Do you ever have those days where you feel like you're just waiting. You don't really know what you're waiting for, but it just feels like everything you do and everywhere you go there's something on pause. Or maybe, you have those weeks, or months, or years?
I drive around on days like that and it just feels like everything is distant from me. I'm in this different reality where time stands still and I'm just watching and waiting. I don't actually get to participate in the moment, I don't get to fully be present in the conversation, in the task, in the adventure. Usually it settles in when I don't get enough sleep you know, sort of like that caffeine buzz where you're running on fumes instead of actual gas and you have this unnecessarily dramatic, "what is my life?" moment as you stare off to the upper left.
Well, I feel like my waiting game has been going on for a long time now and you know what I feel robbed; like, I'm missing out on something that I want to be a part of but can't, an adventure that I can see but I can't touch. I've thought about it and I've come to this weird connection. The more I think about myself, the more selfish that I become, the farther from living I get. I had this moment where I realized that those who are selfish don't get to leave an impact on this world. And if you know me then you know that making an impact in this world is something I crave more than pregnant women crave ice cream (I don't actually know if that happens, but it seems true). It seems counterintuitive really. The more you pursue things for you, the less you truly benefit. The less moments where you feel full, saturated, and alive.
I've been selfishly protecting myself from being hurt lately and while it is so natural to react to situations, relationships, and future plans with walls and safety nets we have to sacrifice to do so. In the process of safety proofing our lives we lose that moment right before you dive into the waterfall heart racing, fear being battled, we lose the moment right as you crest the mountain and everything you've climbed unfolds below you, the moment that you catch the last rays of sun gleaming off of the water, you forfeit the spark of life for a dull musty constant. Isn't it weird that when you start protecting yourself you begin to lose everything worth protecting? You lose the life you've wanted to preserve. It's like when you try to hoard up on some really good food before it gets discontinued (like twinkies that one time in that one place...you remember when that happened right?) and then you don't ever really get around to eating it, but instead you watch it mold on the countertop (well, not with twinkles those things could survive a nuclear attack).
What's really worth protecting though? Your version of success? Your image? Your laughter? Your light-heartedness? I've tried these past few months to protect these things against life's harsh themes and uncertain obstacles. And you know what, I feel empty. I feel less content in laughing, less light-hearted, and more trapped then before. I'm stepping into this realization that I can't protect my life (and will probably have to step into this again sometime in the future). I can't hold onto my dreams with clenched fists, eyes shut tight, whispering, "please, please, please". I can't always prepare. I can't always be certain. I think it's time for me to stop trying to protect myself and just let go, to let parts of me get chipped away and bruised. Maybe then I'll actually taste what I'm eating, I'll actually laugh when I'm brimming with joy, and I'll actually feel like my image. I'll stand at the edge of the crowd and dance instead of compare, because maybe then I'll look at God and need not look anywhere else. I'll hold the gaze and then break out into a smile laughing at the inside joke that my Lord and I share. I hear him say with amusement in His voice, "see, you let go of those dreams and I'll be able to take a hold of them and show you how they were just a foothill compared to the mountains. Let's go to the mountains."
I have this awesome feeling that when I follow Him there, I will realize that I am more than I originally thought I could be. I will realize the reason for being light-hearted, the glory that leads me to life-filled laughter. I will feel safe no matter what happens. Whether it be from instability (relationally or financially), my own fears, or from disappointments in life. I will be able to be weak and not feel the shame or the inadequacy that so naturally comes when my strength wavers. I will be safe from hopeless heartbreak. Then I will be free.
I look to the Lord now and I get to say "Lead me" and I hear back ever so quiet, "Forever and always my Daughter."
With a light-heart, I can rest.