embrace: waves

 

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She found herself standing on the shore. 

Facing the wide expanse of water. It went on for miles. Unable to see the end, it was all of her fears embodied. Going out into the midst of it would be pure insanity. She had to maintain control. 

“Come” He beckoned. 

“Come out into the waves.”

The voice of her Savior was strong and secure.

Oh, but her fears screamed loudly.

“Control.”

“Security.”

“Safety.”

The shore meant all those things…..didn’t they?

She wrestled. Wrestled with leaving the safety of the shore. 

The shore was comfortable. She was dying of thirst, but the water was too scary.

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But- out there in the midst of the waves stood her Savior

So, she compromised. Slowly dipping one toe gently in. Next, she let her whole foot sink into the sand below the water. “I know, Ill surrender to the water, but still stay close enough to the shore, so if it gets too scary I can always turn back” she said to herself. She felt her facade of strength slip into place. Then, She felt her heart quicken as she heard Him beckon again. The voice of her Savior. 

“Do you trust Me?

Do you love Me?

I want you. All of you. You can’t keep holding onto your control.”

Each word penetrated as the scales began to fall from her eyes.

Surrender was all or nothing. She couldn’t keep one foot on the shore AND surrender to Him. 

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Lifting her eyes she focused on His loving face out there in the midst of the waves. Slowly, but surely she put one foot in front of the other, further and further away from the shore. The water was higher now, up to her waist, stomach, shoulders. She felt her fears start to scream. Her eyes let go of his as the water reached her chin. This was pure insanity. She began to panic as she saw the waves swirling around her. Her breath came in gasps now, struggling to stay afloat.

“My beloved, look at me. ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; Because you are precious in my eyes,
    and honored, and I love you, Fear not, for I am with you.'”

She turned her eyes towards Him. As soon as she locked eyes with His, she stopped struggling. Her breathing returned to normal.

She had lost control, but she was finally free.

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The “she” in this story is obviously me. It’s where I was last fall. Over and over again the Lord brought to mind the picture of an ocean in front of me. Over and over again He asked me to step out into the waves. To surrender. As I gave into the waves it was as if He was slowly cleansing me. Washing off my stains.

It was all a part of my becoming.

In the midst of those waves I began to find out who He was wanting me to become. It was a war of choosing surrender over giving into my fears. I was no longer able to hold onto the mask of the “girl who had it all together”. I was just as broken as the next person. I began to “lose control” and take on life with joy. New years eve night was spent with my parents and niece in a hotel room in Denver. Throughout the day as we drove through the mountains I felt Jesus gently nudging me to ask Ellie to jump on the bed with me. Me….a grown adult jumping on the bed. Like a 5 year old. Guess what? I did it. I embraced the joy only He gives with a childlike abandon. As cheesy as it sounds I found another part of myself I had shoved down so long.

That night as the new year was rung in, I sat alone in a dimly lit hotel room. My bible and journal spread out before me. Just listening to the words of my Jesus. I was trying to decide what my word for 2016 was going to be. I felt my phone vibrate. It was my mentor writing me back with a “Happy New Years” greeting of her own. We hadn’t talked in over a week. My week had been fraught with fears and lies. I didn’t want to admit it. Plus, I was doing so well I didn’t feel the need to bring it up. After a few texts she sent me this:

Truth? Here is this. Your scared you have to become something to be loved. Scared you have to stay a certain way to keep love… But what you crave like a wild fire all loose inside, is to be yourself. To be this wild peaceful, gloriously qwerky and so composed you. This adventurer that climbs mountains but savors being at home. You crave to be loved while you are free. We all do. We worry we have to pick one. Freedom or love. Like we can’t have both. But there is this… Jesus died to give us “free”. That same God carved out your DNA in your Mama’s belly… The belly I put my hand to so long ago. :). Carved out your beauty, your wild, your settled peaceful, your artistic hands, and loving heart…  This same Jesus loves you. Always, always loves. The jumping on the bed, burning syrup alone at the shop, or when you cry alone because you wonder if your unloveable. He never leaves. My Tressy, you can have both. You can be free and keep love. Know love. Taste it and hold it. Real love marries freedom. Always this epic Union. And when they meet in us all heaven breaks loose. This? It’s what we are meant for. To be the loved. To be the free. 
So what I have wanted to tell you all week… Is this… Let go. Free fall from the highest peak.. Will you become in this holy light…this be as He made you free…. Or will you set your soul on the path to keep love you always think is leaving. This horrid habit that grips our soul like claws and cuts us endlessly. I am 35 sis. 35 and just now realizing it. I can be wild free, crazy me…and still be loved. It’s ok. It’s ok!! This? This is life. Abundant and wildly amazing. This is Jesus. The savior who secured love and then turned around and broke our shackles. Freedom and love are intertwined by God’sdesign. It’s possible. Let that be your year… Go see for yourself. Jesus intends for you to have both. ❤️
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I began to cry. Somehow, she knew exactly what I needed to hear. That night I felt the Lord impress on my heart the word embrace. I just knew 2016 was going to be a year full of amazing things. 2015 had been oh so hard. Surely 2016 was going to be better. Easier.

Wrong again.

….to be continued.

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