I sat there motionless. My heart beat quickly, keeping time with the race of emotions surging through my body. My struggle was laid bare before my friend whose deep brown eyes were a pool of understanding.
I bit my lip to keep the tears back. “I just don’t understand. What am I supposed to do? I don’t know…I’m confused. I feel caught in the middle.”
“What is God telling you?” Her reply was quick. Gentle.
Oh yeah. That’s right. God talks. Was I – am I – listening?
I sighed. “I feel caught between two worlds and the thing is – I don’t feel like God is pushing me over the edge either way. I’m just kind of here. In the middle.” I laughed nervously. “Yeah. I feel caught in between. Kind of stuck. You know?”
“Yeah,” She said softly and looked in her lap. “I know.”
Sometimes people say they know to be nice. Not her. She really knows.
She looked up quickly, “Let me guess. You aren’t the type of person who waits patiently, right?”
We laugh together. Nothing more needs to be said.
“Oh, dear…I don’t know if this will make sense,” I pause. “I’m scared. I’m scared to give in. It is everything I know and I am scared to step in to this…I’ve sat before my husband and cried buckets of tears. I don’t want to give up my dreams and my ambitions. How do I say what is expected of me in a situation and yet feel something so very different? Am I supposed to do this? Is this right?”
The floodgates have opened. Despite the turmoil of my words, I feel inward peace. It feels good to come clean and get honest.
“Renee,” Her words are measured, her response is slow. She is wise. “Renee, I know what is to live in death. It is hard and very painful -”
It dawns upon me and I interrupt her, “But you also know what it is to live in resurrection.”
“Yes,” she smiles. “Yes, I do. If God has given you the dreams that live in your heart, that awaken your soul, that dance through your being…if they are of Him…someday He will return to you manyfold. He will resurrect what is His. It will be above and beyond your expectations and wildest dreams. It will be according to His plan.”
Our dreams…the secret thoughts and wishes we hold in our hearts? If they are of God, they were His dreams first. He knows.
Our God rose again and the message of the Gospel is one of great Hope. Redemption, restoration, resurrection.
We all struggle. Face fears. Really, deep inside of our hearts, we are all the same. We all face questions. We all cry. We all have places that bleed.
I know it doesn’t make sense. We pray. We seek God. Our desire is good, right, natural – from Him. We love Him. We worship Him. We pray. We seek God. It doesn’t seem fair when the world stays quiet and God doesn’t say “yes”. In the moment, all we can think about is why He isn’t saying “yes” to something very good.
And we feel afraid. We don’t want to surrender. The unknown feels cold and uninviting. The unoccupied territory is threatening. We sit waiting and yet the very thing which calls us by name [surrender] is a movement.
A step forward.
For all our life we believe that surrender is relinquish, but surrender is a fight. To not hold on when everything inside says “hold on, grip tighter” is a movement forward – from self to righteousness.
To give up is not to give in.