Do we notice when we reach our breaking point?
It occurred to me only after telling the story of all God has been doing in my life for the past year when my friend said, “Wow, you’ve had quite a year!” In that moment, I took a very deep breath, which must have released copious amounts of stress I had unknowingly penned up inside. He was right.
At this point, I feel like I have absolutely nothing left. If there is more that I can be stripped of, I am unaware what that could be. The past year has taken away my career, my independence, my roots I’ve been growing for the past six years, my comfort zone, my future I had just started to plan… What is left?
What happens when God completely wipes you clean? And why am I so afraid of being a blank slate?
A painter may look at an empty canvas and be excited by the prospect of the beauty about to unfold. A sculptor sees a lump of clay and dreams of what craftsmanship can be molded. A gardener beholds the land before him/her and imagines what can spring up. As a writer, I know I am exhilarated when I stare at a blank notebook or even a blank page about to be filled with words only my imagination can limit.
Now experiencing my life as an empty canvas, a mold-less clay, the untilled earth, the blank notebook… I don’t overly feel a thrill. I’m scared. I don’t know what’s to come. I can’t conceive what the Master has in mind. We had worked so hard for the chapter that had just been written. To start anew seems daunting, terrifying, and impossible at times.
It’s at this point a familiar song plays, one I haven’t sung for quite awhile. “Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me.”
Ever remember a song you’ve prayed, then suddenly regret it for now you realize only some of the implications? That was this moment for me. “Wait, wait wait, God! I take it back!” I know there are times I do this, and God just laughs. He’s not mocking me. He’s my Daddy who knows when His daughter is being ridiculous and can’t help but be entertained. Parents/Aunts/Uncles/Grandparents, you know exactly what I’m talking about. (If you don’t, I suggest you look through “#ReasonsMyKidIsCrying”)
I’m not saying that God is doing this to me because I absentmindedly sang a worship song, and I’m just getting what I deserve. What I am saying is I made a decision a long time ago to surrender my entire life, my plans, my energy, my will, along with my heart, to my Creator and Savior and Lord. When I tell Him, “Thy will be done,” it’s not on a conditional basis. My salvation by His grace is not conditional; how could my devotion and commitment be?
Did I reach my breaking point over the past year and not realize it? Did God bring me through what should have been my breaking point and I just didn’t see it because my eyes were on Him? Did God elevate my breaking point? I don’t know. There are few questions you could ask me at this point in my life that wouldn’t be answered “I don’t know.”
I’m still scared sometimes for what the future may hold, simply because, again, I don’t know what’s there. I don’t need to be. I know I don’t need to be. But I still am sometimes. That’s okay. My job is to keep my eyes on the One who stands firm on the wind and waves that He alone controls, and to trust Him with the chaos the ocean can bring. At the same time, in the spirit of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: even if He does not, I will remain faithful to my God.
“Then turning to His disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life–whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food and your body more than clothing.
“Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?”