Flashlights and Stairsteps and Finding Faith

I once heard an analogy which stated that our journey with God is like walking up a pitch-black staircase with nothing but a flashlight to guide the way. And with each step you climb, another step is illuminated, and slowly but surely you make it to your destination, one step at a time. It requires faith.

Hi. My name is Megan Lange, and I am a planner. I have always been “that girl” — the one with notebooks and lists and calendars and post-its and things scribbled on her hand so she’d remember everything. The “mom” in the friend group who decides where to go, what time, and who to invite. The one who takes on way too much responsibility and doesn’t know how to say no: that is me. That has always been me.

But lately, God has been throwing things my way that have forced me to let go of the reins a bit. I would be frustrated, but I realize that it’s for the best. I need to stop planning so much. I need to give God a chance to move in my life, and if I have every second of every day plotted and scheduled and planned, it doesn’t give Him much room to do anything — and so he’s taken some of my plans and thrown them upside down, and I’m learning to be okay with that.

One thing that has been really irksome to me is that I have (really) no idea whatsoever of what God wants me to do with my life. Seminary is a possibility (and a strong one, at that), due to the fact that since I was a sophomore in high school it has consistently come up once every few months — and I feel very called to serve in ministry in some way. Writing is (clearly) something I am very passionate about, and with a degree in Technical Communication, the likelihood of my spending a good bit of time writing is high. Photography? There aren’t words to express my love of this craft — capturing the joys and sorrows of life on film? There is little that is more beautiful to me than that.

And yet, I have no idea where God wants to take me with these things. Will I end up doing just one? All three? Does he have something completely different in store? How am I going to know? Why can’t he just show me the next five steps instead of just one? Why didn’t he give me a stronger flashlight?

There is a verse that is (dare I say it?) almost a cliche in the Christian community — oft thrown about but rarely considered. Yet, here it stands out as having some real meaning.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” — Proverbs 3:5-6

The truth is this. If I knew where I was being led right now — if I knew where I was going to end up in ten years? I’m not altogether sure I would keep working and striving the way that I am now. It’s the uncertainty of the future that keeps me going. My God has a plan for my life that is glorious beyond compare — but right now, I can only see the step I am standing on.

Truly, all we need to move forward is to see the step right in front of us… but like I said, I am a planner. I want to know what happens next. And in this case, not knowing comes with a desperate need for faith — faith that God is going to provide me with light enough for the next step, faith that whatever the next step is, it will be exactly what God means it to be, faith that God has a plan when I do not. I need to rest in the knowledge that I cannot control everything — and that God does control everything. That I’ll be okay even if I don’t know exactly what is going on all the time.

And thus, I come to my concluding point: right now, I am being stretched and pulled in a way that is quite overwhelming at times… but God has a plan where my plans fail. And regardless of how pitch-black the staircase ahead looks, there will be just enough light for me to make it each step of the way.

All it takes is a dark staircase… a little flashlight… and a whole lotta faith. You gotta have faith.

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2 thoughts on “Flashlights and Stairsteps and Finding Faith

  1. Beautifully said.
    Life is a journey {cliché enough for you?} but to take time to savor the journey is another thing altogether. Oftentimes, I find I’m so busy getting to point B that I forget about what I should be noticing along the way.
    Being a planner is a good thing {I gave birth to one of those… the other is delighted by the bounce down the river and content to paddle when he needs to} and being okay with things that don’t go according to plan is a real gift… especially for a planner! 🙂
    Might I be one to encourage you on towards a project… a book of faith reflections, illustrated by your photography. A marriage of your talents with a thought to lead.
    Love your musings and the way you articulate them. Press on, dear sister!

  2. Beautiful because it is truth. In the journey you will learn to find beauty in the dark because God is in the dark and in the light. And I have found that when I am faithful to follow God’s last instruction it always brings light to the next step. If seminary is on your heart follow it until God reveals the next step.
    I thank you for this message for God is moving me to another step. Enjoy the journey. It goes by too fast. Love ya

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