Sunday, April 17, 2011
finally... a bit
Perhaps 3 months ago, I was singing along to this song as I was washing the dishes (although, it was the Spanish verison--which I happen to prefer). It's a song I really like, so I was happy that it came on.
Mid-song, I stopped myself and asked what it would look like for me to surrender. What were the dreams and hopes I was holding higher than God? I guess--being a missionary--I was feeling pretty surrendered. "I've given You my life. I've given up family and friends. I've given up comfort and ease. I've got this song in the bag!"
But, then I examined the things I was holding dear. This life. This dream of living as a missionary in a foreign country that I've had ever since I was a little girl. This house that we have poured hours of sweat and muscle into to make it comfortable for our babies. These roots that we are just beginning to sink into this community. These few but dear friendships that are just deepening to a place of stability and confidence.
At that, my heart stopped. I remembered feeling like it froze in my chest, and I walked around our yard thinking about these things I was holding dear. I gazed out at the view of the mountains that I cherish. I looked at the yard we have worked long and hard to get to this place. I thought about the long-term plans we have in the communities we are working in. I thought about our supporters and our partners in ministry, the Glicks.
Tears stood in my eyes and my throat was swollen shut. Could I surrender even this? Would I? Is this dream I am living the dream God is dreaming for me?
When Noah was born, he kept his fists clenched tightly shut. It seems the outside world was too much coming in all at once, and keeping his hands curled up gave him a sense of control. You can't imagine the screams that would come whenever I wanted to open his hands to wash them or trim his fingernails.
Blisters formed on the palms of his hands; a combination of his nails cutting into his hands and whatever bits of things he had grabbed causing infection.
I thought about this in relation to our dreams.
How often do I hold on so tightly to my dream for me? My fists are balled up, and I scream at any sign that someone is going to try to open them. Dreams held too tightly tend to fester.
I thought about Abraham and Isaac. How tightly Abraham held his dream Isaac to his chest, until God called for him to open his fists and let God do what He wished with him.
These thoughts sat in my heart until about a month ago-- me thinking perhaps it was just something I needed to settle. God wouldn't want me to leave Mexico! This message is probably for someone else. Then, it just felt like God dropped into our hearts: Now is the time. You've been struggling long enough. At least consider that this struggling could be Me gently pointing you in a different direction.
Every fiber of my being cried out against this idea. I don't know if I can describe how bone-piercing the doubts and questions that arose in my mind were. I don't know if it can be understood how un-doable the idea seemed. There were big questions I had to ask God. There were big questions I had to ask me.
In the end, Rey and I came to a place of peace that this decision is for our good. It is for a reason. It is not us "giving up". It is not us "failing in faith". It is just another bend in the road. Another chapter of the book God is writing.
We are certain that the time is "now" that we are supposed to be "there". We just don't now for how long or for what.
But, our hands are open. And, we know we are being led by the One who gives every good and perfect gift.