“Do not cling to your old ways as you step into a new year / season / month / journey. Instead, seek my face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
I grew up in a Christian home. I gave my life to Christ in the bathroom under a mirror when I was in kindergarten. I went to church Sundays, Wednesdays, and Monday nights for my mom’s choir practice. I went to a Christian school… From the outside looking in, you could say that I was surrounded by Christ. But being surrounded is much different than being in His Presence.
When I traveled to Hope Spoken, I didn’t really realize that I was in a very destructive and violent storm. More importantly, I didn’t really realize just how long I had been in that storm.
When I look back now, I almost feel as though my entire life has been a storm. There were days, months even, when it was a little calmer than most, just sprinkles of rain in between the crashes of thunder and strikes of lightning. And even the thunderstorms seemed easy compared to some of the tsunamis that could have easily sunk my ship. The days of sprinkling were the days that I called on Him but called with a half hearted plea. After all, I was the captain of my ship! Thunderstorms?! I’ve got this. Rogue wave?! I’ve got this. Hole in the ship?! I’ve got this. I put all the trust I had in myself.
I feel as though the people that I connected with and the stories and parts of lives that I heard were absolutely put in place from God. There were people that I wished I could have sat down with and stories that I wished I could have heard, but He knew the pieces that I needed to hear and exactly when I needed to hear them.
Danielle said something that stuck: “Let go of yourself and surrender to all that God wants you to be”
But I’m the captain!
Wynne said this: “His plans are not your plans. Let Him wreck you with His plan and His timeline”
But I’m the captain!
The very first verse in the devotional was Genesis 1:15 // “We have no need to fear”
But I’m the captain!
It’s crazy to think that the first 5 hours of my drive to Dallas were literally in thunderstorms. My GPS took me through back country roads, in winding circles, all while my phone was screeching out flash flood warnings and the national weather service was telling me to get off the road. There was nothing figurative about this storm. It was legit. The lightning blinded me for seconds at a time and I was so scared that almost turned back around. But as a captain, I couldn’t let on that this was as bad as it seemed.
It wasn’t until my drive home that I finally understood what He wanted me to hear.
That I’m not the captain. That I don’t have control. That these half hearted pleas won’t cut it anymore. That it was time to surrender. It was time, once and for all, to completely say, “Lord, be my captain. I trust you with it all. Wholly. Entirely. Completely.” And it was there, in my rented prius, 9 hours away from home, tears streaming down my face, with “Oceans” blasting and the lyrics “spirit lead me where my trust is without borders” that I lifted my right hand and basically felt like I had given my life to Him for the first time. That I accepted the need for Him in my heart to rule and reign. That I no longer half heartedly said that I trusted Him. This time it was for real. There was no holding back, He could have my heart completely, entirely, wholly. And it was in that instant that this amazing joy, this undeniable peace, this crazy wave of excitement just rolled over me and absolutely consumed me!
Oh how hard it is to put into words the literal weight that was lifted but I’ll try. We’ve all held a baby for a moment of time. After a while they start to get heavy. You switch holding positions, you prop them on your hip, put them in a carrier for a little less strain. But when you finally get to put them down, a weight has quite literally been lifted. You feel lighter, you feel free. You can move and live a normal life. My burdens were my babies. But I never truly put them down. I couldn’t. Half hearted pleas won’t let you do that. You still carry them with you. I carried them with me for years, ( y e a r s ) while I continued to feed them and they continued to grow. I’m sure that if you pictured it in your head, my babies, my burdens, were strapped to all my parts, and they were all much larger than I am. Imagine that immense weight. I don’t think you could see me anymore. All those burdens. Imagine how crazy I must have looked when I could finally throw my arms up and move with freedom. How excited and energized I must have been. That, that, is how I felt in that moment.
In the month leading up to Hope Spoken, I had been preparing myself to have the ability to take the week off after I had returned. I said a week thinking it would only be a day or two, and that it would mainly be to recover from the lack of sleep and the amount of driving that was done. Little did I know that I needed to recover from that moment in the car. The moment that I didn’t plan for. The moment that He planned for. That I would need to rest physically but not just from the drive. My body and soul and mind had been taking beating after beating for years and years and years and it needed time to recover. My mindset had just gone through such a huge transformation and I really wanted to make sure that I develop it properly this time around. He told me to rest.
It would have been easier to jump back into the life that I left before the weekend. The life of to-do lists. Of consumption and exhaustion. But had I done that, had I jumped back in and not listened to Him, I would have missed out on so much. I would have missed out on His voice. I would have missed what He is continuing to teach me about all that He knew I needed to hear. I would have taken over as the captain.
I feel like everything that was said in this post was what was needed to be said today, in this moment.
My desire right now is just to seek His face. To live in His Presence.
And that’s where I feel that I am now, in and not just surrounded. Trusting without borders. I’m still putting the pieces of the weekend, the drive, the week after and even this day together, but I’m doing it with Him as my captain.