Sunday Sheep Ponderings – January 1, 2017

Happy New Years! Pondering today on “where you are”. 
I had a dream several years ago and in this dream I am in a house. I’m in a large,open concept family/kitchen/dining room with lots and lots of people. It’s loud, crowded and a little overwhelming. I want to find a QUIET place, so I go wandering. I find myself in a long hallway with a door to the left and a door to the right. The door to the left leads to a standard square bedroom with beige walls, carpet and a pair of windows. The door to the right leads to a room that is light and bright with white painted wood walls, ceilings, and floors. It contains lots of unusual roof lines, nooks and architectural features. Both are blank slates.
So I know I have a choice to make. Which room do I want to enter? I could go with the traditional room or I could try something “unique”. 
I IMMEDIATELY know that I want the “unique” room. The creativity and potential flood my senses. I get giddy inside! BUT… I can’t go in yet. Either the room is not ready for me, I am not ready for the room, or both. 
I must wait in the hallway. Really? There was nothing in the hallway. No pictures, no seating, no windows…just a hallway. Dream ends.
This dream was given to me at a time that I was in a leadership position at a mega church and world wide ministry (the large crowded room). I had been serving long hours, lots of people and with all my heart. I had experienced many moments of joy and purpose. BUT I knew in my “knower” that the season was changing and that still small voice was calling me away to a quiet place. So as I leave the large room (the mega ministry), I go searching for a new room, the next season. And while I’m given a glimpse of what the next season could be (behind the doors), I can’t yet go…I must wait in the hallway until the doors are opened. 
My friends, I lived in the hallway for a couple of years. At first, it was super frustrating….no purpose, no vision, no one but me. I was confused and even disappointed. Why would He lead me from a place of such influence and purpose to a place of “nothingness”? And then it started to happen, the hallway started to feel more comfortable. It was quiet, no distractions, no outside voices, no jobs to do, no windows, no mirrors, no people, no books, no demands, no performance, no internal politics, no striving…just me, alone with my Father. He began to teach me, or in my case, “unteach” me. He began to strip away all the layers of influence and thinking that the world, religion and others had heaped on me. The hallway had become a safe haven for my mind, my heart and my very spirit. It was truly a place of transition and transformation. It was exactly where I needed to be.
Today, I am in the “unique” room. It is a room filled with curiosity, creativity, dreams, potential, passion, giddiness and most importantly…peace. It is a pure place. It is home. It’s a place that I was always searching for but couldn’t seem to find.
My dearly loved friends, as we enter this new year of 2017, you may find yourself thriving in a bustling family room, you may find yourself in a quiet, isolated hallway, you may find yourself in a place you always longed for ….or even a place I haven’t mentioned; a wide open field, a warm bathtub, a dining table filled with wonderful food, a library filled with books, a valley filled with obstacles or a mountain top with an amazing view. WHEREVER you find yourself this year, you can KNOW this…your Father is with you. You may not understand and it may feel uncomfortable but He is with you. He is in you. He loves you. Try to resist the human urge to run to the next place, the next season, the next stop on your journey. Spend some time in the hallway. Stop along the path and rest. Hide away for a bit in His arms. Get quiet and listen as He whispers in your ear….words of life, sweet affections, mysteries revealed. The hallway can be more than you ever imagined or dreamed of. 
I will share about how each of you are a part of the wonderful, “unique” room I am in now but that’s enough pondering for today. 
My hope for myself, my family and for all of you that I consider friends is this….may you always know that you are loved, valued and treasured by the One who thought you up, created you and lives in you. May you stop striving to be accepted or blessed but may you find rest in knowing you are His and nothing and no one (even you) can ever separate you from that love. (Romans 8:38-39) 
Happy New Year! 🎊 

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