't mean it's your job to say it. Discernment from the Holy Spirit, and consideration for what your relationship is to the other person, is necessary. You are not the truth police. There are times a thing doesn't need to be said, but rather prayed over, because God is really good at bringing His kids to the place of understanding.

2. Just because it's true doesn't mean it needs to be said at all. Are you nagging? Is it your place? Is it helpful? Is it necessary? Is it really a big deal? Does it even matter?

3. When speaking the truth, it is helpful to focus on the main truth you want to share. Do not unload all the truth you know, or think you know, about a topic, or a person and his issues. Pick one or two. Too much is, well...too much.

4. Check your motive. Are you concerned for the other person or are you just frustrated? I think we can speak truths about things that frustrate us, but not while we are frustrated. T.I.M.I.N.G.

5. Speaking truth in a way that is destructive to another person, and blaming it on the Holy Spirit, isn't nice.

6. Be prepared to receive truth as well as dispense it. Otherwise, you lack integrity and may have no place sharing it in the first place. If you can't take it, don't dish it out.

7. Finally, be prepared to eat your words in the future, in the rare case that what you thought was true was, in fact, false. Because let's face it. Sometimes we get it wrong.

"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Proverbs 10:19. 

I need that verse plastered all over my house.