When you want something, you go after it, right?
When was the last time you felt like you actually got what you wanted? Was it the job you’ve been applying for for months? Was it the pair of Nikes you’ve been waiting to buy? Or was it getting that guy/girl to finally notice you?
Whatever it is, did it make you happy? Or were you still craving for more?
This post is inspired by Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke’s book, “Spoken For”. The titles of these posts are directly taken from the book (with a little modification on my part) each a reflection of how I’m personally growing closer to Jesus.
I pray that as you read, you are reminded of who you are and whose you are 🙂
I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email or comment below ❤
CHAPTER 2: YOU ARE PURSUED
I can still remember the first time I applied for my undergrad. No, not the one I’m currently finishing, I’m talking nearly 9 years ago. Yup, you read that right – 9 years ago. Next year marks my high school 10 year reunion. Now that I think about it… get outta town! haha. No, for real.
It’s my last full semester of my third attempt of an undergrad degree – the fifth post-secondary school I’ve been enrolled in. This is it. I need to get my life together. Or so that’s what I’ve been telling myself all semester.
This whole week, I had sought to find answers to my questions like: should I apply to graduate studies? Should I teach English abroad? Should I live at home after grad? Should I ‘this’ and should I ‘that’. So many “shoulds”. What I didn’t know, was that God’s answers were coming through my friends, the music I listen to, and His Word, and my insan (slang for “pinsan” in Tagalog, meaning cousin.
On Friday night, I read through my journal entries from the week. Still searching for answers, until God nudged me to open my bible to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. It’s funny, because that morning I thought: God, You’ve been rather quiet this week. What’s going on? Why can’t I hear you? Longing for answers, I meditated on how God is a patient God. So, I wrote out:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
I underlined the adjectives that described what love is, since God is love (1 John 4:8). And that’s when God spoke to my heart. I had my phone on airplane mode because I was truly longing to hear what God wanted for me to pursue after my undergrad. I needed answers; I yearned for direction. I was desperate.
It was after that – love never ends, that I turned my phone off of airplane mode, and texted my insan. Earlier that evening I had mentioned I was home for the weekend, and she said she was fully booked for the weekend… so texting would have to do it for catching up. You know those moments when a text message is all you need to see to know that your friend needs you?
I feel small, insan.
Don’t. Why? Why do you feel so small?
Idk where my career is headed.
That’s ok insan! At least your graduating with what you enjoy. Take it one step at a time.
It’ll work itself out. I know it’s definitely easier said than done. But think of the positive.
You were brave for going back and pursuing even though it didn’t always work out the first time.
I know insan, you’re right. Man, God is using you to speak to me, for real.
Well I’m glad He’s using me for something.
I know we haven’t hung out much or talked for quite some time. But I’m always here whenever you need anything.
God’s got your back. See what lengths God shows you. Big or small. He’ll come through.
That was it. That was my answer to my longings. That was all I needed to be reminded of, all week. To remember that I am pursuing something, and that God will always come through.
I broke out into tears. How could I not see this before? How could I not hear His voice calling out for me and telling me, Ashley, it’s going to be okay. You’re exactly where I need you? Reality: I can’t always know this, on my own.
Seeking direction for where God wants you after grad brings a lot of anxiety when you’re focus is on yourself: what you’ve done, where you’ve been, and what you can do. God tells us, not to be anxious for tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself; focus on today’s worries – which is enough for now (Matthew 6:34).
“God’s way of pursuing us is by patiently drawing us to Him. His love letter is laced together with beautiful, soul-stirring evidence that we humans are the object of His affection. He wants us to be His.” – Alyssa Bethke
My friend, you are constantly being pursued by a loving God who created you, to love and come after you. God doesn’t force you to come after Him, but He draws you to Him; you’ve got to choose to come after Him, if you so choose (John 6:44). Unfortunately, something causes us to run away from Him from time to time. Like me – I was trying to find answers to my questions about life after grad, all week. The thing is, I was receiving answers from Him, yet was still looking elsewhere.
If it weren’t for the word love or His Word coming alive on Friday night, I would likely still be searching for answers aimlessly in my own thoughts.
He’s never going to stop chasing after you. Like the shepherd left the ninety nine sheep just to go after the one who went astray. Or when Adam and Eve were ashamed for messing up in the garden – He’s pursuing you, and nothing is going to stop Him, except your choice to ignore His pursuit for you.
You are pursued.
QUESTIONS TO REFLECT ON:
- How do you view the bible? How does that view shift if you think of it as a love letter written to you?
- Think of a time when you felt God was pursuing you or drawing you closer to Him – reflect on how that was like.
- Read Genesis 6:6. How do you feel about God being sad that He had made humankind?
“Let’s not be among those who presume on God’s goodness and think we have all the time in the world to run off in our own direction and then call out to God to save us at the last minute. He has been pursuing you since before you were born. Stop and turn to Him. Let Him catch you.” – Robin Jones Gunn