Be Salty: What I Laid Down, What I Lifted Up

 Be Salty is our space to season our words with salt. It’s a place to bring flavor, color, and spice to the lives we live. A place to brag a little on the wonderful works of God right here in our plain ‘ole lives. Don’t forget to join our link-up this week to tell your story! Elizabeth Spencer emailed me her submission and as I read I felt such deep conviction. Her words speak to me on so many levels. Go check her out as she share sweet bits of Bible study and inspiration and as she shares a some great truth about motherhood! 

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I sat on the cold tile of the bathroom floor and sobbed, “No, no, no…”

I was a college freshman, away from home in a new state. I knew no one. The school was denominationally affiliated, and it felt like everyone there knew everyone else from summer camp meetings. 

I’d left behind my high school boyfriend, who was at a big university in our home state. Our relationship was serious. He had given me a promise ring and had won the affection of my family. I planned to marry him.

When he called that night, I was looking forward to hearing how his weekend away at a church-related event had gone. Just weeks earlier, he had told me he was thinking of switching his major from architecture to ministry. I told him I had never thought about being a pastor’s wife.

But over that weekend, I’d come to the place of understanding that I loved him, not his profession. I gladly shared this with him when he called.

Silence. Then, “I met someone this weekend. “

No, no, no…

I know this is cliché-heartbreak. I know it reads like a bad YA fiction novel. But I had never been so heartsick before.

I felt lonely and abandoned and rejected and raw. I moved through the days and classes and studying in a fog of despair.

One night, I sat on the pull-out bed in my dorm room and cried out to God as I never had in my life, using words I had just discovered in Psalm 25.

“To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.”  Psalm 25:1 (NIV) 

More than 25 years later, I’ve gone through enough Bible studies to know a peripety when I’ve lived one. Those moments in the dark were a hinge on which God swung my walk with Him in a new direction. They were a turning point, a plot twist in my story line.   

Prior to that night, God had been a spoke on the wheel of my life. He had gone around with the other spokes—school, family, music, friends, job. The other spokes frequently rose to the top. God was not the Head, nor was He the Center.

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But in that moment away at school, I began to see that I needed to reposition God in the hub-spot in my life. I began to lift up my soul to Him, and I began to lay down my own dreams for myself.

In the years since that pivot point, El Roi—“the God Who Sees”--has helped me see what I need to lay down and what I need to lift up.

I need to lay down worry and lift up peace.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

I need to lay down foolishness and pick up wisdom.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”James 1:5 (TNIV)

I need to lay down doubt and pick up belief. 

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6 (TNIV)

I need to lay down conceit and lift up humility. 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians2:3 (NIV)

I long for God to remain my life’s center. I want this for my husband, a man after God’s own heart. I yearn for my darling daughters to not wait until they are in college to put Him in that hub position in their own lives.

We feed this longing, this wanting, this yearning by talking about Him as we drive along the road and sit at the dinner table and study together in Sunday School and worship in the sanctuary.

We lift up our souls to Him again and again, and He receives and fills them.

 “To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul, in you I trust, O my God…Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25: 1,2,4,5 (NIV)

Make God your life’s Center, dear one.  Allow Him to twist your story line in His direction. Lay down your dreams, and lift His up.