I Had No Idea
One of my arms had goosebumps. The other was toasty warm. The restaurant had standing heaters scattered around to keep the chill off, but it only hit one side of our table. The air carried the smell of warm croissant’s and brown sugar. The day was clear, the coffee was good and the company was relaxed and comfortable.
“What is your book about?” My friend asked me from across the table.
I looked over at my friend, she waited patiently while sipping her iced tea. I had to think for a minute.
That answer has changed so much over the last two years. Then as I began to answer, it all spilled out in a passionate tumble of emotion and words.
The truth is, I don’t see myself as a writer. I have never been much for details, or editing. I am a big picture thinker and frankly a bit on the hyper side. Writing felt lonely, for a quiet sort of thing. I am more of a karaoke, theme park kind of girl. I also have a tendency to be overly blunt, and I didn’t see how putting my words on paper would soften them.
The truth is, God told me to write, and so the discussion was over… I began writing. It was brutal.
As I thought through behaviors, emotions, anxiety and lessons; I was often overwhelmed with pain and gratefulness.
Where I am now has definitely changed from where I had began on this path God had laid out for me.
I was just trying to lose some weight and pay off debt. God knew what I had in mind.
I expected God to reveal a revolutionary system for changing habits to me to write about.
Did you know God could belly laugh?
As the months passed and I wrote, revised, and rewrote my book, God began to reveal the direction He had for me. The path didn’t lead to weight loss or freedom from debt.
It led to a completely different discovery. God didn’t reveal this all at once. As he shifted my direction, it eventually became clear.
The destination was a relationship with God Himself.
What I thought I was seeking was so much less than He had for me. As He redirected my steps, and the scenery changed, I felt the pace slow down. The wind changed and the air smelled sweeter.
As I answered my friend’s question in the restaurant that morning, I heard clarity and conviction in my voice. I was even surprised by my answer!
I spoke about letting go of the approval of the world and seeking God.
It’s about an eternal perspective and the power of the work done for us on the cross.
She nodded as I spoke, set down her iced tea and said, “God is good.”
If you had asked me a year ago what I was writing about, the answer would have been completely different. God giggles when we layout our plans, like a father that adores his child. We run ahead. He calls our name. We look back and see him holding out His hand. “This way sweetheart, what I have for you is over here.”
He waits. We run back to His side and take His hand. He leads and we look up at Him with grateful hearts and wonder. He is everything to us.
I find myself constantly asking Him, “Where are we going Dad?”
To only hear the reply,
“You’ll see when will we get there… Soon.”
We chase so many things: love, acceptance, health, relationships, weight, careers, education, status; but we never seem to catch what we’re looking for.
I was chasing acceptance. I wanted to be accepted by God, my husband, the church, and anyone else that had an opinion.
When my first husband was hit by a car on his way to work that morning in 1991, God rocked my world, and changed my destination. For a while all I could pursue was survival. I wanted one thing, freedom from the pain.
God was there watching while I ran ahead searching for answers. He held out his hand.
Over a 20 year struggle with legalism, food, credit cards and anxiety, God took me from the self-help aisle of the bookstore to His arms. I went from being alone in my shame and guilt, to my Father’s warm embrace.
Thank you for sharing Hope!
Hope Wirta has journeyed with God since she was seven years old. In this journey, she has walked through issues with legalism in the church, the death of her husband at 28, and raising seven children. During this time she wrestled with God to work through issues within the church and herself. She struggled with self-help versus God’s help, anxiety, guilt and shame. God guided and directed her as she learned and grew in her faith. She now lives with her husband of 24 years, and enjoys life as a Bible teacher, writing, and sharing her story. She attends Multnomah University where she is pursuing her Masters in Bible. She and her husband attend The Well Community Church in Portland, Oregon where she now serves.