In March, I had the pleasure of house/plant-sitting for some friends. I needed some time away and in this, I was able to seek refuge each night and even spend a few days just simply seeking and being with the Lord.
At the time, I was desperately desiring to hear the Lord's voice and wanting to know His will for the next season of my life. I didn't know what that looked like, but I had pretty big ideas of what I wanted it to look like...obviously (if you haven't figured it out yet with the Lord) He had other plans!
What I was expecting was the Lord's clear direction.
What I found was the Lord's clear voice.
What I was wanting was answers to my questions.
What I was given was an answer to a question I hadn't thought to ask yet.
I woke up one morning and the first thing on my mind was a date: September 19th.
I didn't know what it meant...how I was supposed to take it...what I was supposed to do with it. But it wouldn't go away. All day it kept coming up…September 19th.
So I began praying.
And for 3 weeks, all I did was pray and ask the Lord what it meant: was I supposed to be abstaining from something as a fast until that time? Was that a date that something was going to happen? Was it a date for someone else? A date I needed to do something?
I asked these questions almost daily but also knew that, in the Lord's time, He would make His plan known. That also came in an unexpected way.
I was out on a walk with a friend of mine who has known of my heart for Scotland for quite a while. She had asked me about my time away and what the Lord had shown me. As I was sharing some different things with her, I began to explain to her this enigmatic date I was given.
Without the blink of an eye, she gently responded to my wonderings and musings with a simple sentence:
"Erika, maybe that's the date you're supposed to go to Scotland."
I sat gawking at her for probably a lot longer than she was comfortable with as I slowly began processing this new piece of the puzzle. It didn't make any more sense than the date I was given but just as with that, I knew the Lord was planning and directing each of these steps.
We committed this to prayer immediately and asked the Lord to confirm His perfect plan through His scripture and His ways.
...the next day, one of only two Scottish friends that I have showed up, unannounced, on my doorstep. She wanted to surprise us and flew all the way out here from Scotland to do just that. I didn't want to jump to conclusions, but was elated with the realization that this could definitely be another piece of a puzzle that had quickly become more grand than I had ever dreamed up.
The final pieces to the puzzle came with talking with my Pastors and waiting patiently for the Lord to confirm this calling with scripture. He gave my Pastors some very wise and encouraging things to say as they kept reminding me to commit it to Him and to wait for Him to make the plans.
I kept praying.
Finally, about 5 weeks after the Lord giving me a date, He confirmed His calling with His word. This scripture has meant so much to me through the past 7 years of my life. The first time I was given in was when I had to walk away from being a nanny.
Since then, He has used this scripture to remind me that He desire to call us out from those wintery and hard seasons in life into a spring time that brings forth bud and blossom, fruit and joy.
My beloved spoke, and said to me:
"Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
And the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!
Song of Songs 2:10-13
This time around, however, the Lord called me into His will and to Himself by giving me one more verse:
"O my dove,
in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret places of the cliff,
Let me see your face,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your face is lovely."
Song of Songs 2:14
With this verse, I felt the Lord telling me, calling me, biding me to come away…to Him. To meet Him in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliffs…to find Him in and follow Him to Scotland…
I pray the Lord continues to speak to you with His word. It is living, powerful, sharper than any double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) and He is waiting for you to pick it up with the expectation that He WILL speak to you through it, guide you from it, show you His heart in it.
He loves you that much.