The theme of living a great story has been popping up in so many areas of my life. It’s been coloring my life decisions, relationship decisions, time decisions, and many other aspects. I’m finding that now more than ever, I want my life to count. I want to look back and see that my life mattered but not in a way that had to be about me. I want it to matter to those I encountered.
Because at the end of the day, it’s not about me. Even though I selfishly get a return from investing in those around me. Working at Compassion has inspired me to live well. To make each moment count. These kids and their families are the heart of Christ. It sends me back to Africa and the precious faces I got to kiss while cradling little ones in my arms.
And yet even though my passion and my giftings are meeting, there is still that small whisper that’s so quick to interject. Just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s like a tiny part of me is still holding my breath because for whatever reason I feel like it’s all too good to be true. That I can’t really be loved this much that it’s going to be easy for awhile.
Before I left Woodmen I described my current state as being in a pressure cooker. I was about to turn from kernels of corn to popcorn… and not in a happy way. But then right before I popped, I was removed from the fire and given respite. And because my picture of Papa is colored, I’m fearful that since it’s easy, it can’t be what He wants for me. That the only way He teaches me lessons is through hardship. Which brings me to where I’m living now… in the tension.
The tension is that place between where my dreams and my “enough” end and Papa’s dreams begin. As I’m getting older and my heart longs for more of Him, the chasm is shrinking from an inch deep and a mile wide to an inch wide and a mile deep. Sometimes I don’t know which is more terrifying. In my mind, this particular life is good enough, or that boy was the most I could dream up, and I’ve done the things I’d only hoped to accomplish. Yet He’s showing me that I truly cannot out dream Him. But even though I can’t out dream Him, I can fail to trust Him.
This past week (my third at Compassion) I was honored to attend a massive conference that Compassion hosted. The key note speaker happened to be someone whose book and sermon were instrumental in my life the past year. If you’ve been reading this blog for any time, you’ve known that I love the book The Land Between by Jeff Manion. Imagine my delight when he was our second speaker at the conference. Fighting tears, I listened to same sermon that started a year of change.
As the session wrapped up, I saw the past year through new eyes. Eyes that were clearer, wiser, and healed. The reason for that awful land between became all too evident. As Manion says, “Sometimes the most hated soil produces the best loved crop.” And all I can say is yes. Yes it did. Because I went through that, it makes me more apt to trust in who God says He is. A year ago I don’t think I would have believed that I can’t out dream Papa. I wouldn’t have believed He truly does want His best for me and not my best.
Living in the tension is hard and scary. All I know is what I can dream. Anything beyond what I can dream is risky because I also can’t control it. My dreams are not good enough. Good enough is not good enough. He constantly has to rescue me from second best. Even though it hurts in the middle of it, because so far, He hasn’t given me His best while not giving me my best. I have to wait – and trust. And that’s where the Land Between has been so important. It helps me remember when I’m suspended over the chasm, be it narrow or wide, and a small voice wants me to think I’ve been abandoned and don’t deserve rescuing.
And right now – right now I feel like there can’t even be His dream because my dreams feel so impossible. My only hope and prayer is that someday, there won’t be a chasm because my dreams will be so lined up with His that all that is ingrained within in me is His dreams.