Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It is one of those nights.

It is one of those nights.
It is one of those nights where I feel defeated. The words "inadequate" and "inexperienced" and "immature" and "incapable" flash in neon before my tearful eyes and hurting heart. 
It is one of those nights I question why I do what I do, why I dream what I dream, and why I hope in a hopeless moment.
I have big dreams. I have big desires. I have a big God, and with Him should come big faith, right? Honestly, in this moment the only thing that feels big are my fears.
Grad school looms in the future. Maybe. These applications and essays and phone calls and weekends traveling. I'm dizzy just writing it out. I worry. I wonder. I wait. What if my professors think I'm ridiculous for applying here? What if these schools laugh at my youth and inexperience? What if I become tongue-tied and timid? What if it is a giant waste of money? What if I don't get in? What if I do get in? What if grad school isn't God's plan for me?
What if... what if... what if.... I could spend all night in this camp and not get a wink of sleep.
I am convinced so deep within my soul that my passion for theatre is from the Lord. At times it doesn't make sense. At times I feel very alone. At times I think that no one else understands. More times than not it seems as though I'm standing in cement, unable to move. 
The lies tell me that I should have this figured out by now. That I should have conquered my fear of rejection and fear of failure by this point in my walk with Christ. That because I still struggle, my significance is minimal as is my influence. 
I want to know what's next. I want to decide what's next. I want a color-coded calendar of my next five years. I want to be settled and secure and someone's only one. I want to be successful in the eyes of friends and family. I want to be looked up to and respected and held of high importance in my field.
I want control.
I have never felt more out of control in my life. 
Seven months ago I flew 2,000 miles from home and moved to the PNW. I said "yes" to Jesus and the bright lights pointing to this city and this job. Even today I'm 100% positive that this is where I am supposed to be. But in the middle of my season of confusion and surrender (we'll get to that tricky word later) I'm looking back at my answer and cringing.
It seems I said "Yes, I will go, and I'll stay until I decide what's next." 
That is not the same as "Yes, Lord, I will go where you say!" 
I'm not sure why I am so eager to high-tail it out of here. Maybe it's a knee jerk reaction to facing difficulty. Maybe it's my spirit aching for my comfort zone. Maybe it's the roots I'm desperate to dig deep shrinking for fear of being ripped from the soil. Maybe --and most likely-- I sense something big up ahead, a big risk, and fear has sent me packing my bags.
Don't even mention being single in the midst of all of this. Honestly I've been in a season where the thought or worry doesn't cross my mind. But in the moment it's tough. Daily social media reminds me that engagement, marriage, and homemaking is happening amongst my peers. My favorite bloggers are snapping Instagrams of their neat newlywed homes and bonding over baby fever. Then I'm over here zipping from one part time job to the next, ready but so far from ready to be financially independent, unable to remember to make my bed let alone make a meal when I finally cross the threshold of my house that doesn't feel like my home. 
I'm tired of feeling less than. I'm tired of being frustrated with myself for a messy feed on this social network or the other. I'm tired of over-sleeping and over-eating and over-spending and over-analyzing every aspect of my life. I'm tired of wishing for change and sitting on my rump without doing anything about it.
I'm tired.
It's one of those nights.
But I'm thankful, too. 
And man, is gratitude powerful!
I'm thankful for a community of friends --a community that spreads across this great nation-- that loves me and hugs me and prays for me daily.
I'm thankful for parents willing to trust me and support me, to send me across the country to interview and investigate a prompting the Lord put on my heart. Parents who encourage me and want what's best for me. Parents who brought me up to believe that God's plans and timing are perfect, and often quite different than ours.
I'm thankful for my hobbit hole of a room, filled with colorful clothes, inspiring quotes, and twinkling lights that remind me I have been abundantly provided for and blessed. I'm thankful for a place to retreat, to read, to write, to rest, to ramble, and to revel in the goodness of God.
I'm thankful for a job. I'm thankful for TWO jobs. I'm thankful for the ability to work in my field, to journey to an inspiring place each morning, and for the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of 46 children four days out of the week. I'm thankful for the patience of my mentors, the graciousness of my co-workers, and the lessons learned in every moment, minute, and mistake.
I'm thankful for the little things. I'm thankful for an empty journal, a well-worn Bible, a favorite book. A ink-stained calendar, a well-sharpened pencil, and a gold-foiled quote upon my wall. I'm thankful for my electric blanket, the gift of a bed, and a taste of home. 
I'm thankful for the mile walk to the lake and the people to watch as I jog. I'm thankful for coffee dates where no work is accomplished but hearts are warmed and delights are shared. I'm thankful for a car that runs, an internet that connects, and a camera that captures the simple moments.

I'm thankful for the freedom to pick up and move across the country. I'm thankful for the security that I am desired by the Almighty One and cared for as His bride. I'm thankful for the hope of what's ahead but the peace He promises for today.
I'm thankful for each and every breath that I'm not promised, and the adventure that's up ahead.
My heart tightened and breath halted at that word: ADVENTURE.
2013 was the year of adventure and hope, and boy was it good.
2014 is the year of surrender. And this is what it boils down to today.
It's time to surrender control. For real this time.
It's time to surrender my dreams. To release my white-knuckled grip.
It's time to surrender my comfort zone. And here come the tears.
It's time to surrender the desire for companionship. My God is enough.

