January 9, 2012

The Brave Fear.



Sometimes I feel so brave.

I hold nothing too tightly and am ready to leap at any moment. Change makes me giddy and I really, honestly mean it when I tell God that I will go anywhere and do anything as long as He is with me.

Moving to Oklahoma six and a half years ago was a leap. We didn't know the "how what when where why's" of anything at all. We just knew it was time to get out of California and there was an open invitation here. That was all that we needed! I remember praying that same prayer all those years ago.... "Lord I will move ANYWHERE and do ANYTHING as long as I get to be doing what You are doing." I had been known to say "I would live in a BOX in the middle of NOWHERE if that was where God wanted to use me." And I really really did mean it.

He heard me, took me literally (ha!), and moved me to a state that meant nothing to me back then but hokey cowboys and (really flat) red dirt. And also.... tornadoes. Okay, God! Here we goooo!


And it has proved to be the most amazingly rich and rewarding and wonderful season of my life here. I've healed from spiritual wounding, I've fallen in love with the Church, with community, with this city, and I've come to realize that everything is grace. I've grown to LOVE staying at home and raising my boys and I've learned that what I am doing here within these walls has infinite worth and value and is more than enough. I could never thank God enough for bringing me here during this season of life.

Once again, I find myself in a state of exciting unknowns. I find myself in the poise of leaping. What will that look like? No idea yet. Maybe it's a newness here, maybe it's a newness there... but I find myself standing with my arms thrown open, saying it again in my heart... "I will go ANYWHERE and do ANYTHING as long as You are with me! I'd rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked!" And I start to feel so noble in that prayer, so brave! Like I could fling myself off a mountain and know I would be caught up in the wind!

And yet...

...and yet all of these feelings of faith and assurance come to a screeching halt when I hear a still, small voice ask me, "Yes, but how much more of yourself are you willing to give?"

It's like, God, you can have my house and my security and my comfort and my STUFF and even my children and my marriage because You are GOOD and I trust you! But when I feel Him asking to come closer to my heart, to tear down a wall or two and expand things a bit in there, to grow our intimacy and die to self completely... I run cold. Fear grips. Backtracking ensues. I try patching up the floodgates I've thrown open in faith moments before.

Oh Lord, the things you'd find in there... I think we're both better off where we are at, don't You? This safe and chummy distance we have going on...?

All the while, though, I know the truth. The thing is... I can move to the most desperate place on the globe and serve the most desperate people on the earth in the name of God, but if I don't let that very same God consume me and sweep me away and be my everything, then... I am missing it! Location alone, adventure alone cannot be my substitute for deeper intimacy with God... for letting Him call down my walls like Jericho so He can storm in. Nothing that I do, no matter how noble it looks from the outside, will have any lasting strength, any eternal value, if I am not doing it from a completely surrendered & conquered heart.

So here I am now, toeing the edge of something big, ready to leap, yet at the same time... really aware for the first time of what is being asked of me.

Suddenly, I am not so brave. Suddenly, I am terrified.

Sure, I am willing to surrender my adorable house, my cozy daily routine, my 5 year "plan".... but am I willing to surrender my own HEART?

Even now, I can't help but feel that I am better off here in my terrified state than I was before in all my confidence. I can leap in faith until I am blue in the face, and God will be faithful to catch me and be gracious towards me, but what He is really calling me to, what He has always been calling me to, is more of Himself. Always, always, always... Himself.

Will I be found willing? Lord, in Your grace, let it be true! Conquer this fear, and help me! Sound the trumpet and break it all down. Cause me to want YOU more than the next "thing", the next adventure. Help me to desire Your nearness more than any other thrill that this earth can give...

10 comments:

SUPAHMAMA! said...

If I could have an ounce of your faith, just an ounce, I wonder just how differently I would feel. I am "spiritual" and I believe, but I just don't know how my stubborn control freak nature would handle just "letting go." You are a brave woman, and my heart swells at the idea of so much abiding love.

Mae Burke said...

Know that Our Savior gives us Peace and a sound mind, not one of Fear. He is the Prince of Peace! When I find myself holding on to Fear like a warm fur coat that I would surely freeze without, I have to open my eyes and realize that I'm standing in the middle of a dessert! Me and my Fear have seperated myself from God in the name of comfort, but once I realize that comfort is shallow or just meaningless, The Lord starts to whisk me away...He is incredible.

I'm praying peace over your heart, excitement over your household, and wisdom over your husband! In your time of uncertainty how awesome is it that He gives us such loving, steadfast companions to lead the charge in our lives?

Much love,
Mae

nelson said...

Thank you.

Jessi said...

I needed this today. We moved to Texas last year under the same circumstances: no idea what the when, where, what, how would look like. Now, almost a year later, there is still a lot of unknowns. And we're kind of ready to leave. I don't know if that is from God or from us. There are other opportunities elsewhere. And think God will use any location as long as we are desparetely seeking Him in that place.

But yes, fear is there. My fear is staying here and being complacent. A year in, we still haven't connected and are lonely. My fear is also leaving and missing out on something. But I'm seeking Him in it. I can't miss out on Him if I'm running after Him!

I'm praying wisdom and peace for my family and I'll be praying the same for your's!

Piper of Love said...

wow em, this really hits home


xo

bandofbrothers said...

I just wanted to let you know that I've been thinking about this post all day. You inspire me, challenge me and give me comfort and peace to know that someone else is out there is taking timid terrified steps to the outstretched arms of our savior. You are brave. Thanks for sharing your heart.

Anonymous said...

Religion has swallowed you up. These posts are reading like sermons.

Krista said...

Anonymous, are you new here?

stina said...

I read this last night and I read Psalm 139 today. You should too! A good reminder to combine that with the reality of the fear we can so often have of being laid so bare before him in our hearts know what I mean? Plus, the weight of his grace when we do stop holding those walls up is so good. Even the pain of the humility is good. It's not the pain of human things that we expect it to be. This might not make much sense. I'm trying to get it out really quickly while my nanny boys are begging for me to give them more airplane rides with my legs haha (that's the work out I get these days)

Mrs. Blimes said...

You are amazing. Your posts never cease to inspire and challenge me. May the lord be with you and your beautiful family!!!