In the Gray

I share this story from the stage quite often. It is the story behind my song “Footsteps.” I wrote the song in parts; the inspiration struck me on the day I was graduating from college, but I didn’t actually write the song until nine months later.
It was a foggy and dreary December morning in northwest Iowa. It was cold enough and the right time of year that it should have been snowing. The fog and mist was thick and my English major brain immediately compared the weather that morning to the state of my life. Just like the fog that hung over our college campus, there was a fog draped over my life’s journey. I would be graduating later that day with no real plan for my future. I didn’t have a ring on my finger so there would be no Mrs. Degree. I didn’t have any job prospects, and I would be moving in with my parents. I couldn’t help but cry out to Jesus in that moment in time. “What comes next, Jesus?” I practically said out loud. ‘Where do I go from here?” The confusion and uncertainty for my future was so great that I couldn’t process much else at that time. I told myself, however, that some day I would write a song about the emotions screaming through me on that pivotal morning.
As my life and career unfolded in the coming months and years, I thought that the fog and uncertainty stage was long in the past. But I soon realized that the fog would roll in again. I faced deep soul-searching as I contemplated going back to school to pursue my Masters in Ministry Leadership. Although there was no physical fog present, I was in the midst of painful depression and overwhelming sickness. Nothing seemed to be panning out in the way I had hoped, and I could only pray that I was making the right decisions as I pursued my education. Eventually, my plan for ministry became clear, but it took some time for the proverbial fog to dissipate.
At least I know that there is promise on the horizon and that eventually God clears away the doubt and fear to reveal His plan. But once more, the fog has rolled in and covered my professional life. I am in the process of planning for YLF this summer, and while things are progressing pretty well, I am still not certain of my role. I have been director for about two years now. I am comfortable with the program and know how everything works, but there is a small part of me that wonders about my purpose. There have been times when my involvement just doesn’t seem right. YLF is not a Christian organization, but still, I feel that I can be a light for Jesus in that environment. But at other times, my zest for ministry is squelched in that environment, and I wonder if I should be putting more work and energy into church-based ministry that would enhance my worship leading capacities.
I have always prayed that God would show me the road I must take in regards to YLF. I have asked Him to make it clear when or if I am suppose to move on. But day by day, week by week, He has kept the door open for me to serve. So even though the fog is thick, dense, and very gray at times, I have to look at the circumstances as if they are in black and white. God knows the path I must take in my future endeavors, I just need to trust Him when I can’t exactly see what’s ahead. In the meantime, I will keep serving until it is time to go.

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