Where I’m Supposed to Be

Last week I wanted to be omniscient. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like that in such a strong way, but I was seriously envying God’s ability to be in all places at all times. And to be fully present in each of them.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the possibility of Hope going to see Aster in Ethiopia and wanting to be there with her!

Thursday morning my mind was filled with non-stop thoughts about where I was going and the many places where I wanted to be. I was headed to out of town to see a friend who’s going through a horrific marriage break-up. She lives 6 hours away and I’d be driving with my other friend Marlo, picking up Glynnis at the airport in Atlanta and then spending the weekend together. This would be a long, hard trip and I was feeling very inadequate. Would I be able to be to say or be what she needed? I prayed for God to use me as His healing salve on her broken heart.

Then I started thinking about Hope emailing me and how I wouldn’t be home. I wouldn’t be near a computer all day and it was her last day before heading to a remote area in Ethiopia without email. I might miss my chance to talk with her.

Yet, I knew I was going exactly where God wanted me to be, and where I wanted to be. God had planned our trip with Divine details and timing. With all of my heart, I wanted to go yet I wanted to stay and be where I was.

I couldn’t, but I knew God could.

I kept reminding myself of His omniscience. Yet, my heart was tangled with emotions and desires. I kept thinking about all the places I wanted to be and people I wanted to be with. So many needs I wanted to meet. So many “sides” I wanted to sit by.

JJ’s parents were coming to see us and I wouldn’t be here. They only come twice a year and I love spending time with them and visiting. I wanted to stay but I needed to go.

My friend Kim called to say they’d found out her liver tumors had grown and new ones had appeared in new places. I wanted to drop everything and drive to her house to see her.

My kids were asking where I was going and why I was leaving. Hadn’t I promised I wouldn’t be traveling until She Speaks? They had things they wanted to do and places they wanted to go.

I found out the staff’s workload at the office had tripled with She Speaks nearing, and three of our staff were going on vacation. I wanted to fill in and help.

The list goes on and on. I wanted to be where I was headed, yet stay where I was. And every time I told God about my struggles, He’d whisper to my heart, “Just be where you are. Be fully where you are and look to see why I have you right there, right then.”

Well, if you’ve read Tuesday’s post, you know He exceeded my hopes of talking with Hope! That little chat was so much more wonderful than if I’d been at home. I did get to help Kim some this week. The boys survived and a had a great weekend with their grandparents, even though I’m still sad I didn’t get to see them.

Our trip to Alabama was truly incredible. I saw God. He came there to meet with me in ways I hadn’t anticipated. He showed up in amazing ways for my friend, and those of us with her. In the midst of tears and tearing away of what was and what will never be again, we cried, listened, laughed, watched chick flicks, floated on rafts in a lake, ate southern food, read God’s Word, prayed and drank sweet tea.

I was so glad to be where I was supposed to be. I couldn’t do all I wanted to do. I couldn’t be in all the places I wanted to be. But God could and I was right where He was and where He wanted me.

I watched my dear friend be where she was, although her soul longs to be somewhere so different than this dark pit of despair. She wants to be where she used to be more than words can describe.

I saw her letting go of what she’s lost while holding on to what she has left – Her faith, Her God, her children, her parents and her friends. Her past, even some of her present and much of what she thought was her future is gone. She can’t be there any more but God is there – in what was, in what is and in what is to come.

Knowing this in a whole new way just makes me love Him that much more for all that He is and all the places in which He dwells. It’s not easy accepting that I can’t be everywhere I want to be. But knowing I am where God wants me assures me that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I'm up late waiting for my laundry to be done so I can pack for a trip I'm leaving for in the morning.

    I'm so glad I decided to check my blog list, so I didn't miss this post.

    I've been feeling so torn lately- wanting to be everything and everywhere, wondering if I'm doin it right or wrong, being so aware of all that I"m not for the people I love and for God, and feeling overwhelmed by all I see that needs to be done.

