Something I’m learning is that there are rhythms and tides in my life. Just like the ocean, I tend to sway back and forth, rushing in and retreating out.
There are times when I am persistent and determined, flowing with life, crashing onwards with vivaciousness. And there are times when I pull back. When I shrivel up, shrink down and hide away.
For the past couple of months I’ve been living the latter. I’ve been quivering in fear and slipping back into old rhythms of doubt. I’ve been wrestling with insecurities and my anxiety has been drowning me.
In the morning I would wake unable to stomach breakfast, unsure how to begin this new day. I would lie on the couch and numb myself with the TV on, noise drowning out the blaring silence.
These past few months I’ve been swirling around in a sea of change, thrashing about to try and gain control while drifting further and further from the safety of the shore.
I see this pattern repeating over and over in my life. Where I am running and pushing and striving in my own strength until I finally break down.
I try to do it all by myself because I am strong and capable and independent…but eventually, inevitably, I crumble. Knee-capped by that familiar feeling of inadequacy, I tumble to the ground.
And it’s only when my knees hit the ground that I remember I cannot do this in my own strength. I will never be enough. I have to let go of this crippling need for control and allow God in.
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These past months have taught me that the opposite of faith isn’t doubt, but rather the desperate need for control. Instead of leaning into the discomfort of not knowing what’s next, I was scrambling to make my own plans.
“The opposite of faith isn’t doubt, it’s the desperate need for control.”
Faith spits in the face of control. Faith says where you go I will follow, whatever you ask I will give. Faith says I remember all the times you’ve been gracious to me before. Faith says it is safe to trust an unknown future to a known God.
Faith knows that the desire for control will always be a slippery slope scattered with anxiety.
Man cannot fight the tides or time.
Instead we must recognize our divine smallness, our complete and utter dependence. Because I’ve lived in the shadow of self sufficiency for long enough to know it won’t sustain me.
And I know this to be true… I find my life when I lay it down.
What scares me the most about living in faith is that laying down my life could mean living in scarcity, never having enough, always searching for food to nourish me, people to love me, things to clothe me.
But I have found the opposite to be true.
With my palms outstretched, seeking God first, totally dependent on His provision…I find myself living in absolute abundance. I have more than I could have ever dreamed of.
“When we rely on God, we live in abundance not scarcity.”
It seems that if we try to provide for ourselves, in our own strength, we will never be satisfied. We will always fall short. We will forever be pining for more.
But when we live in this space of faith, allowing ourselves to be swept along by the incoming tide, we have enough, we ARE enough.
We are whole. We are our truest selves. We have no fear. We are loved and so we love.
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We live in abundance. There is enough love, time, space and joy to go around. We don’t have to fight with one another to prove ourselves or provide for ourselves.
We share what we have because it is more than enough for us.
We are true to ourselves because we feel accepted.
We step bravely into new things because we know our mistakes don’t define us.
This is the rhythm of grace. The rousing, home-bound tide.
That’s the space I want to inhabit. That’s the tide I want to yeild to.
I’ve realized that this journey of sanctification is not a one time thing, it’s a continuous exchange. It’s why we pray give us this day our daily bread. Because yesterday’s bread is not enough. We need grace for today. We need to be fed once more. We cannot survive on the scraps of last night’s supper.
“So we must continually fall back on our knees, humbling ourselves, stepping forwards in faith and swimming in the river of grace.”
Over and over again.
A beautiful exchange.
And need I remind you, this journey is not for the faint of heart. It requires coming undone. Threads are pulled and seams fall apart. Our carefully knitted plans are completely unraveled. We are laid bare and we are made vulnerable.
This process is uncomfortable but it is also sacred, beautiful and liberating.
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So if you’re feeling yourself retreating, slipping backwards into those old rhythms of self sufficiency I hope that you’ll let go just like I’ve had to. That you will realize this way really is the best way.
There is a river of grace that is waiting to sweep you away if you’ll just be brave enough to welcome it.