whether it's a dream or a job or a person or an opportunity, have you ever been so afraid it won't work out or it's not what you thought it was that you don't even go near it? you want it so badly, you decide that the pain of not trying is worth the pain of getting, then losing. so you subconsciously back out slowly until you can't see it anymore and pray it leaves your mind. whether it's hurt or brokenness or desire that fuels it, there's nothing like hope that will remind you that you're not in control.
hope, man, it's a jump-off-a-cliff-trust-you'll-land-in-one-piece-at-the-bottom kind of thing.
i've been there. boy, have i been there.
and it's funny, but right now, i'm trying to run away from my story.
not that my story in and of itself is so good, but what God is doing with it is incredible. it's the bigger picture that scares me because i think, "God, there's no way you're this good!" and God says, "i waste nothing, I waste nothing, I waste nothing, remember?" and i'm learning that not only is it not waste, but He actually makes it into something really beautiful. beauty from ashes, ashes to beauty.
i spoke to a group of middle and high schoolers this past weekend, on a topic that hasn't always been my strong suit. i actually, i'm being serious, just went through the past couple of months learning that exact same thing. and so my first thought when finding out was, "awesome! i can speak into that. i know about that!"
then the more i sat down with it and prepared, the more 1) i realized that without the Holy Spirit, i actually knew very little 2) i grasped the responsibility of sharing a personal message 3) it was the heart of my story and it was personal and i wanted people (students) to understand it so badly and 4) God is good and sometimes that's scary.
so i did what every normal person does.
i thought of everyone i could and talked to everyone i knew who had a story (which was actually really cool and beautiful because it's so neat to engage someone in what the Lord has done in their life. i like doing that. but that's not the point here).
the point is that i was running. and i didn't really even know it, because it wasn't shame that was fueling it this time.
it wasn't until i was articulating it with my boston soul sister that she said,
"you were running because it was so big."
ahh. that's it.
the bigger picture of what God is doing is so beautiful, i can't believe it. and have you ever run from something because it was just so beautiful and so big? and you can't imagine it could be real? so you'd rather not even engage it, just in case the mirage fades and there's a voice that says "ha.ha. fooled ya."
well, the voice of God never says fool. ever.
i think all of us will come to a crucial part of our lives, our faiths, a crossroads, where we'll be faced with the question - is God good? it's a very personal question and we all "know" the answer is yes, but faith is more than knowing, it's believing. and there's going to come a time when God's going to say do you, even now, have faith? are you putting anything above Me? do you trust Me now? and no one can answer that question for you, except through a very intimate wrestling between just you and the Father. and i think, in the end, you're going to come out screaming YES.. but also, you're going to come out believing in HOPE more than you ever have before. your hope in Jesus is going to be through the roof because you're going to now believe in something bigger.
the goodness of God, it's unreal. and it's really just when you think you've got Him figured out, His goodness nailed down, and you thank Him nicely, that He says to you but hey, i'm even better than you imagined i could be. i'm more! i'm more!
that's where my story comes in. He did the restoring and the redeeming and the pulling out of miry pits and walking out of darkness and now He's saying tell people about it. but i think the most beautiful part, and also the scariest and the part i can't seem to wrap my mind around how good it is (and so i flee) is the ASSET.
pain is asset, which means it's also used as transformation and it also beautifully helps me do my job better and it also deepens my passions and then i'm also given the opportunity to speak to these sweet students in just the exact spot of my refinement.
it's all so valuable to me.
God, so uniquely wonderful and beautifully sneaky, has woven and is weaving an ornately elaborate eternal picture.
just because He's good and He loves.