Monday, April 13, 2015

Onward


I am learning to love things I once despised. To embrace things I once rejected.

It's funny the things you can discover when you just let go of the belief that you have always been, & will always be, right.

Today, I am so glad I've been proved wrong.

There's a sting in that discovery, but the sweetness far outweighs it.

I never expected the death of something to be so beautiful.

The things you can find yourself holding when you finally let go of the worthlessness of your old opinions.

I never wanted to move.

I never, ever, ever, ever, EVER, no, not in a million years ever wanted to move.

It terrified me.

You could witness the greatest of my panic attacks just by mentioning the idea. Some found that game funny, but it was horrific.

You mentioned such a change & I found it hard to breathe.

It wasn't a logical fear, but that didn't make it any less real. It wasn't that I was particularly attached to my house, but it was all I had ever known. & the fear of losing it gripped me tighter when we left my church home of eight years, & more people moved, & this house became a symbol of all that is familiar, & I couldn't imagine leaving without ceasing to be.

Some might confuse my shifting from this place of panicked darkness as the result of having forged new relationships in my new church home. You might think I'm fine with moving just because this city is more like a home to me now, & I must stop such thoughts here & now.

If such was the case, this would only be a setup for more pain. More fear.

A new place & new people to dread losing. I came to that point before I got Here, & I know.

That is not freedom. That is not healing. That is not peace.

The Lord is restoring what was taken from me, abundantly, & many times over. But this peace comes from knowing & being satisfied in the Giver, not just the gift.

This is why that girl that was afraid of going anywhere ... she's looking to the future with a boldness & a passion that is not her own.

I'm excited. I'm uncertain as to what the next, say, 80 days or 80 years of my life will look like, but I know the heart of the One that numbers my days, & my delight is found in trusting Him.

Instead of hyperventilating as I consider worst-case scenarios, I am breathing deep, dreaming dreams so big that the only way they will come to fruition is if they are completely & recklessly abandoned to the will of Christ.

& that's a beautiful place to be.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Safe in Surrender

My future is secure.

This truth has been resounding through the halls of my mind lately.

A reminder to release my clenched fists ... this was never in my hands anyway. When I try to make it such, that is when things begin to go awry.

My tendency has often been to react to situations with a white-knuckled grip on my illusion of total control.

This striving got me nowhere, fast.

Circumstances always change. If I base my every emotion & action upon them, I will be shaken. I will be swayed.

I am in the ocean. I can choose to look down at the waves & panic; securing my quick & fatal submergence into fear & anxiety. Or I can choose to admit that the only thing keeping me up is Not Myself. I am not my own savior. I am not able to swim on my own. I can choose to respond to the One who is holding me. Sustaining my breath. Controlling the waves. Fear has no place in such arms.

This ocean seems so vast. The coordinates of my various destinations are as yet unknown to me.

I decide to release my grip.

I do not have a five-year plan to heed & rely on.

And so I rely on the One who holds eternity.

My future is secure.

I ponder that & cling to it.

It becomes clear that my future was never in jeopardy. As I hold fast to Christ & listen for His voice, I can know for sure that He will not lead me astray. Even in my wandering, He is true. He still works out His good purposes for me. He is unhindered by my failings, no matter how vast. He knows the plans He has for me. Plans for a hope & a future.

He promises such things from this place of unfathomable abundance. I need not fear.

I laugh, realizing that I can't even mourn the loss of my own will & plans. There is nothing to grieve, for He is so much better.

I shout that out:

MY. GOD. IS. BETTER.

In realizing this; in proclaiming this, I simultaneously release my hold on all else. Because when you cling to an infinite God, there is no space for anything else. All must be released to Him. Consumed by Him. Transformed by Him.

All my days, no longer mine. They lie in His hands.

My finances & every concern regarding them are no longer primarily my concern, nor are they my primary concern. I now know where to take both my abundance & my lack. I leave them both with Him.

I give Him my perspective, & He transforms me from the inside out.

As I release every person in my life to Him, the symphony that occurs is almost overwhelming. My love for Jesus transforms the way I see people, & in turn, as I look at them, my understanding of Him deepens. No longer is there need for a war over the throne of my heart. He is God & we are not. As He reveals Himself in us, we cannot help but love Him more, & love others more, through Him.

Oh, the foolish notion that I could love anyone in my own strength.

I release my dreams & plans ... watch Him shape them into something more beautiful than I would have allowed myself to dream of. This economy of His kingdom ... as I lay my life down before Him, He lifts my life up. I never would have chosen such a life for myself ... not because of a lack of desire or passion, mind you ... I simply didn't think I deserved it, or was up for it. I dreamed small, me-sized dreams, that required no faith whatsoever. Such is not the life of a warrior.

& a warrior is what He calls me.

So I lay down my life, take up my armor, & hold fast to my Savior.

For it is His battle. I am not alone in this fight.