Light up the way of Your heart
Move me like You do the mountains
Move me like You do the wind
And I’ll chase Your voice through the dark
Fix my eyes on the unexpected
In the wonder of Your shadow-step,
Take another step.
– Shadow Step, Hillsong United
So here I am, sitting on a porch in Waikiki, HI, a birthday trip celebrating my 30th because 30 felt like it needed some celebrating. What I’m realizing at this new age is: I’m not who I expected I’d be. I’m 30, but I don’t feel like I thought I would. At 30 I am realizing I expected I’d be continually grounded, a deeply solid women in herself and in her faith. Someone so focused outward instead of self-focused, I’d be able to love from a deep security in God, in abundance, in love and acceptance.
The truth? That’s not who I am. I am 30, yes. But I also have fear about a lot of things I thought I’d wouldn’t by now. I see my selfishness so often, something I thought I’d have put in the past at this point, or at least be able to correct more quickly than I admit I do. Old thought patterns and habits of being continue to surface over and over. I am not who I thought I’d be.
But here’s another truth. This is who I am. This is me. This women who isn’t quite finished. Isn’t quite as grounded as she thought. Isn’t quite as self-accepting as she hoped. Isn’t quite as selfless as she wants to be. This is me.
In a lot of ways I want to throw my hands up in disbelief and frustration and comment “Ugh! When will I be…?!” And in that frustration, if you stay in it long enough you can see the grounding for the frustration… beneath all the frustration there’s an expectation, a should within me that I thought I’d have become by now but have not… there’s a disconnect. And the only thing that’s keeping me stuck in frustration is the resistance to who I am.
Who you are right now, who I am right now, is ok. Perfection is not the goal. Growth is.
This is who I am. This is where I am. And I go up and on from here. Life is a journey. All of our moments are included. It’s never one moment in time. It’s a path, and it grows, it changes, it expands and looks a whole lot different than we ever thought it would.
What I think I’m learning on this trip, a trip filled with new experiences, is that in life, over and over again, we will never be what our minds expect us to. We will be more. We will be more nuanced, more dynamic, more in process. And we will be surprised even by our very own selves at the true person we find within.
The good, no, the great news, is that everything belongs in your story. All aspects are part of who God is shaping you and I to be. Had I grown past this step of my life right now, I would not be used the exact way I am right where God has me. Had I been who I thought I’d be by now, maybe I wouldn’t need to rely on God as much. We won’t really know. But if biblical stories are any indication of lives of faith, we will never be fully righteous people while being used by God. God is the perfection. God is the lover. We are the grace covered recipients and conduits.
As hard as it is to face, we live in the “dark”, in the less than full view of our realities. Only God knows the “why”s and “how”s and “when”s and “if”s of it all. Our job, is simply to be who we are, right now as we are, and to embrace it so God can do His work and we can move beyond each moment. Embrace so we can more toward trusting we are loved, we are forgiven, we are ok.
God’s will isn’t to have our lives figured out, perfect, settled, holy on our own… it is to live in love. That’s it. When we realize that truth… all the inconsistencies of our todays can be swallowed up in the “ok-ness” God’s declared over us through His divine love. All of our moments can be moved through and expanded simply by stepping toward love from right where and who we are.
May we, exactly as we are, rest in our moments and full of love and forgiveness move beyond them. Step by step by step.
Grace and Peace.
Extra Musings and Random Thoughts
Photo is from my favorite day in Hawaii. It’s a place called Hanauma Bay where you can snorkel and float in the wonder of God’s creation.
I’m currently in the middle of Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr – excellent recommendation if you want more on this topic of God using it all.
I finished Rob Bell’s latest book What is the Bible on audio and loved it so much I listened to it a second time. I think everyone no matter their faith or lack of faith should read this. Engaging, interesting, eye opening… hope he keeps writing more like this.
Thanks for reading friends.