Saturday, November 28, 2009
Just finished Going Rogue. Closed the book--and wept.
It wasn't the first time I wept while reading Sarah Palin's bestseller, but it will be the part that will remain with me.
I have given my word to those still reading who were afraid I'd give something away that there was nothing to fear; I won't give anything away. I don't like when people cheat me like that. It drives me nuts. So I will offer no details on content, just express my reaction. If you don't want to hear even that much, now's the time to log off!
I couldn't help but be overcome with emotion at various points throughout, but especially so at the end. This book speaks a word to me that Sarah Palin's life has spoken to me for over a year now: Destiny.
When she showed up on the scene as John McCain's running mate and I got to learn about her life, I was overwhelmed with a sense of destiny. God began to deal with me specifically about destiny. I still tell people today what He showed me through her life. I have always expressed it this way: "Here was a woman who was minding her own business, loving her God, adoring her family, governing her state. Simply as she was faithful to do that, God (not Senator McCain) tapped her on the shoulder and said, 'Come up a little higher.'" I have been in awe of that for more than a year now. It still speaks to me.
As I read the book, particularly the ending, I could see destiny tied up in every aspect of the Governor's life. She was just living her life, enjoying it--content. But the plan of God was about to unfold in a way that she may never have expected--at least not at that time. How incredible is God's plan.
But even as God spoke to me about Governor Palin's destiny over a year ago now, He added: "Don't get so caught up in stargazing, in watching someone else fulfill her destiny, that you miss your own. I have a plan for you, too."
I found myself for a time consumed with the concept of destiny.
I have always known that God had called me to, dare I say, greatness. I say that humbly, for I knew, even at a pretty young age, that God's hands were upon my life. How strange it is now to remember that I could never find words to describe what I was feeling until I heard...of all people...Oprah Winfrey say many years ago that she had known she was destined for greatness. When I heard her say it, I said, "Yes, that's it! That's what I've been feeling!" I was amazed when just a few months ago, a friend from church used Oprah's life as an example of what she felt God was doing in my life (not her politics, just her story).
When the world got to meet Sarah Palin, I was reminded of the big picture, not just about her, but about me. And one thing I feel the Governor has done is incite people to rise up and take a stand in their own lives. I knew that it was good to support her--which I do wholeheartedly--but with an understanding of how God works, how He desires to lead all of us into the specific plan He has for us. My pastor always says, "God's plan is Plan 'A' for your life. There is no Plan 'B,'" and I believe that. I began to feel stirred up to live out God's plan for my life. It's not good enough to watch someone else fulfill her call; we've got to desire to fulfill our own great call, as well. To be honest, greatness is simply doing what it is you're supposed to be doing, no matter what it is. Sometimes that call is helping someone fulfill theirs. Sometimes it seems big, as in the Governor's life. Sometimes it seems small. Whatever it is, I am determined to live out my life with God's original intent.
I was truly overcome with destiny at that time, and recently that awareness has returned. I am seeing God do things that only He could do. I am watching in awe at His favor, His grace, His blessings--and I see that it all flows from the destiny that He's had in mind all along.
My church has prayer service every Saturday night. This evening, as we prayed, I was again bombarded with that word: destiny. I began to pray aloud about it, to voice what I felt in my heart: We existed in the mind of God before the foundations of the Earth were laid. God has been fashioning us and forming us. We were created in exquisite detail to fulfill His divine purpose. Our likes, our dislikes, our passions, our personalities, even the things we've gone through, all serve a purpose. He had already determined how He would cause even the most unpleasant circumstances, those He would've liked to shield us from, to work together for our good, for His purpose. It is a thought too intense for me to fully wrap my brain around, but I have a decent handle on it.
I came home from prayer and set out to read the rest of Going Rogue, and the closer I got to the end, the more the book screamed, "DESTINY!" That's really what it speaks to me--that and how human Sarah, the person, is. I see her life traveling down this road to that road to another road--and the journey continues. I see someone who has the imprint of God's hand all over her life as He takes her where He wants her to go. No, I am not saying we are robots or puppets in His hand. Far from it, but when we decide to be soft and pliable clay, He molds us and shapes us, and we end up being what He always intended. We arrive at the place He had already prepared: Plan 'A.'
I see that in Sarah Palin.
The end of her book brought me to tears, as it speaks what I know to be true: when we are open and available to Him--in spite of the challenges that are sure to come, in spite of those who seek to destroy us, in spite of the unexpected--we can't help but be in a good place, make an impact, and, most of all, fulfill the destiny God has for our lives. And sometimes, just sometimes, it's much bigger than we could have ever anticipated.
I finished the book--and I wept. I wept because of the goodness of God in the life of Sarah Palin--past, present, and future. But I also wept at the potential of my own.
It all comes down to one thing for me: Destiny.