It's five thirty in the morning on a Saturday and I can't sleep. For the first time in what feels like years, I know it's because I have to write. I write because there's so much on my mind and in my heart, that some of it just has to come out. So that I'm able to sleep again - and so that I will know what I think.
"I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say." —Flannery O'Connor
Much of the time, I write because I don't know what the Lord thinks until I read what I say, because writing really is the holy place for me, the place where I'm alone and still and quiet and desperate for both words and wisdom beyond what I can self produce.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8
Our realtor sent a text yesterday to let me know that our sign will go up in the next couple of days. She'll be coming by to place the "coming soon" marquee on it.
The "For Sale" sign is coming soon and bringing with it, both the unsettling and the unknown.
When I first started writing this particular blog, I wrote much about the childhood home that I spent the first ten years of my life in. For years, I'd held onto the dream of someday buying and restoring and holding onto that old house and eventually, I knew I had to let that dream die. It was a slow and painful death.
I've had to learn to how to let many of own dreams die. It's what Paul refers to as dying to self. I've learned that as long as we live on this side of eternity, all of our life in Christ is a constant dying - of self and of selfish ambitions - and we should expect that anything associated with dying is going to be painful at times.
But never without the beauty of redemption.
Just as the brittle and barren trees outside the window will soon begin to show signs of new life and a new season, we can trust that there is new life and new seasons coming for us. In both physical death and in all of the figurative deaths that we experience in this life.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
I think about the prayers I've prayed over the last couple of years, prayers asking the Lord to unsettle us, to move us out of our comfort zones and even as He has - even as He is now - I feel my heart gripping tightly to the opposite - to settledness and to this pseudo comfort - where there is less fear, less unknown.
But when we ask God to move in our lives and in our hearts, we need to be prepared to have Him move us. Sometimes, literally.
And for me, that means I need to be ready to empty my hands and my heart of all these fears. More than the unknown, I fear the different. I fear the change. If I'm honest, I fear the potential regret. because, let's face it, I have a pretty long list of life-altering decisions that were devastatingly regretful in hindsight. I spent so much time doing the wrong things and moving in the wrong directions, that standing still feels so much safer. I don't trust myself - and for good reason. I know the heartache of regret, and the doing of that which you cannot ever undo... and I know myself. I know who I am in my flesh, apart from Christ, weak and vulnerable and irreparably foolish.
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
I think about my childhood home and I can't remember. It's all bits and pieces, fragments and glimpses. I don't remember the day that we moved. I don't remember how I felt. I don't remember the last night I spent there or the day we drove away. I remember a little bit of the sadness and anxiety, and I'm feeling it all over again this morning, knowing the sign is coming soon - that change is coming soon. But, I didn't know the Lord then. I didn't know the truth of Jeremiah 29:11. It took me another twenty years to realize that move was part of His plan for my own life.
If there's any one theme I've tried to instill in my own children, it's that He is truly working all things together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).
And so, more than being wrought with worry or fear or anxeity of what's to come, I press in to learn to love Him more, to trust Him more. I'm still learning and relearning how very worthy He is of my trust. That I can trust Him with my heart, my life, my family... the unsettling and the unknown.