Where feet may fail

G:

I’ve been listening to that latest Hillsong song a lot. You know the one. The one that goes on somewhere between 8-12 minutes. And everyone that’s singing is Australian.

OK, it’s the one about oceans and feet failing and being called to step out upon the waters into the great unknown.

I’m a good hour and a half drive from the Atlantic right now, but I feel like you have me ready to jump onto some mighty waves before the ocean reaches optimal summer temperature.

And I’m nervous.

And I’m not ready.

So instead I worry. I worry about taking the wrong step, hopping onto the wrong wave, feet failing. Sinking. Sinking into the great unknown. Where there are probably sharks.

But just like the song says, You are there in the unknown:

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown

Where feet may fail

And there I find you in the mystery

In oceans deep my faith will stand

My faith is like my arm muscles. They don’t become strong unless I put them to use. My faith isn’t going to get stronger if I’m sitting in the safety of the boat. My faith becomes stronger when I actually listen to the call to get out of the boat and step onto the waters.

You didn’t let Peter drown. I know you won’t let me either.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surround me

You’ve never failed

And you won’t stop now

Help me choose not to waste a single hour of my life worrying about the mystery of my life, because it’s not a mystery to you.

My great unknown is your great known.

So lead me. Call me out from the boat and onto the waters. Wherever that may be. Whatever the temperature. (Preferably with Flipper not Jaws.)

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever you would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

Your child,

m

Explore. Dream. Discover.

G:

Well, I’m six days into a new year and a lot of monumental things have taken place:

1)      I finally have a smart phone

2)      I bought an electric blanket since I never turn my heat on

3)      I am now the proud owner of a blender (SMOOTHIESSSSSSSSSS)

My quality of life has exponentially changed.

You know I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. While it would be a good idea to set a goal of ingesting more leafy greenery into my digestive system, I always become more reflective in a new year than proactive. I think about what was, what may be. But I never really set any fast and hard deadlines or goals for the new year.

I just like to see what happens.

The other day I was looking at the dashboard on my MacBook right next to the Chi Pet widget I forgot to water four years ago:

Screen shot 2014-01-06 at 10.27.02 AM

And I noticed a sticky note with a quote on it I’ve been neglecting to look at as much as my Chi Pet:

Screen shot 2014-01-06 at 10.27.11 AM

There was a reason I liked it four years ago and a reason it still resonates with me today. I don’t want to be idle in the safe harbor of comfort and familiarity. I’ve always wanted to set sail into the unknown and discover what’s waiting there for me. To discover what You have waiting there for me.

Following your will for me is setting sail into the unknown. And I know I’d be remiss if I didn’t step out in faith and let your winds catch my sails and take me where You want me.

I want to explore, dream, and discover your plans—your wonderful plans for me.

I want to make that my goal this year. To step out in faith, to free myself from the safe harbor. To take advantage of every opportunity that You present to me. To grow by becoming uncomfortable, stretched, challenged. It’s a lot scarier than green leafy vegetables, but a lot more rewarding.

It’s definitely no coincidence that right next to the quote by Mark Twain on my dashboard is this verse:

Screen shot 2014-01-06 at 10.31.10 AM

I’m excited to see what will happen this year because I know you are going to lead me when I’m looking to you to guide me. I can’t think of anything more exciting than that.

So lead on, Master Navigator. Put on a pirate hat, perhaps a parrot on your shoulder and let’s set sail.

My quality of life is going to exponentially change.

Your child,

m

The 7:45 PM train to Paoli/Thorndale

G:

Remember that time the 7:45 PM train to Paoli/Thorndale was running late and I was running early? Cold, tired, my backpack sat heavy on my shoulders.

He approached me like he had approached the other ten people waiting on the elevated outdoor platform. He apologized for the interruption, curious to know if maybe, just maybe, I could spare a few dollars.

“How much do you need?”

My soul stirred with some sort of Christian obligation, the paraphrased verse “whatever you do for the least of these you do for Me,” flashing through my mind. He didn’t look dangerous or homeless—he just looked like he wanted to go home.

“Just four dollars.”

You remember what I did next. I sneakily fumbled through my wallet using the wall of my purse as camouflage. My fingers flipped through a five, a couple twenties, and two one dollar bills.

I paused as my thumb and index finger tugged the five dollar bill, hesitated, then pulled out the two one dollar bills.

He thanked me, hoped that You may bless me, and walked further down the platform.

I figured he could easily get the last two dollars he needed for the $6 train ticket. After all, you know I had my own uses for that five-dollar bill. I saw him get at least one more dollar from a young girl with a ponytail and a duffle bag.

As the awaiting mass gravitated towards the doors of the approaching train, I saw him out of the corner of my eye asking for one more dollar. I grabbed my purse ready to unzip to get my wallet, but the elbows of impatient passengers propelled me through the open door like cattle into a pen.

You remember what happened next.

The western suburbs of Philadelphia blurred outside the moving car as I took the longest twenty-five minute train ride of my life. Cold, tired, my wallet sat heavy in my lap, the vision of the man standing on the platform as the train pulled away heavy on my mind.

He made me think of you.

You’d think I would have learned by now. You’d think I would remember that everything I have is because of You. But no, I’m holding onto my wallet, attempting to hide what you know too well I have in there saying, “How about two dollars?” Nodding to the girl with the ponytail and the duffel bag “I bet you she has a great job. Go bug her for more.”

