It’s time, people.
Time to let go of the wishing, hoping and reminiscing of better days. I’m ready to let that ship sail. I want to embrace uncertainty and change. I long to be at peace with the unknown and let go of fear. I’ve realized I’m a scared a lot, even though I know that everything is safe when I’ve committed it to the One above. I’m tired of being a worry wart, in the worst kind of way, and I’m ready. It’s time to give in to the One who cares for my soul and live fearlessly in a “If God is for us, who can be against us?” kind of way (Romans 8:31)!
Being away from my family, not knowing how long we’ll be in New Jersey, having my husband travel, and having a two year old sometimes gives me crazy worry. I see a heat rash on her bum and I immediately think she’s dying. I’m not kidding. I’m the WORST when it comes to sickness. When David gets the flu, I don’t eat because I don’t want anything in my stomach in case I get sick. When Maya is sick, I don’t sleep. Like at all. If I see that someone is sick on Facebook, I immediately wonder if I’ll get it, even if I haven’t seen them and even had the slightest chance of catching it. I freak out. It is debilitating, my husband says, and he’s right. Living in constant fear that I or the ones I love will have to suffer in the slightest is exhausting. It’s time to let go of that fear and to live in freedom. Worry is a prison cell that is captivating in the most horrific of ways; it tells us it will always be the same and freedom would be nice, but it’s not for me.
It’s time to kick that door down, people.
My new favorite author, Shauna Niequist, says it so well in her book Bittersweet:
Looking back now I can see that it was more than anything a failure to believe in the story of who God is and what he is doing in this world. Instead of living that story– one of sacrifice and purpose and character– I began to live a much smaller story, and that story was only about me. I wanted an answer, a timeline, and a map. I didn’t want to have to trust God or anything I couldn’t see. I didn’t want to wait or follow. I wanted my old life back, and even while I read the mystics and the prophets, even while I prayed fervently, even while I sat in church and begged for God to direct my life, those things didn’t have a chance to transform me, because under those actions and intentions was a rocky layer of faithlessness, fear, and selfishness…
…If I’m honest, I prayed the way you order breakfast from a short order cook: this is what I want. Period. This is what I want. Aren’t you getting this? I didn’t pray for God’s will to be done in my life, or, at any rate, I didn’t mean it. I prayed to be rescued, not redeemed. I prayed for it to get easier, not that I would be shaped in significant ways. I prayed for the waiting to be over, instead of trying to learn something about patience or anything else for that matter.
I couldn’t make peace with uncertainty– but there’s nothing in the biblical narrative that tells us certainty is part of the deal. I couldn’t unclench my hands and my jaw, and I locked my knees and steeled myself in the face of almost every wave. I cried in the shower and alone in my car. When I looked into my own eyes in the mirror, they seemed flat and lifeless, and things that should have been wonderful left me blank and despairing. Sometimes at parties during that season, I felt my cheeks trying to smile, but I knew that my eyes weren’t playing along. The tension and anxiety flattened me, and the fear about our future threatened to vacuum up the energy and buoyancy from almost every day, even as I fought to celebrate the good moments. Looking back, it seems like I mostly lost that fight, or possibly, generously, it was a draw…
…If you dig in and fight the changes, they will smash you to bits. They’ll hold you under, drag you across the rough sand, scare and confuse you. But if you can find it within yourself, in the wildest of seasons, just for a moment, to trust in the goodness of God, who made it all and holds it all together, you’ll find yourself drawn along to a whole new place, and there’s truly nothing sweeter. Unclench your fists, unlock your knees and also the door to your heart, take a deep breath, and begin to swim. Begin to let the waves do their work in you.” (p. 17-21)
It’s time to let the waves do their work. It’s time to be redeemed, to approach it (whatever “it” may be for you) with open hands, slowly prying our fingers off of the control that worry falsely tells us we need to firmly grasp. It’s time to jump into that wave, letting it jostle us up a bit while it moves us forward while changing us; freeing us.
Let’s dive in.
***And if you’ve never read any of Shauna’s books, I highly recommend them! I first read Bread and Wine, which was like walking through the front door of my best friend’s home and sitting down to dinner. A book of short reflections and stories, it’s not a novel or a self help or a cookbook, but a conversation with a friend. I loved it. I’m now reading Bittersweet, which my sister in law sent me in the mail the other day and I cannot put it down. Just had to tell you all about my new favorite!****