    This post was so good for me tonight. Thank you, Renee! I am so thankful that I follow your blog.

  2. Rene,
    I wish I could hug you through the computer……. Thanks for keeping it real, love you bunches my friend, can't wait to see you.

    Cris

  3. Renee: My heart is breaking for and praying for Donna. Lifting her up to Him.

    You girlfriends are so great to raise the banner of love and gather together for Donna. The healing balm…

    Still delighted and amazing that the Lord had Hope and Aster together! After I read your post the other day, the next morning I read this verse and smiled at God's goodness…

    "And hope does not disappoint us…"
    Romans 5:5

  4. Thank you for posting these words. They spoke directly to me in ways you will never know!

  5. You have such a beautiful heart…for the Lord and for others.

    He has to remind me that He is worthy to be trusted. And your post is such a great reminder of that, Renee. That He is worthy to be trusted about EVERYTHING….even about where I am when there are so many other places I want to be.

    Blessings, sweet friend.
    Love and prayers,
    K

  6. Oh, Renee! I just read this post and the one with Hope and Aster! Wow!! Girlfriend, God is so good. His timing is perfect even though we sometimes don't get it! Wow! I can't wait to give you a hug at She Speaks!! Bless your heart! Your obedience to God is so amazing. Thank you for sharing all of this with us.

    Love ya!
    Susan
    PS–My 100th post and give-away is on my blog if you get a chance to visit!! Hugs!!

  7. Renee,

    I haven't been here in a while, and I'm so glad I stopped by today! This was so profound on so many levels. I'm having one of those weekends right now. But my time is really only split in two, maybe three, directions.

    With your encouragement, I pray God shows up in ways I hadn't anticipated and fills in the gaps where I am not.

    Blessings,
    Sandy

  8. Wow, Renee. What a powerful post.

    I completely understand wanting to be one place and yet getting called to be somewhere else. This summer it's happened to us, but for a good reason (my daughter got cast as an 'extra' in a Warner Brothers film).

    STILL, it was a hard decision, and we've both had to give up things to be out of state for 3 weeks. I had SO MANY summer plans that I had to let go of. Now our son is in Europe, my hubby is home alone in Florida, and my daughter and I are up in Michigan. NOT the original plan!

    I'm desperately hoping I will have enough time to prepare for She Speaks. But right now, this is what God has for me and my daughter.

    Still, that's nothing compared to your friend. My heart goes out to her, Renee. Thank GOD for good friends to help us through.

    Rejoicing that Hope and Aster got that precious time together! They were both where they were supposed to be, too.

  9. I enjoy following your journey and am always amazed at how God chooses to touch our hearts. I was just innocently enjoying my coffee and reading your blog this morning when I saw in your words comfort from God. My post this morning links to your blog. Happy Fourth!

  10. Oh what an amazing God! I am so glad Lysa sent me to your blog because I am being so encouraged by these stories of God working! Thank you for sharing. Praise God! Kelly

  11. I too have wished I could know what was going on or be in several places at the same time. Mostly sleeping while I am supposed to be teaching…ha! Isn't it beautiful that God gives us just what we need just when we need it so desperately? Yeah God! Manna for the day!

  12. Robin L says:

    Wow. you describled my feeling for this weekend to a T. Thanks for you words of encouragement.

  13. This is such a beautiful post Renee… so rich with truth and so applicable to every woman.

    It seems no matter where a woman is, her heart feels torn to also be somewhere else as well.

    I love this!

    Now here's my practical side coming to speak…

    This would be great for your doubt book— and a devo— and a radio show.

    Just sayin'…

    Love you friend!!!

  14. This was such a beautiful post and a great reminder. To be where God calls us and not be focused on where we want to be…is hard. I'm learning to trust God in all things and not be anxious. The "anxious meter" is how I know when my heart is focused on too many things and not where God has called me. Thanks for sharing so honestly your struggle.
    Totally agree with Lysa, this is a good devo or book waiting to happen!

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