the angst of the unknown
That just happened. My youngest son, Owen, started kindergarten today, and I gave a whole new meaning to the term “hot mess.”
I look happy in this picture, right?
Well, keep scrolling. The picture below is the one Mike took of me when we walked home and I fell apart. (I didn't appreciate him taking it at the time but it's proven useful for this post, so thanks hubby!)
Y’all I did not see this coming - I just cried a river as Owen carried my whole heart into the school building this morning. Ironically, Owen was lovingly looking at me like, “Mom, it’s only Kindergarten. Save your tears for when Cal goes to middle school.”
I know I’m "supposed" to be having some kind of celebratory day over the fact that I will now have seven whole uninterrupted hours every day to write and read and do the things that make me feel alive. But,…. maybe that’s precisely where some of my tears spring from- the angst of the unknown, of what's next and how God will have me use those hours.
I’ve been praying all summer that God would show me what’s next for us (us being Jesus and me). I've told the Lord he has my “yes” – my yes to anyone, anything, anywhere.
I am inspired – more like desperate- to pour my one little life out for Christ. We’ve been praying about adding to our family through foster care and adoption. We’ve been praying about what it would look like to give more of our life away for things that matter, really matter. I’ve been praying about what to write and what God would have me say.
I have this, well, ache over what God is calling me, us, to next.
And what I’ve wanted to hear back is “Go, run, do! This is my plan and purpose for you and this is how we’re going to do this thing.” But all I’ve felt in response is “Be still and wait” – not the answer I like to hear. At all. I’m prone to producing. Something. Anything. Lord, just give me something to do for you!
During a long walk on the beach I even tried to get my husband to tell me that there was no way God was telling me to wait. I wanted Mike to point to all of the great opportunities on the horizon for sharing the message of the book, and how I surely wasn't hearing God right. But he didn't fall for it. He told me to keep praying and reminded me of how things have turned out in the past when I tried to run ahead of God. Not good.
But over the past week this verse has just made it's home in my heart.
And then there was the beautiful image Ann Voskamp posted on her blog that had my name written all over it. How very sweet of Ann, I thought, to post this just for me.
And on pg. 88 of "Wherever the River Runs" by Kelly Minter - a book I can't put down because it’s wrecking me in the way one longs to be wrecked - I read it again, “Waiting on the Lord.”
The message was clear but my heart was resistant. "Be still and wait."
By the grace of God, surrender came Sunday morning when a new prayer birthed in my heart. “Lord, I want whatever will draw my heart closer to yours.”
He still has my unadulterated yes. But it’s not so much about wanting to know what’s next as much as it’s wanting my life to be so intricately woven with His that my heart will break over the things that break His heart and my joy will be complete in the knowledge that I am His and He is mine.
It's a little funny (or not) how all of this reminds me of how I felt about four years ago when I felt God calling me to write - and about how big and wild and ridiculous it all seemed. I told him over and over again that He had the wrong girl - that I don’t know how to write, and I don’t have anything to say, and I was scared to death to even try. I may haven even stomped my feet during one of my conversations with God.
But God’s faithfulness is bigger than our fears. His faithfulness to me was bigger than my fears over where He was calling me. He listened as I poured out my heart and unbeknownst to me, was melting my fear under the fire of His love – preparing me to trust Him and hold on tight for the ride of my life.
So I am, in a sense, returning to what God needed to teach me in the writing of my first book – that Jesus doesn’t want anything from me, He just wants me. And in that wanting and knowing and being known our hearts are awakened to the people and places to which He is wooing us.
I'm still bursting with my every yes. But I'm waiting. For what, I don’t know. For how long, I double don’t know. Maybe you've been there. Maybe you're there now. With nowhere to go but right to Jesus.
And I'm being reminded all over again that it's a beautiful place, or really, the only place where my ache is satisfied - with eyes on Jesus.