Friday, January 4, 2013

refusing to pick IT up

Getting out of the Navy and leaving security behind takes some real kahones.

It isn't for the faint of heart.

It's choosing to leave behind the certainty of steady, consistent paychecks, health care benefits, and decent housing, and facing the real possibility of not getting a job, paying enormous health care bills, or not being able to afford a place to live. And for the past few months, life has held some pretty massive question marks when we look at the future.

It's funny. I have this mental image where all of those question marks look like large, overwhelmingly heavy boxes. And my prayer- and my determination!- for this entire journey so far has been, "Lord, give me the strength not to pick IT {the boxes- the worry, fear, doubt} up. I want to make it from Point A to Point B and be able to say 'I never picked it up. Not once.'" So far, so good.

This is, by the way, the hardest thing I've ever done. {let it be known that statement is only a very slight exaggeration!}I didn't expect to have to expend so much energy in an effort not to worry. It's like policing my thought life constantly. Anything that looks remotely like a worry gets walked over and dropped at God's feet while I wipe my hands on my pants for good measure and then sprint in the opposite direction. And yes, I really do imagine that exact scene playing out. Dorky? Perhaps. But I'm a visual person and that helps me really make sure it doesn't get thrown into my backpack- that big thing on our spiritual back that we stash full of regret, pain, guilt, and other kinds of general crud that weighs us down and keeps us from running The Race as fast and as hard as we can. That sucka needs to stay roomy so I can cart around better things like joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, etc. Geez, the "Christianese" meter needs to drop about 20 degrees, Lauren. But seriously. One of the things I've been learning lately is that we get to determine what we carry around.

We can choose what we believe about ourselves to be true. We can choose to carry around offense. We can choose to worry, choose to operate in fear, choose to settle for what is good versus what is best. And dang, this is one of the most freeing things I've ever had God speak over me. It has literally made the biggest transformation to the way I operate on a daily basis than anything else. It means being able to take that mean thing that so-and-so said to me {about me?} and say, after a few moments of real, honest evaluation, "No, that's not true. I am not going to carry the weight of that around and let lies change the way I'm living." It means being able to take worries that could cause sleepless nights and tense days and refuse to walk around with them because I serve a big God who has it under control...and know that my worrying will do absolutely nothing to help the situation but will do MUCH to separate me from my Jesus. Because it's impossible to hang out with a Holy, Mighty, All-Powerful God and worry. Worry, you see, shrinks into an embarrassingly small lump of shriveled ugliness when next to the Creator of the Universe.

And so life these days has been an exercise in faith. A time of uncertainty but a walk of trust. A practical application of only allowing myself to carry around the things God intends for me to carry- joy, trust, encouragement, etc- instead of the things He wants to carry for me.

Matthew 11
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

So I'm Just going to keep walking it out. Today that's especially hard because there are a lot of big decisions that have to be made by the close of business this afternoon and we're screaming, "God!!!!! WHAT DO WE DO?!?! WHAT IS THE BEST DECISION?!?!" 

(An update: the "need to know" date has been extended a few more work days. Great!! Yayee, God. And yet...more waiting?!?! Uuuuuuugh.)

I will not pick it up. Not today. Because I didn't yesterday. And because my God is a mighty God.

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