Stories of a good God

In a time of striving, competition, views, likes, followers, activities, parties, cleaning, shopping… (need I go on?) do we really know who we are, let alone what we’re called to do?

The age-old concept of ‘finding yourself’, romanticised by Hollywood, mocked by parents of gap year students, and scoffed at by life-hardened cynics, is tricky to conceive, let alone give birth to, and so we side step the issue, claiming it to be stuff of poets and novelists, and we ‘get on with it’… whatever ‘it’ may be…

As a teenager, I romanticised the concept of ‘finding myself.’ Once ‘there’ I was sure I would find my destiny. Therein lay the key to ‘happiness.’ My mother, ever the realist, told me ‘get on with it,’ work hard, just as she had done from the age of 12 or 13, just as her mother before her done…

Restless, I completed my Arts/Law degree and stepped into the ‘respected’ career of ‘lawyer.’ Square peg in a round hole, but I had a heart for justice. Perhaps in the throes of doing I would truly find myself; yet something remained amiss…

With my 30’s came children, and considerations of self fulfilment disappeared with sleepless nights; dirty nappies; and the gentle joy of a little one wrapping their arms around me as their beloved parent, protector, provider and source of all good things. It was mind numbing work being the stay at home, full-time parent. There was a loss of identity too; yet it was also one of the most fulfilling and intellectually challenging things I have ever done. I would do it all again, for who they are becoming…

The yearning remained.

Had I missed ‘it’?

In those years, I learnt to listen and hear the gentle whisper of meaning on the wind. A Promise remained…

We release our children into who they are & provide support for what they are created to do ©naassom azevedo

My youngest went to school. Both children dreamt dreams. We gave permission for them to dream in daring ways for I believe a parent’s role is to equip, establish, encourage and release. But with their dreams, suddenly the expected space for my ‘thing’ disappeared. It was time to die to self… again.

Jesus is right… No greater love… (John 15:13).

Noble romantic concept – tough to do…

There are so many ways to lay down a life; death comes in so many forms. I once heard Graham Cooke teach wryly: ‘Do everyone a favour and die quietly’.

I stifle a groan.

Again I quiet my soul and listen for the Wind.

Throughout this process of death to self, growth… death to self, growth… death to self, growth… I learn.

It has hurt; I have cried; I have found peace.

In the pause, I learn to breathe; in the pause, I teach others the same.

It is in this most recent global pause I remember who I am. I remember what I had learnt years prior, but had somehow lost in the recent flurry of life. Don’t strive. Wait. Listen. The Heart-Beat will announce the beginning of something new… the new is coming, yet it’s old, it’s been there all the time…

I wait.

In this place, I learn to be, before I do.

I’m not perfect – striving is a lifelong habit, and it is the world’s way.

The noise amid the current storm has been furious. So I step back. I step in, and I breathe.

Like many, I find myself on the precipice of decisions, but the striving to know what, where, when, why must leave…

Being supersedes doing.

It is from being that identity flows, and from identity comes the fulfilment of purpose and destiny.

Identity flows from being… not doing.

So I be…

From there it is safe to go…

From There, I am called to go…

Doing before being will immerse me in striving. My identity will ship-wreck on the world’s values of performance, a sure recipe for burnout, disappointment, and an inner sense of failure. My outer world will not match my inner world… and I will either implode or explode, hurting myself and/or those around me.

So, being supersedes doing BUT it does not replace doing.

Once you can fully be who you are, the doing will flow from you with ease.

We are all works-in-progress, so there is a constant tension and interplay between being who and Whose we are, while simultaneously stepping out in obedience, into what we are called to do.

In reality, there is ‘both/and’ at play rather than an ‘either/or’…

We be AND we do.

BUT first we must be.

We are lighthouses set on the shores of Love, lit up for others to see, so that they too may find their way Home…

Home really is where the Heart is.

Yet to settle in the place where you now stand is to settle for nothing, for we are continuously being called to step forward into the language of Love, the language of dance, and as we answer the call to step into the Truth greater and bigger than ourselves, we will continue to see that…

God is Good!

And so in this time of storms, tempests, winds and rain…

BE… 

THEN DO…

Lighthouse on the shores ©Everaldo Coelho

©Beth Kennedy 2020

Comments on: "Be a lighthouse…" (6)

  1. Beautifully written & so encouraging. As I survey my newly acquired black eye from a recent altercation between myself, my bicycle & some concrete, I can hear the wise words from 50 years ago from a wise man, “ look where you are going, not where you have been” as we hurtled along beach rd on our bikes. I’m reminded of this quote most days as I start my day, draw an imaginary line in the sand & start again, as enjoyable as it is to look back & reminisce, I’m encouraged by your words To be that lighthouse, to be that beacon, to be a light in the darkness, to shine a light on the path of our continuing journey with god and to “look where we are going” & to where god is taking us all in this wonderful life.

    • Thank you for reading. Ever the encourager, I think perhaps you are unveiling your Barnabas nature! Keep standing on the land called Love, and shine @acclamkit. You have dine amazing things in the past, and been a lighthouse for others, and you have so much more to shine for and into. The world needs your light, your piece of the puzzle, for without you the picture is missing a piece 🙂 Big hug my friend. Beth XX

    • Thank you for reading. Ever the encourager, I think you are revealing your true nature as a Barnabas! I’m sorry to here you hurt yourself, but glad you were not on the motor bike (I assume). Where you have been is amazing. You shone well through the years; and I look forward to watching you shine into the future… Stand on the shores of Love, and keep shining… you do it well. We need your piece of the puzzle to make the picture complete. Blessings, Beth XX

  2. This is a beautiful read, very encouraging and good life advice. Being a lighthouse certainly appeals to me! God bless you.

    • Thank you so much Alan, for reading and for your comments 💝 being a lighthouse is a great thing especially if we are planted on solid rock on the shores of His love. I trust you’re doing ok… even thriving in this strange time. Blessings, Beth ❤️

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