There is something very real about choosing to trust in the midst of chaos. When your brain is desperately attempting to make sense of the facts in front of you, but your heart runs like a frantic child racing to pick up shards of her mother’s shattered fine china. When you long to conclude something from the pages of this chapter of life, scratching desperately to make sense of the last crazy season’s events, yet your head moves circles around the could haves and should haves clogging all sensible thought. When your looping brain senses the tug – HOURLY – to give itself back over to the rest – deep rest – that comes in knowing there is simply more going on than what your squinting, burning, tear-filled eyes can perceive.
Lord, I have said the eternal yes. Let me never, having put my hand to the plough, look back. Make straight the way of the cross before me. Give me love that there may be no room for a wayward thought or step.
Elizabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity
As I drove home last Saturday night from what looks to be the final – final – final conversation ever to be had with a beloved friend, tears came hard. I’ve given in so much lately – let myself fully delve into the emotions of hurt and longing that have overridden all rational thinking. It was about to happen, yet again…
But in the stillness behind my steering wheel, with full awareness of that night’s finality, deep truth begged my recognition. The lump in my throat had to stand still. As tears came quiet, I simply could not let my dive from the ledge of calm into a sea of unbridled emotion drown out the message being spoken in silence.
It is the control of passion, not it’s eradication, that is needed. How would we submit to the authority of Christ if we had nothing to Submit? – Elizabeth Elliot
Do NOT get me wrong – I stand in full favor of a good cry. Cathartic, cleansing, puffy eyes for a full 24 hours afterwards kind. That’s where some of our realest moments go down. I’ve just been there one too many times already this season. The desire to bridle these moments of extreme emotion into memorable moments of listening for the Lord’s voice took over.
It had been whispered earlier that week – in the candle-lit chapel of my memory filled alma mater – while steady heart played on ivory keys and all voices were silenced.
It came in silence again tonight…
If TRUSTING in Jesus
means NOT leaning on my own understanding,
then I am freed from HAVING to understand.
Breath. Deep inhale and holding till all oxygen is wrung full into my gasping lungs. This means my never sleeping – steadily churning – over analyzing head – can shift out of sense-seeking hyperdrive in to fully submitted, fully surrendered, someone-else-has-taken-the-gears neutral. Rest. My heart can tell that shard-gathering child to leave all that’s been broken right there where it was dropped. My hand can put down the pen trying desperately to piece chapters of this story together and sit instead at the feet of the creator of the story itself.
I GET to trust.
And if trust means
leaning not on my own understanding,
Then maybe understanding runs me the risk
of undercutting my stand on faith.
Things – don’t need – to be understood.
Recognized, but not rectified. Observed, and left free of control. Noticed, given praise for, and surrendered – held in deliberately open hands. To give over my knowledge-seeking, conclusion-grasping self frees me from having to nail down and explain all the things my heart just doesn’t understand.
And, in that freedom, comes the realization that there is ALWAYS more to the story than what I can see…
… More lives involved
… More mercy given
… More heaven ordained meetings and divine conversations in the works
… More coordinating and hand-crafting of the cosmos than I could ever plan on my own
…More glory to be held by our savior as the mysteries of things we never could have imagined come plainly, poignantly into view.
I GET TO TRUST .
The seed breaks to give us the wheat. The soil breaks to give us the crop, the sky breaks to give us the rain, the wheat breaks to give us the bread. And the bread breaks to give us the feast. Never be afraid of being a broken thing.
Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way
In moments of our not knowing, when all we see is the breaking, we get to trust in a God who pieces all things together. Who is ALWAYS at work, writing through our lives the story of redemption with his pen of truth and grace. Who uses every ounce of brokenness to shape us – refine us – and mold us into who He’s destined us to be. Because of Him, the HOPE on our broken side of Heaven rings clear: the story isn’t finished yet.