Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Out There

Our discussion has been on my mind all the livelong day.

Thank you so much for thoughtfully, honestly weighing in. Thanks for holding a frame up to so much of what's in my heart.

Here's where I've landed: Going is sacrifice. It's surrender. Beyond that, it's anything He wants it to be.

When we go, we are letting go of our plan, our idea, our money, or our time. We're pulled from comfort into the unknown.

Today I talked with a friend who moved from the city to the country. I talked with a friend who began leading a small group of girls from her church. I talked with a friend who adopted a child.

They're all going.

Going hinges on faith. Faith grows when we find ourselves exposed and see that we're covered. Exposure comes from putting ourselves out there (and there's no such thing as small exposure.)

Last year I was hunkered down in our rental house, waiting. I didn't understand the quiet. I didn't want it. Like many of you mentioned, God was busy making room in my heart for this season. Going meant searching and learning. I read a ton of books and had dreams and nightmares about what might happen next.

But there had to be more. Not because I felt guilty. Not because I wanted some good works to brag about.

I hear you loud and clear about waiting and tides and seasons and all of that. I'm right there with you. What I can't see past is that we're commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves. We're commanded to care for the poor, the orphans, the widows, the hungry, the lonely, the sick, the sad.

So maybe our season is a quiet one, but our hearts should be His, and He didn't live with the shades drawn, brewing tea for one in his pajama pants. He never checked out of the world around Him. He didn't take a sabbatical from people.

I can't even imagine what it would look like to love other people as much as I love myself, my husband, my littles. I'm no good at it. I'm not.

Left to my own devices, I'd pick up a blanket and a book and call it a day.

Left to my own devices, I'd budget our money and keep as much for myself as possible. I would schedule my time around me and my little family and call it "putting them first", even though that's not what was asked of me.

Left to my own devices, I wouldn't bother myself with complicated tragedies like 3rd world hunger or 10 year-olds abandoned by their Mamas because it's the only possible hope for survival.

I hope you already knew this, but my instincts about how to live life are often not biblical or noble or anything other than selfish.

The nagging burn for surrender grows. I fight it. And fight it.

God proves more tenacious than I, and slow as molasses, He shows me glimpses of the world He sees. He compels me to care more about them, about you, about anyone other than myself.

Of course He wants rest for me. He wants joy for me. I daresay He wants salsa for me. But He also wants me to know the beauty of redemption and the simple relief of carrying something around other than myself. That's how much He loves me.

So when I'm in a fleeting season of peace, I'd better find someone to love. Because the world is bleeding for just a little of what I've got. A little of what you've got.

We have to take it out there.