It's time to surrender the need to know. "The secret things belong to the Lord..."


This has been a long time coming, and it's time to stop running. 
I don't think you understand the way my heart is quaking right now. My fingers are tingling and struggling to string together these words. I just want to know! There is no "just" in that, really. I want to know. I want to do. I want to be. It is a desire that is holding me captive. It's time to activate the faith that I am called to.
So today I declare something different:
I trust.

I believe.

I hope.

I release.

I surrender.
I need Jesus more now than ever. There hasn't been a personal tragedy or some great catastrophe. My heart can simply take no more.
"Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9
I don't need to know. I don't need to have it figured out. I don't need to please anyone. 
I don't need to do A, B, or C.

I need Jesus.

And He is here. 
Hallelujah.
 
Amen. 
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9 comments:

  1. What an awesome "non-coincidence" that I happened to check your blog right as you posted this. You will never know how much I needed to hear this tonight. As a blogger, one of our natural responses when faced with these many racing thoughts is to type them all out into a post. But then we're faced with the waiting period. Waiting to see if the words we shared are going to have any kind of impact on those who read them. Bailey, your beautiful and honest account is EXACTLY what I needed. Your 2014 plan of surrender is incredible. I'm printing it out and putting it up on my wall right now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. What a beautiful gift it is that God finds a way to use our sufferings for the good of others, ourselves, and His glorification. Keep writing! :)

    Ivonne
    http://aroundtheround.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you, sweet girl! It was absolutely a "non-coincidence" and reading your encouragement last night brightened my mood so much! Thank you for taking the time to read my rambling mess and I'm so glad something in it resonated with you :)

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  2. Our situations are so similar- I feel like I'm nine months ahead of you in the time line, but your thoughts echo so many things that have run through my head and are still running through all the time. Praying for you over here in London! <3

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    1. Thanks, Jenny! I'm so glad you're out living your dream! Praying for peace and rest for both of us.

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  3. This post is incredible. I was nodding my head through each paragraph and kept thinking "this gal and I would be friends" and then I got to the part where you called your room a hobbit hole and now I'm convinced that we should meet and become IRL friends....if that's not creepy or stalker-esque or awkward AT ALL!
    And I promise I didn't read this post just looking for "friend material." On the contrary, it is what you articulated that makes me want to be your friend :) You described a lot of what is going on in my heart right now... if God and I could sit down and coordinate my life calendar, that would be great and wonderful! But since that's not how it works, I am choosing surrender right there with you! Thank you for this honest and vulnerable and beautiful post.

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    1. Haha, thanks Bek! So glad you stumbled upon my little blog. And your comment was so encouraging! We simply need to remember that God is faithful even when we feel like we're flailing trying to grab ahold of something.

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  4. Stunningly beautiful. I'm a somewhat new follower, and I haven't commented on any of your posts yet, truth be told today is the first time I've had a good look around your blog...and I read this post. Dear girl, I know exactly where you are coming from...when your heart can't take anymore, because the desires and hunger for all your dreams becomes almost a consuming energy. It is even worse when you know your dreams come from God's heart. But you are right...there is nothing else we can do but surrender to God...if we don't, our own dreams will consume us, they are so intense. And don't get me started on comfort zones and stepping out!! Last year was my year of surrender, and this year is the year that God is calling me to take ahold of life, and not be afraid of those big steps.

    Thank you so much for sharing your vulnerable, beautiful heart and real struggles with us! It blessed me to read this, really. I'm saying a prayer for you right now. Take heart!

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  5. There are so many times over the last several months that my heart cried the same thing. Sentiments such as, "God will never give more than we can handle" or "it is a challenge to strengthen" us are nice but they will never touch the hurt that we feel in the dark corners of our trial. There were moments when I would audibly cry out to the Savior and physically tremble in my need for Him. I have never in my years of knowing Him personally felt Him wrap around me the way I have lately.
    I don't offer words of advice or even a "you can do it." because simply put, you can't. You were never meant to. Not only remembering but clinging to the truth that He defeated hurt and pain at the cross was the only thing I could put together enough to wake the next day. Know that a sister's prayers are being laid before the Father for you as one who is just figuring out that He is Master Fixer of my broken heart!

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  6. Yes, I felt every perfect word you wrote... because I, too, have been feeling the same. The lose of control that I crave, but let's confess, never really had... I feel there needs to be a funeral for that. I'm uprooted & spinning on a sheet of ice & uncertainty, &, honestly, throwing a pity party over the fact that I'm doing so without a man to help me feel not so alone & not so dizzy - even though I know God is enough, but, yes, a guy would be nice, too - honesty. I'm waiting for answers & signs & running ragged the carpet pacing, when all He wants is for me to be still. "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." -Exodus 14:14 Praying you & I can find stillness in the midst of the tilt-a-whirl of this life - I know it's out there, because I know that He is the Prince of Peace.
    Love you & thanks for sharing so beautifully your truth. It was needed - not only for you - but for me.
    -Bess-

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