Calling, Mothering

Calling: When Opposition Hits

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

May was my month to write the rough draft of my book. I prayed about it. I made a schedule I thought I could meet. I know how to write a story. Mostly. 

What I didn’t expect was the car to be in the shop twice . . . in one week. 

Extra appointments for the boys. 

Late nights talking with one or the other of them.
Mind you, I’m not complaining. I love talking with my guys.

My days ticked by with much reduced or no word count toward my story. 

Raising teenage boys is a hard thing in any era. But in this day and age, they face challenges my generation never even considered. And they struggle. 

And I struggle.

I questioned if I was really supposed to be writing now. When they’re grappling with life issues that have the potential to drown them in a lifetime of regret. 

I prayed and sought counsel. I’m still praying. 

Hard. 

I wrote as I could, not meeting my word count goals most days. And I realized this:

Sometimes, we write out our plans, but God directs the timing of when they come to pass. 

Because, let’s face it. We will face hard times. 

When we determine we will step forward with God, we seldom go unopposed.

10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. 
11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 
12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation[b] of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 
14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold[c] your peace.”
15 And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.
~Exodus 14:10-15 (NKJV)

This passage reminds me we can be in the center of God’s will and still face opposition. In fact, we should expect opposition. The enemy of our souls does not want us doing the works God created for us. 

Just because people or circumstances come against us when we walk out God’s calling, it doesn’t mean we aren’t right where we should be. 

It doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us, or that He’s abandoned us. 

Sometimes opposition is an invitation to stay faithful and watch how God decides to show up…in small or big ways.

The enemy wants us to be discouraged. To stop moving forward, like the people in Haggai’s day who stopped building the temple. 

But, if we have sought the Lord before embarking on our journey . . . 

. . . if we are walking in his will, then we are secure. 

We need to choose faith over fear. 

This passage says nothing about God’s pillar of smoke by day and fire by night not being there when the people saw Pharoah’s armies. 

God was already with them.

And He’s with us. The question is, are we going to believe this reality, or are we going to believe only what our temporal eyes see? 

The armies? The difficult circumstances? The discouraging things that happen in a day?

When we remember God is the one who invited us to walk with Him—to journey out of our own Egypts, our own comfortable places of bondage—it’s a little easier to walk away from them and toward the One who loves us most. 

It’s never easy to let go of what we’ve known, even when it’s not healthy for us. When we’re bound to an inaccurate way of thinking and believing, it often feels safer to hold onto these. 

Walking into the wilderness—the unknown—is scary. But when we know God is with us, we can walk forward in confidence . . . and clinging to Him with every step.

When we choose to walk forward in a calling God has placed on our lives, we can write our plans in sand, and trust God to cement His timing and His process as we journey with Him.

When we let go of our expectations for how things will be carried out, we can walk in the center of Gos’ will for us. 

When the cloud and the fire seem obscured by circumstances, may we choose to let our hearts see what our eyes cannot . . . our God watching over and protecting us.

What about you? When have you chosen to walk forward trusting God, even when what you saw in your circumstances confused you? What helps you walk in faith when you can’t clearly see God’s direction? 

Click to Tweet: When we determine we will step forward with God, we seldom go unopposed 

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup and Holley Gerth

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17 thoughts on “Calling: When Opposition Hits”

    1. I love your perspective, Andrew. The journey is definitely where the treasures—the rewards—are found. The destination is cool, but the road is where we learn and grow and become more like Jesus. Praying for you my friend.

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  1. So so good! I does surprise me when Christians are surprised by opposition or when they suggest we must be operating outside God’s will when things don’t go our way. Thanks for this great reminder! Praying for you and those boys this morning! Blessings!

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    1. Liz, thanks so much for stopping by. It seems like we, as Christians, tend to think God only shows His blessings when everything goes as we expect. But I think we learn so much more about Him, and ourselves, as we navigate the obstacles that are thrown in our paths. We learn to trust Jesus more when we question and come to trusting Him, don’t we? Thank you for those prayers! They are always appreciated. 🙂 I’m saying a prayer for you today too!

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  2. It helps to stay in the Word, especially in those times we’re faced with oppositions. Thanks for this reminder, Jeanne. Blessings to you.

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    1. Lauren, I’m glad God used these words to encourage you, and hopefully your husband. God does have a way of speaking to our hearts in the ways and times when we need it. I’m saying a prayer for you both today. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  3. “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation[b] of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.” Stand still. I love this line from this verse teaching to stay still and the Lord’s will will be accomplished. I see this as also being very present to what is happening today. Today your boys are teenagers growing up with new temptations and struggles in our culture. Listening to God and where He needs you right now is truly living in His presence and obedience. I still grapple with this, I know! Thankfully we have a gracious God too!

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    1. Lynn, I love your encouragement to stay still. To be present in what God brings into this day. Listening to God is the best way to know what we need to say, when we need to stay quiet, where we need to focus, and how to emulate Him. I always soak in your wise words, friend!

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  4. so very good to see you out and about again, Jeanne. how I’ve missed you … and how well I understand exactly what you’re talking about.

    praise God for His steady powerful presence when all around us seems to be shifting drastically.

    xo

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    1. Awww, Linda. It’s good to be back. I’m still finishing up that rough draft, but it is time to rejoin the blogging world . . . at least to a limited degree. 😉 I’m with you, praising God for His faithful presence in every circumstance!

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  5. Dear Jeanne!

    It’s been a while since I visited your blog so I thought I should do it today. I’m glad to see you’ve posted a new post since I was here last time and I could relate to the topic of this blog post. The schedules we make do not always turn out as we plan, right? 🙂

    Our children face different challenges than we did, that’s for sure. My son is also a teenager now, and there are so many choices they have to make that we didn’t have to think about.

    I love what you said about God directing the timing of our activities, I think that was spot on. As writers we will face hard times, one of the things that I think makes it more challenging to be a writer than so many other jobs is that there’s a considerable delay before we see any fruits of what we’re doing, and sometimes we do not seem them at all even though they are there.

    The advice you gave in this blog post about moving forward with God is great because even if we move with God we should expect resistance. You gave a parallel to the story of Moses, which I think is an excellent example of what we can expect.

    One sentence stayed with me after reading this, and it was this: We need to choose faith over fear. That’s precisely what we must do because the fear will always be there it’s just a matter of how we tackle it.

    The time I’ve felt most scared and confused about what to do was because I began to blog. I was terrified of putting content out in public because I did not see myself as a writer.

    You were definitely one of those who helped me stick to the process and keep doing what I felt I had to do. I’d say it has been beneficial for me looking up people online who do something similar to me because it helps me do a better job and stay true to what I believe is God’s purpose for me.

    Jeanne, I’d like to say that it’s refreshing to see a Christian author like you share about the ups and downs of the writing process because I’m among those in your audience who hasn’t written any books so I’m often wondering how life as an author must be like 🙂

    Thanks!
    Edna Davidsen

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    1. Edna, thank you for stopping by. 🙂 I think this is such a challenging time to be mothering teens, and boys . . . well, they have a whole new way of keeping me on my knees.

      I think writing and moving toward (praying for, hoping for) publication is such a humbling journey. As Christian writers we are truly leaning on God and trusting His timing for each step of our journey. It’s hard and rewarding and growth-inducing to wait on Him, isn’t it? I’m glad you decided to start blogging, Edna. You add wisdom and great information through your posts.

      You’re right. Fear will always be there. It’s tempting to give in to it when things don’t go the way we expect. That’s when we must choose faith over fear.

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, friend.

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