Through a long and painful journey, I learned that if I wanted a life of rest I would need to be patient. Trouble was, patience wasn't my thing.
For so long, if I wanted something I would go get it.
Even my groom told me once I'm a "Go-Getter". I took pride in that. And part of me still does.
If I saw a problem, I would niggle my way to a solution, or at least do something to make it work even if it wasn't the right way.
Answers to my questions weren't solid in my mind. I'd niggle until I was a little more satisfied, as though there is always a compromise to be made.
Rules were always negotiable to me; guidelines for the general population. I always assumed once people told their own story, there was wiggle room for adjustments.
Being patient seemed like a waste of time to me.
How can I sit still and wait when there might be something I could do?
It seemed utterly ridiculous for me to just wait and see.
If there was a house I liked, I'd jump on it for fear it might pass us up.
If there was a job description I found interesting, I'd apply for it.
If there was a dream I held, I'd pursue it.
Yet, tucked underneath the surface of my sometimes admirable "Go-Getter" personality was a fear-based way to my approach of life.
All my trying hard to get what I wanted, or what I thought was right, was really because I feared life would pass me up . . . that maybe I wasn't good enough. And so over and over again I tried to be.
I didn't really consider God allows certain experiences to occur for purposes we'll never understand. I didn't grasp Him wanting the "best" for His children and consider myself as one of them.
When I realized just how anxious I was living and how I'd constructed a tight-gripped life, I was at the bottom of myself -- suffocated in feelings of exhaustion from trying all I could muster to make things happen and discovering I simply couldn't.
I asked my groom and a few close friends how else to live, because I knew no other way but the try-hard way and finally had discovered that really is no kind of life.
Finally, I decided to test God.
If He really is real, then I could stop trying so hard.
If He really is real, then I could sit back and sip a cuppa, even in the mist and the fog, and even in the whirl and twirl of the storm. I ventured to believe He would hold me, and even if something bad-seeming happened, He would make beauty out of it.
This consideration overwhelmed me and gave me courage to see aspects of my story in different ways. So I choose to stay on my proverbial porch and loosed my ideas and plans for how life should be.
I let Him do what He wanted to do and I chose to trust Him.
I surveyed my life as it was and determined that no matter what happens, I could trust Him. After all the choices I'd made and all the awfulness I'd put people through, I was still treasured and beloved.
For years I held a deep seeded belief in my heart for two dreams.
I hoped we would have another child.
I hoped my father and I would have peace.
On the baby I hoped for, it felt ridiculous in every way when month after month of begging and cajoling evolved into years -- nearly a decade worth.
On the relationship I hoped for, that too felt ridiculous in every way when month after month of no contact evolved into years of tense, awkward, distant, and tangled communication -- much more than a decade worth.
I ached for these dreams because I believed it was God's will. Yet, mostly, I wanted to see it all come true so then I could know for certain He really is real.
I imagined all sorts of things, including a script which wasn't mine to write. I nearly convinced myself these dreams weren't going to happen and hoping for them was a waste of time.
Still, deep inside my heart stirred the words: Chase. Hope.
It seemed so silly. So foolish.
After all this time? Still? Why? What's the point?
The journey was long and finally I surrendered to the possibility that I could be wrong. I was exhausted from trying to make these dreams happen and even from anxiously anticipating that they might come true. I considered that maybe things wouldn't turn out the way I imagined or the way I thought it should be and it was then that I realized He is real. He showed me there is great purpose, even for pain.
I could have made the choice to trust Him and still come up empty handed so to speak. Even that wouldn't have been true, though, because the true Rest I experienced in surrendering my life and patience to Him was so much more than any dream could ever fulfill.
It wasn't because I chose patience and loosed the dreams that they became true.
It was because of God's plan, period.
In the process of loosing these dreams and choosing to trust Him, God taught me a new definition of strong:
To bravely choose to trust Him for Now, as it is
. . . even though we hope for something more.
He taught me to pursue it with reckless abandonment of fear that I might be wrong, that I'm not good enough, or that it just might never come to be. He helped me realize I will never be "good enough" to get everything I want to be just right or just how I would prefer it to be.
My story involved a lot of waiting and wondering and wrestling. I learned the important of patience and most of all, that I can trust God no matter what. He helped me understand that He loves me, that I am good enough, and I can rest. These aren't just cute sayings, they are truth.
Ultimately, I didn't even need the dreams anymore.
Yet, after all the sojourning, my hope has been unfurled.
The peace I hoped for between my father and me has come. Shame and fear no longer have a grip on our relationship. We have been freed to accept each other as we are. Love between us has been birthed. Truly I tell you, this is no small thing.
Within days from now (or perhaps even hours) our long-awaited and much hoped for child is expected to be born.
This story is not about the baby or a righted-relationship, or even about being patient or letting go of all the trying. It's about what God did in the process and the truth that He is so very real.