I’m a little bit tired these days. I’m a little bit stressed out and a little bit overwhelmed. I’m a little bit anxious and a little bit afraid. I am having a difficult time staying present, yet I feel I’m walking blind down the path of my future. I’m also a little bit excited and a little bit enthused. I am a dreamer, and even in the midst of changing seasons I have great vision and high expectations.
I’m reflecting a little bit these days. I’m packing boxes and choosing which of my belongings are coming with me when I move and which are remaining back at home. I am rediscovering old photographs and unfolding the pages of old notes and letters from friends and family. I’m feeling a little bit bittersweet these days as I cry tears of joy and sadness.
Am I making the right decisions, God? Is this really where you are leading me? Am I following and obeying your instructions? Can you hear me, God? Are you listening? Why are you so silent? Why do I feel empty? Be gracious and merciful, God. If I stepped off the path you prepared for me, redirect me. Open my ears that I may hear you and you alone. I want what you have for me. I want to follow your ways for I know that they are higher and greater than mine. Hear my heart and know me, Lord, as I cry out to know you more. Send me reassurance.
I remember learning to ride a bike as a child. My parents bought me a bicycle with training wheels and after a little while they removed the training wheels because they believed I no longer needed them. I remember going to a dirt road behind a local playground where my parents strapped on my helmet and sat me up on my bike. “Ok now start to peddle,” dad said as he placed one hand on my back seat and one on the handle bars. “I got you. I won’t let go.” I trusted dad, so I peddled. I kept my eyes focused on the road, and I heard mom praising me from behind, “You got this kiddo! You’re doing great!” Then like all good dads do, he let go of my bike. Dad let go and I fell. Dad let go and I fell and I got beat up and bruised. “It’s ok! Get back up and hop back on! I’ll get you started again!” Despite my torn up elbows and knees I trusted dad, so I peddled again. Dad guided and dad let go. I fell and he reached his hand out to lift me up once more. All the while mom was there to champion me and comfort me. Eventually dad let go of my bike and I reached a point where I didn’t fall. I didn’t need the training wheels and I didn’t need him to hold onto my bike any longer. I was free and able to balance and steer on my own. I felt confident and grown-up and mature. I chose which pot holes to avoid and which bumps to joyfully ride over. I went from riding on the abandoned road behind the playground to riding out on the streets, but even on the streets mom and dad were still there guiding me. They gave me instructions. They wanted to be sure I stayed protected. “Always wear your helmet! Make sure you watch for cars! Look both ways before crossing. Don’t stop and talk to strangers. Don’t ride too far and make sure you stop at the stop signs!” Despite my ability to ride my bike on my own I still needed those instructions. I needed guidance and their wisdom prevented me from potential danger.
These days I find myself getting too wrapped up in a fear of abandonment. I’m leaving behind much of what I know and am comfortable with. I had to make some big girl decision all within the past few weeks, and most days I can’t decide what I want to eat for breakfast let alone where I want to live and how I want to share my love. I began to fear I would make choices and decisions apart from God and be left alone, even though I daily seek his instruction. I pray and wait on God to speak, but these days I find he isn’t saying much. My trust band is being stretched.
I believe God is much like my own parents when they were teaching me to ride a bicycle. As God’s child, he provides the means for me to grow and become the woman he created me to be. He is constantly guiding me and protecting me. He instructs me, and at times he calls me to walk upon the waters of life with no more training wheels. If I fall and scrape my knees, God my heavenly father, will surly pick me back up. He will guide me once again until he gives me the opportunity to take a few more steps of faith. I believe he wills for me to trust him and make choices on my own. His guidance is still there. “Yet I am with you always; you hold me by my right hand (Psalm 73:23).” His protection is available always, “Put on the full armor of God.. (Ephesians 6:11).” I have come to realize that I am not God’s robot, but I am his daughter. As his daughter, he shepherds me, but also trusts me to make choices according to his will.
Not just these days, but all the days of my life, I wish to live for God. To serve. To love. To encourage. To shine the light of Christ in the darkness that fills this Earth. That is my heart’s desire, no matter where that leads me or what that looks like. But if I want to live for God, I must start living. I must propel myself into action and move. I mustn’t fear making decisions because my father knows the depth of my heart. I mustn’t fear abandonment because God promises to never leave me nor forsake me. I mustn’t get caught up in changing circumstances because he who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. |John 15:4|
If you find yourself entangled with indecision or if you find yourself tangled up in fear, remain in God through it all. He will unwind you with love and kindness. If you make a decision apart from his plan for you, he will lift you up and put you back on the correct path. He will cheer you on and give wise instruction along the journey. Don’t give way for fear to enter into your life. I fear abandonment from God, but quite the opposite is his promise over me. These days I am made brave and bold and free. These days I am loved by love itself. I am human and I have been given the great gift of freedom from Christ Jesus. I will not take advantage of the freedom given to me, but I will make mistakes. I will question and doubt and fall and get back up, but I will not allow fear to stop me from living. I’ve been created for a purpose and on purpose and so have you.
These days we all need a little reminder that we are strong, capable and significant. Each and every day the maker of heaven and earth is the proud maker of you. He is for you, not against you. He is on your side and wants you to stay close to his. I’m a little bit tired and a little bit unsure, but today I say no to fear and yes to love. Join with me!