I haven't been right the last few weeks. I really still can't place my finger on what was wrong, but something was. I was crabby, overtired, and my spirit knew something else was just off. I was troubled and wrestling with God over a number of issues: why I'm still single, why I'm in Indiana, why, why, and why some more. It was rough. I'm not going to lie and tell you that I've got it all figured out now. Because I don't. There are days I will still wrestle with God about why. There are days when my spirit will be heavy and troubled and I'm might not know the reason why. But one of the things I've learned from these past few weeks is that I know the One who does know. I know the one who has it all figured out. And some days I'd frankly like him to fill me in a little, but that's not what he promised. He never promised to let me in on his plans. He did promise that he knew his plans for me and they were good, for a a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
But that's not the only thing that he taught me through this. I began to realize that too often I live with my heart closed off from the world. Too often I refuse to let people see me. And I do it because I'm scared. I'm terrified of being hurt. Let's face it, being hurt by people sucks. But what I began to understand is this: If there is no chance for pain, then there is no chance for love. So when I shut people out and only show them what I deem safe, I'm not allowing myself to love them or them to love me.
So here's what I want. I want to live my life with my heart open. I want to love people with everything I have and trust God to handle the details of the relationship. I want to move beyond what I consider safe and take a risk. I have to become vulnerable or I won't survive, because being safe is no longer an option. I need people in my life to tell me when I'm shutting them out again. I need people to ask me questions and really listen to my answers. I need people in my life who, when they see the real me, won't turn and run, but who will stay and will love me and allow me to love them. I need people who will open their hearts to me.
It's scary. Actually, it's downright terrifying to allow someone the power to cause me so much pain. I don't know if I'll be able to do it. Yet, I can't NOT do it. There is something within me crying out for this. Because as much as I am handing people the power to cause me pain, I am also giving them the power to show me extravagant only from God love. There will be pain. That's a fact of life. But if I choose to live without the pain people can cause me, then I'm also choosing to live without the love. And I am no longer willing to do that. I am no longer willing to play it safe.
If you know anything about me and my story, you probably know that I have struggled with fear for almost my whole life. It's something I battle literally on a daily basis. Some of it's stupid stuff. The stuff that everyone is afraid of or just little things that make me nervous. But other things are much bigger and have much bigger implications. One of the verses that I have clung to over the past six or so years is this:
"The Lord replied, 'Don't say, 'I'm too young,' for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don't be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken.'"
And the verse that my grandma gave me as my life verse:
"For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
So. When people fail me, my God is still with me. When the pain comes, he is there to heal. When the fear threatens to overtake me, he sings joy filled songs over me. God has spoken. People will fail. He will not. And he is calling me to this next step. Living life with an open heart. Loving without limits, without conditions. Opening myself up to people and allowing them to see me. Being vulnerable when it could end up hurting me. It's a risk. A big one. But it's one I'm willing to take.
What's God calling you to do?