(Even when I don’t feel brave)
So, the last of the boxes have been carted away. Everything has found a space to reside…more or less. The curtains are hung. The pictures are thoughtfully placed. Memories of all the places we have been surround me, yet we have been just as deliberate to leave room for the ones that are yet to come. They will come. And they will be good.
I gotta admit, though, change is hard.
Even good change is jarring to this stability and predictability lover. Funny how courageous you can feel when the road feels sound beneath your feet. You know, when the air is clear and you’ve got a map downloaded into your mind and heart. It is in these hard won spaces that I come to know myself, what I’m about and what I’m not.
Funny (but not so funny) thing is that in this fierce calling of a military wife, mother, and friend, the luxury of all the things that comfort and all the things that reassure aren’t always plentiful. They arrive, for sure, but not without a choice to hope, to believe, to take the time and energy and courage to look for them…to sow them and, Lord willing, to harvest them.
Just the other day, my family and I showed up at the pool in our new neighborhood. We didn’t know a soul there. I could see each of us take a deep breath as we scanned the crowd. In those quiet moments, we made a choice to keep our eyes open.
If you’ve moved more than once, you know what I am talking about. The eyes that strain to locate your people. Those people who will become your friends, and eventually, the newest members to your family. Your military family that ever spreads across the globe. Some you will run into again – and oh the joy of those reunions. Some you know you may never lay eyes on again, but they are family nonetheless.
These are your people. You are theirs.
And we each know the risks and we know the abundance that’s found in their fellowship, however brief…and we choose to own a courage we don’t always feel because we know it is worth it all. Every time.
Every. Single. Time.
And before I could blink, we introduced ourselves. I am smiling even as I type and remember this newest, sweet memory. The kindness of the Lord is everywhere…in every space. Even in this newest space I feel His reassurances, His Presence.
We met the sweetest family and almost instantly, I knew it. I knew we had found our people in this new space. There will be more, but for now, I am grateful for the bounty in my children laughing with their new best friends.
Friends, many of you may be immersed in boxes, places where you’ve packed up and just don’t have the vision for what your life will look like around the bend. Will it be good? Will it be gentle or hard pressed? Will it be ok? Yes, beloved, it will. Because God is still good. He is always good.
And because He cannot be anything other than what He is, that means you can hold your weary head up and put on a smile that you may not feel right now. You can do that because He is not just good, He is good to you. He will continue to be.
Courage, like many other emotions, can be such a fickle thing. Personally, I hate that it is. I want to just KNOW what and who I am about and plant my feet and heart in unshakeable spaces. But the truth is, most of us are not able to be any more solid than the emotions that war for our joy, our hope, and our vision.
Our hearts are just not that dependable. We need Jesus. And every single morning, just as His mercies are new, we need to choose to trust Him again.
So when you feel like your world is ever-changing and insecure, remember He is unchanging and always steadfast.
“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath… (19) We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
Hebrews 6:17 & 19a
When you feel like giving in to despair and loneliness, remember He is totally loving you, with you, holding you, and has promised to never leave or forsake you.
“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
When you feel like isolating yourself and building self-protective walls around your heart, remember that He has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light…and we must share (and shine) it with others.
“You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.”
2 Samuel 22:29
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
We choose courage, even when we don’t feel brave. We walk in and into faith knowing that the waters may very well be deep, or rough, or perhaps both. We take that step not because we are able but because we know He is able.
We reach outside of ourselves because He first reached out to us. We make the choice to keep our eyes and our hearts, our hands and our hope wide open because we don’t want to miss the good that is not yet, but will surely come. We don’t want to miss it.
This is courage.
The courage to believe in the not yet.
The courage to hope in the waiting.
The courage to trust Him beyond where we can see Him.
The courage to wake up in a new place, sometimes even a new country, and start all over again.
The courage to walk into faith in the very spot you occupy and take a deep breath, and call it home.
The courage to love and serve the people He brings you to.
THIS is courage.
The song I want to share with you today is called, “Into Faith I Go,” by Pat Barrett. I actually heard it for the first time this morning while I was getting ready to face the day. Right there in front of the mirror I literally dropped my toothbrush and raised my hands in worship, agreeing with the truth and power in the lyrics…for this day, for this season, for this space.
And if you are like me, finding yourself moving, or just moved, to a new place, please know I am lifting up your heart along with my own. May you find Him in each space as you grow into your new home and ministry. Have courage, dear ones.”Walk into faith,” fully assured that He is still good…Every. Single. Day.
With joy for the journey,