Saturday, July 11, 2015

Green Light. RED LIGHT!

You know that game you played when you were little? The one where you stood in a horizontal line with other kids while someone facing you yelled out "Green light!" and you would run as fast as you could, and then they would yell "RED LIGHT!" And you would have to stop immediately, until the "light" changed again?

I have moments in life that feel like that game.

God calls out "GREEN LIGHT!" to my life, and I go ahead, in whatever aspect it is and keep going forward in that area... often growing excited and becoming comfortable... until all of the sudden God yells "RED LIGHT!" And my plans come crashing down. And I feel out of control. And I feel anxious about going forward again and desperate to just be going somewhere other than this standing still place that God has me. And somewhere in the midst of it all, God provides peace. Sometimes right away. Sometimes it takes longer to break through my stubborn heart so that peace can saturate.

This happened a few years ago, when we were going to build a house. We had all of these glorious plans (in our heads and on paper) for this beautiful two-story home, we had a lot chosen, and then God asked us to stop. He gave us the red light. And it hurt to back down from the dreams. It was hard to trust Him when He was asking us to give up something but wasn't telling us why and what to do instead. We just had to wait.

It happened again with our plans for missions. We planned for years to go into missions. We dreamed and planned and planned and dreamed. And then God gave us the red light. He asked us to completely let go of all of our dreams for missions. To buy a home and live in America and work jobs and believe that He is good even if He never gives us our dreams. To trust that He has a plan even when He asks us to drop all of ours. To know that He is working all things together for not just our good but for the good of those in foreign countries who have never heard of Jesus Christ. To believe that we can do something big with our lives for His glory even if it feels very mundane. To want Him more than we want to do things for Him.

And now it just happened again. When our mission plans came to a halt a year ago, I decided that our girls would go to public school. We live in a nice small town with good public schools with many Christian teachers. My eldest is four, so I had time to decide, but the decision felt right enough, so I made it early. I had a lot of friends talking about preschool, and Sophie is extremely social, so I decided that sending her to preschool would be good. We visited, and I signed her up. To be honest, there were parts of signing her up that never felt completely right to me, but we were excited nonetheless, and Sophie talked about preschool often. And then a month ago it happened. God gave me the red light. He was gentler on me this time, and He worked slowly in my heart, but I knew all along where it was leading.

"Alisha, I think you should consider homeschooling." "Alisha, there is nothing wrong with public school, but this isn't the path I have for you. Will you trust me?" "Alisha, let go of your plans and trust me to have greater ones."

And He has exploded my heart with a love for homeschooling, as I've prayed and researched and read. He has drawn my heart to methods and curricula that excite me and fill my heart with joy and peace. He has worked in Sophie's life so that she not only said it was okay to not do preschool anymore (she was really excited, so that was huge!), but she is also extremely excited about homeschooling. And last week, He shredded every last piece of worry and questioning and doubting I held onto. He crossed my path with the path of another Mom who we just happened to sit beside at a parade who has three daughters the ages of mine and who loves missions and who was considering the exact two homeschooling methods that I was. And she has been a source of wisdom and encouragement and education for me as I trust God on this new path that this red light has veered me on.

And He is so kind to be in all the details.
To have plans for our lives even when we have none.
To have plans for our lives even when we try to make our own.
To have plans for our lives that are the very, very best.
To give us red lights when He knows the green lights will not provide us with our greatest joy
... will not give us a life that leads to glory
... will possibly even destroy us.

Red lights are hard. I hate having my plans ruined. I hate having my dreams crushed. I hate feeling out of control. I hate having no plans. I hate waiting.

But red lights are incredible. So, so incredible. Because they mean that God sees me and cares about me too much to let me chase after anything that won't give me the best life for my joy and for His glory. Because in "being still" before the Lord, in these times of uncertainty and unrest and crashing walls, I have found the greatest comfort and have learned to trust God deeper still.


  1. Loved reading this! Love you too! Thanks for writing.

  2. Beautiful words. Beautiful pictures. Beautiful the heart surrendered to God!
    Love, Mom M

  3. What a great post , Alisha! I think God is using you for His kingdom right here on this little corner if the internet to encourage women. Thank you for sharing!