Today, you asked me if I was all in. And I nearly laughed before I realized the weight of the question and started crying. I just don’t know. Some days, when I’m around the right kind of people, I’ll think about how crazy it is that I ever tried to do life without you. Other days, like today, I get very sad and see the different ways that I’m holding on to so many things that don’t look like you; things that I don’t necessarily want to let go of. Comfortable things that hurt.
I mean, isn’t that insane? I know you’re a Father who gives good gifts. I know that you don’t ask us to give things up just for the hell of it. (Bad use of hell? Maybe. Sorry if it was.) And, most of all, I know that you’re all in, all the time. You always have been. From the dawn of creation, you were all in. That’s your thing.
I don’t really know what my thing is yet. Inconsistency, maybe.
I know you already know this, but I am so sad right now. Some days, I slap bandaids on the wounds that I don’t want you to have yet. But, tonight, I ripped them off. Letting them air out, you know? Which is also insane. It’s like I’m standing here with this infected cut, and you’re saying, “One touch from me and it’s healed. One touch. Look how close I am, Madi girl. I can do this.” And then, I’ll back up. It’s hard to give you the familiar things, God. It’s really hard. And, maybe it’s because I don’t fully trust you yet, or that I still haven’t figured out what kind of a Father you are. It’s easy to tell someone that you’re a good Father and that we’re loved by you. But, what exactly does that entail? What are the characteristics of a good Father? Who even are you, God?
There have been many days, recently, that I don’t want to be filled with your Spirit. Being filled with you means dying to myself a little bit more and that means addressing the deep things of my heart that took up residence when I just a child.
Okay, I realize all of this is intense and very honest. But you tell me to come as I am. So, here I am. Your girl. Spilling my stinkin’ guts.
I just found a journal that I had hidden from myself several months ago. It has a total of one bitter little passage written in it.
“…so, at least for tonight, I’d like to be like everyone that can’t feel deeply. I want to be numb. I mean, just a couple of months ago, I was better than I had ever been in my whole life. Things were so good. It was as if I was sailing away from every hurt and pain from my past, waving as we left. New winds played with my hair; salty mists danced on my skin. I was off to a brand new adventure–discovering who, exactly, the Lord had created me to be. Did we have to hit an iceberg so soon??
So, here I am. Shipwrecked.
Staring at waters I’ve been avoiding for a long time.
The sun is hot and a swim sounds nice, but I know if I jump in, I’ll come up as a different person. New. Changed. Very unrecognizable.
To be honest, I think I’m just terrified to be recreated. The woman I am now needs people and their approval. She doesn’t want to find out that the Lord is the only One she needs… She doesn’t want to displace her dependency. The woman I am now is timid and apologetic. What if I became someone who walks boldly and without remorse?
What if the Jesus in me pushes people away?
I just don’t know who I am. And, as deep and scary as the waters seem, I think I’m finally ready to find out.”
Here’s the thing, God. I’m scared. I’m really scared. I know how to say the right things when someone asks me, but to be actually transformed by your love scares the hell outta me, quite literally. I have spent 20 years being a child that thought she was a voiceless orphan. And now you’re bringing me to a vulnerable place that will change everything. But, you have always been preparing my heart for this place, haven’t you? So, I know you’re faithful and kind. And if you are faithful and kind in one area, you theoretically should be everywhere else, right?
This whole process hasn’t felt very good. But, maybe it doesn’t need to feel good to be good, you know? Of course you know. You’re God.
So, here’s what I know about you so far: You’re kind. You don’t leave even when I think you should. You don’t like that my wounds hurt me, and you want me to want you to come close. You don’t ask me to give you familiar things because you like taking things from me; you ask me to give you familiar things because they keep me from knowing the fullness of who you are. You were there everytime I asked you where you were. You show me the depths of my heart so that I can be free and a powerful vessel for your kingdom. You created me to look like you, and you will settle for nothing less. You do not force yourself on me, but you are the fierce pursuer of my heart.
And now I have to decide. Am I all in?