When I was in the 4th grade, my parents bought an old farmhouse that sat on 12 acres of property, property that was surrounded by endless horizons of beautiful land. We affectionately called it “The Farm”, and I loved it. When I recall that time, my heart feels free. My imagination could soar there. I could run in all the beautiful openness of the unknown, and feel as if I was flying.
But then, my parents split up. My world was turned upside down. That freedom was quickly taken away and replaced with the chaos of things that I could not control.
Praise the Lord that He continually pursues us. Through all that heartache and pain, we came to know Him.
My parents got back together and purchased a new home, away from the painful memories of the past. This home was so very different. It was a cookie cutter house located only a few feet away from all the other houses that looked exactly like it~ in the middle of a subdivision full of similar houses. House upon house. No freedom. No flying.
But for some reason, my heart took comfort in the familiarity of it all. All the past chaos was outside that perfect little suburb. I was safe in this new, controlled setting. And my journey of familiarity and control began.
At that time in my life, my flesh associated the comfort of my parents being reunited with my controlled situation, when all along it was Jesus. Jesus is what changed our lives. Not the cookie cutter house, in the cookie cutter subdivision.
I have found that almost 50 years later, I still look for comfort in familiarity, in everything being predictable. In control. In planning. In a cookie cutter life.
It occurred to me today that a large part of that process has to do with fear. If I write it down and accomplish it, if I plan, if I have control, I don’t have to fear. Life will be predictable, and I find comfort in predictability.
But not in God.
But then when life hits me with a curve ball, suddenly all my comfort is whisked away and I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the future and what that looks like for my marriage, for my kids, for my church, for my blog. I’m afraid of the opinions of others. I’m afraid I won’t accomplish what needs to be done. I’m afraid of pain and heartache. I’m afraid of the unknown.
Circumstances can hold us hostage to the fear of the unknown.
My anxiety over that unknown can become so strong that my control seems lost. Inside that anxiety I am paralyzed. I don’t long to be placed in my cookie cutter house in a subdivision. I long to run away and fly. I long to just be free…
and it’s there in that moment that God teaches me again and again that freedom and comfort only come from God. Not from all my control.
Slowly, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I learn to put my trust in Him. Sometimes daily, sometimes minute by minute. It’s something that only He can provide. A comfort that only comes in trusting Him, and not in my own control.
And suddenly in that trusting, when life throws me another curve ball~ the unimaginable happens. I have peace. I am free from the bondage of my fear of the unknown because I know that HE knows. And everything God allows in my life is for my good.
You can have freedom from whatever might have happened in your past that makes you want to hide within the cookie cutter walls of your control. You can have freedom from the fear of the unknown. When life throws you a curve ball, you have one of two choices. Remain paralyzed with fear and anxiety; or catch it and throw it back. Throw it back towards endless horizons of beauty, and watch it fly. Feeling the freedom of complete trust, having no idea where it will land but knowing that God will catch it. His goodness is written all over it.
Today and tomorrow and every day ahead, I want to watch it fly.
Psalm 11:1, 27:5, 51:12,
55:5-8&18 , 61:1-4,
90:9-10, 12, 14, 17, 139:9-10
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I Peter 5:7