when your push through is gone

ftur-hrt-1 A little secret? I didn’t completely unpack here in Florida until this weekend.  I still had suitcases ready to go in my closet. To unpack and really settle in felt a bit like waving a white flag of surrender and defeat.

I think one of the hardest things for me personally in this season is that I have always fought thru.  Always.  I have spent my entire life not letting physical limitations limit or define me.  And my circumstances still do not define me.  But they sure do refine me.  Hone my focus. Catapult me closer to His heart of love.  If I let them.

When I had a choice, I’ve always chosen the hardest possible everything just because I didn’t want to be boxed in or disabled.  Not by ANYthing. They’d say, “She can’t do that.” and I’d say, “Oh really, watch me.”

Case in point: a 30 ft high suspended ropes course when I was 16.  The camp director agreed to let me try but the final obstacle would be impossible on one leg.  It was a horizontal V and you had to inch along holding only on to your partner’s hands for stability as the distance between you grew until you couldn’t reach that far and then unless you were a tightrope-walking genius with wings, you’d be let down by your safety belay rope.  That was the point. No one finished.  Me.  I commando crawled it from underneath.  I was determined to finish well.  I still am.

There are seasons that lie beyond the reach of language.  It is in these times I find myself often praying painted prayers.  And in a place deeper than words comes the whispered understanding of heaven.

To have God tell me to NOT try and push through this time feels like the defeat I have spend 35 years fighting off.  Maybe it is in the places we can’t push through that we are carried through.  Maybe His breakthrough is only found at the end of our push through.  I’m finding out what that might look like now.

Yesterday He asked me as I painted, “Beloved… what if your greatest gift to the world is simply your heart set on fire being loved by Me?”

What if?  What if our greatest, most lavish gift might simply be a heart aflame with Him, set on fire by Love?

So that’s me right now… learning how to feel fully alive when my life isn’t in mortal danger and I’m not pushing thru impossibility to what lies beyond; learning to trust when a productive day looks like vacuuming my living room and taking a nap because that took all the strength I have.  And success looks like trusting Him for restoration right in the middle of the waiting… and napping.

I am reminded of some lyrics I wrote just before leaving for Africa in 2006:

i choose the low road into the shadow:
knowing you’re with me, i am not alone.
i enter the stillness into the valley,
embracing the darkness, choosing the mystery.

i  will trust in you,
i will trust in you.
i will trust in you my God.
i will rest in love.

you carry me.  you never leave.
you’ll always be closer than the air.
you carry me.  you never leave.
you’ll always be always there.

i choose the low road into the shadow.
knowing you’re with me i am not alone.
i enter the stillness on love’s journey,
into the darkness into the mystery.

Some times what looks to be darkness is simply the place of unknowing, of mystery.  I still choose to embrace His mystery knowing only there can His majesty be fully revealed.

Remember this week sweet friends.  Above all else.  You are loved.