The other day I applied for a job...at a birding store.
It went across every instinct I had to do it, for it seems that the last bazillion times I tried to get a job or get involved in a ministry, God closed every door in my face...doors that made me feel like God had forgotten about me...had left me to drift on a perceived Sea of Uselessness. Honestly, I was getting used to the rocking of the boat and the endless horizon staring back at me. I was even thinking of making up a plaque and hanging it on the front of my boat that said, 'Why rock the boat?'
Until Sunday. When my pastor said a few things that gave me the idea that perhaps it's time to get out of the boat and start walking on land again...
Things like: "Getting well means change." Hey, I'm okay with that. After working through health issues too numerous to number, I get it that change is necessary.
What he said next came a mite bit closer to home: "Say, 'I have a _______ problem.' And then be willing to bring that problem into the light to find freedom."
Oh, that could be fun! Which one shall I start with? Walking with God through this past year has shown me I have a lot of problems!
As I squirmed in my seat, the final blow fell...the unavoidable question that nailed it all...
"Do you want to get well? If so, what do you need to do?"
Gosh, if I knew that I'd have done it light-years ago!
Pick me! Pick me!
Um, try harder? Be better? Do more?
Did I get it? Did I get it? Huh? Huh?
Like a cat that is being immobilized in order to shove a pill down its throat, I fought the Spirit with all that was within me.
I'm thinking He wasn't amused.
And the next sentence clenched it: "Healing arrives as we 'step into it'."
It? What is 'It'? If I knew what 'It' was I would have stepped into 'It' years ago!
So I went home...determined to not let go of this proposition...this promise that if I step into 'It', I will be healed.
My first thought as I prepared lunch was the word, vulnerable. I've been reading a lot of Brene Brown recently and she's really into the "V" word.
My second thought was that I am so tired of being fearful...fear of failing...fear of failing...fear of failing.
My final thought was that that's what I need to put in the blank...fear of failing! It's time to grab failure by the neck and drown it in the Sea of Forgetfulness.
Time to do some 'stepping'!
So I started watching for times when fear or anxiety would rise up in me...taking note that those may be the areas I need to start battling in.
The first one came when I heard that our grands had found 2 baby squirrels on the ground outside their home. Lord have mercy! My chest tightened and my stomach rolled as I contemplated all that meant. Their sweet little hearts were about to be shattered. So as I searched for Wildlife Rehabilitators for them...fear breathing down my neck...it dawned on me that this could be a divine moment.
So the next day, when it popped up on my computer that there will be a Course in Wildlife Rehabilitiaton in Sept, I signed on the dotted line with nary a flinch. Here's to you, fear of dying animals! Here's to you, feeling helpless! One down! Of course I am dragging my daughter with me because overcoming is so much easier with someone else! But it's a start in the right direction, right?
Next...another day, another pop up...this time letting me know there is a Sales Associate Position opening up at nearby, still-being-built Birding Store.
Um, yeah...been there, done that. In that moment all I wanted to do was climb back into my waiting boat, that one that I had not set out to drift at sea by faith, but had kept handily tied up nearby in case I needed it.
Instead, I applied for the job...fighting the taunting voice that flailed me with the idea that I must be crazy...I know how this is going to end...start rowing now while there's still time!
I can't hear you....la la la la la....
Yesterday I got a call back. They would love to talk with me! Me??
This morning I read...
"God is relentlessly tender and compassionate towards us, just as we are- not in spite of our sins and faults (that would not be total acceptance), but with them..."
"Our brokenness is what needs to be accepted. Unfortunately this is what we tend to reject. Here the seeds of a corrosive self-hatred take root.
This painful vulnerability is the characteristic feature of our humanity that most needs to be embraced in order to restore our human condition to a healed state."
"The spiritual life begins with the acceptance of our wounded self."
Brennan Manning- Abba's Child
I need to ask my Pastor if he had just read this before his sermon.
So, this is what I'm working on, friends. Acceptance of my wounded self. There isn't one of us that hasn't been wounded.
God knows it. And He wants to heal our wounds. But first we need to come out of hiding...into the light and expose our wounds...and then allow Him to work.
It dawned on me this morning that the Father did not run to the Prodigal Son when he returned home whole and healthy and on top of the world! No, the Father raced to His son the moment he came into view...dirty, defeated, undone. Just as he was.
And God couldn't have loved him more.
I pray this is an encouragement to you dear one...to know that you are not the only wounded one...not the only one trying to find your way into the light. Let us pray for each other...to be willing...to be open...to have the grace to step into the light and find what He has for us.
Oh, will I get the job? I have no idea. But I'm thinking now it's not about the job...
It's about Him. And me.
And a journey together.
One that does not involve a boat!
One that does not involve a boat!
photo credit: Martin LaBar <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/32454422@N00/42805572285">Jeremiah 23:24 you can't hide from God</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">(license)</a>
photo credit: Phuketian.S <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/124790945@N06/33719864481">Sunset from our yacht at the sea</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>