Sunday, September 30, 2012

Standing in the Return Line

“Jenny, why do you walk different from the rest of us?”  My four year old niece Tizi looked up at me with honest eyes as we strolled through the neighborhood.  We took a few more steps while pushing the stroller as she watched me walk some more.  I looked over, explained cerebral palsy in the best 4 year old language I could find, and then she responded with a change in perspective, “We all walk differently, every one of us!”

"Yes," I thought to myself, "We all have a different walk in life."

Ever feel like your walk with God stands out, looking different from everyone else?  I’m not talking about the standing out that makes you feel special; I’m talking about the standing out that makes you feel odd, awkward, and alone?  Do you ever feel that what God has called you to feels overwhelming, and the gifts and calling on your life are not ones that you would like to graciously unwrap and receive, but rather return because they don’t seem to fit?

I’ve found myself in this place lately, questioning whether God actually knows me well enough to move me in the direction He’s leading.  I’ve prayed prayers that I’m not proud of, asking God where the return line is for the gifts and calling He’s given me.  I’ve been envisioning myself as the disappointed woman standing wearily in line the day after Christmas, frustrated by the packages I’ve opened that seemed to have no resemblance of who I am.  

God is so patient isn’t He?

God, I believe, has been listening to my prayers, as sarcastic as they are, and He has been inviting me into a different line—not one of return, but one of exchange.  It’s as if He has been saying, “Why don’t you lay down your frustration and your resentment and instead pick up surrender and trust?  Why don’t you exchange your answer of ‘no,’ to the things I am calling you towards for an answer of ‘yes?’  The truth is, I do know you and I know how to give good gifts.”

Feel like you’re standing in the return line?  Here are two resources that have helped me this week:
1.        I Knew What I Was Getting Into sung by Misty Edwards
2.       Irreplaceable, a sermon by Steve Wiens

Stumbo Family Story


  1. Such a beautiful, honest depiction, Jenny...praying that your encounters w/God in the return line make it sacred ground as well....

    1. Thank you Kristin; I appreciate and am in need of your prayers! I am so glad that God listens to our prayers, even when they're not polished, and graciously steps to let us hear His voice.