It’s silly, really. I trust you in every other area of my life: career, potential marriage, you name it, but when my direct deposit comes in with my paycheck suddenly that’s off limits. Please step away. Please do not touch. You see that there aren’t any extra zeros added onto my available balance so why would you ask me to give you 10 dollars let alone 10%? Let’s be realistic here, let’s be wise. You know that if I give you 10% I won’t have enough money to pay for my food, gas, my Chickfila 8 count nuggets. Heck, don’t even mention my savings account with 4 cents in it. You want me to wise, right? But you also want me to trust. Why can’t I seem to trust you with my money?

I keep thinking about Jacob after his dream in Bethel when on his journey to meet his future wives Leah and Rachel. You spoke to him and told him you were going to be with him wherever he went to fulfill the promise you gave to Abraham—that his descendants would be blessed and would be more numerous than the stars. When he woke up, he took the rock he used as a pillow and propped it up as a pillar vowing that if you took care of him, gave him food, gave him shelter, and brought him back to his dad’s house, that he would give you a tenth of all that you gave him (Genesis 28:10-22). Fast forward to Malachi, and you ask me to test you in this by bringing my whole tithe into your storehouse. “Test me in this… and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” (Malachi 3:10). Have you not provided me with a place to sleep, food to eat, a job that pays the bills? Why then do I continue to hoard what I have instead of bringing it into your storehouse?

I know you promise that I am more special than the birds of the air and the flowers of the field (Matthew 6:25-34). Like birds, like flowers, like Jacob, you promise to take care of me.

Me of little faith.

Forgive me for not being faithful with the little you have given me. For how can I be trusted with more if I haven’t been faithful with little? Forgive me for not having faith that you will take care of me financially. Forgive me for giving you two dollars when I should be giving you my wallet.

Everything I am, everything I have, is from you, and is Yours.

Here’s to bringing my 10% into your storehouse.

(Stay tuned for the opening of the floodgates.)

Your child,

m

Runaway Bride

runaweay bride

photo: smartrelationshipadvice.com

G:

I had my runaway bride dream last night. It’s been a while since I’ve had that dream. It used to be my reoccurring dream, along with the one where I’m driving down the highway and my brakes don’t work or the one where my teeth fall out and I’m screaming “but those weren’t baby teeth so I can’t even get a quarter for each!”

It’s always variations of the same dream—it’s the morning of my wedding and I don’t want to do it anymore. And I never know who the guy is. Never. Sometimes I get all the way to the front of the aisle, other times I don’t even get the dress on. And I’m filled with anxiety, a sense of dread that I’m not ready for this. It happened too fast, too soon. And who is this guy? Where is he? Why don’t I see him? The dream last night I remember looking at my phone wondering why I didn’t have a text from him saying he was excited to marry me that day. Jerk. So I told my parents who were sitting in the living room with me that I wasn’t doing it anymore and I apologized if the caterer wouldn’t be giving a refund but at least they could freeze everything and feast off it for the next 10 years.

I guess a Psychologist would say I have a latent (or blatant) fear of marrying the wrong person. I feel it is the biggest, most important decision I will ever make (aside from following You of course). We’re talking about spending the next 50-60 years with that person. Starting a whole new line of generations like you read in Genesis:

This is the account of M and [insert name of unidentified husband here] who themselves had sons and daughters four years after their travels around the world and attempting to pay off all their schools loans.

The sons and daughters of M:

Hayden, Alexandra, and Arden, Riley, and Jordan (triplets who were not planned but were “divine intervention”).

The sons and daughters of Hayden:

Nathan, Emerson, Caleb

The sons and daughters of Alexandra:

Robert, Roxanna, and Kayleigh

The one and only child of Arden who was spoiled rotten:

Edward

The sons of Riley:

Eric, Jonathan, and Brian

The sons and daughters of Jordan:

Madison and Matthew

 The region in which they lived stretched out from the Upper West side of Manhattan to just left of a bison in Wyoming. These are the clans of M and [insert name of unidentified husband here], according to their lines of descent, and within their United States of America.

No offense, but you know I just begin to glaze over those genealogies after a while. They just go on and on. Just like the generations I could create. That’s a lot pressure.

But there is no right person out there for me. They are all going to be wrong.

They are all wrong because they are all imperfect. Just like me. Because we’re human.

And that’s where you come in. I do believe you have given me the chance to choose, and I can choose to follow You and let You lead me to your best (Proverbs 3: 5-6). Including a husband. Especially my husband. He won’t be perfect, but he’ll be your best for me.

So how will I know? How long will it take of dating said unidentified husband before I know? Hearing about people who met, date, and get married all within a year of meeting each other seriously makes me feel like I’m going to throw up from anxiety all over this letter.

How can I make sure I won’t be running away and leaving my parents with an industrial size freezer full of stuffed chicken?

I’m not sure. Because I haven’t been sure before. Because it hasn’t been your best for me before. I’ve always been running away. So I’ll just wait. And be patient. And have faith you’ll let me know when I’m following your best for me. When it’s time for two imperfect people to come together as one. Preferably with a proposal where the ring is snuggled amongst 8 count nuggets from Chickfila.

Your child,

m