Sitting at the IF Conference back in February with hundreds of other women we sang together these words :
…Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior (from “Oceans” by Hillsong)
As I sang these words alongside my sisters, knowing that in a month I’d be moving to a whole new town and exchanging city life for small town, rural life – I had no idea what was in store. And honestly I still don’t. But I know this : the work God began in me He will carry out until the day of completion…until the day when I am whole – when I see Him face to face. He’s at work and even though I don’t know what that means for me or what His plans are – I sang these words back in February with a desire to follow Him with a trust that was without borders. Without the borders of my own control & my own comforts that I so quickly hold tightly to.
In the space of time since I sat singing those words with a vulnerable heart before the Lord to “take me deeper than my feet could ever wander…and my faith will be made stronger”, a lot of life’s little comforts have been stripped away. Within weeks of moving to a new town & waiting on our home to arrive, we found out we were expecting. Exciting, but not exactly clutch timing. My now constant state of nausea didn’t lend me much bandwidth to be of help around the ranch like I had grandly envisioned & getting out of boxes took well into the second trimester. I’d leave a friend or relative’s well-decorated, Pinterest-inspired house and return to my bare walls with a sense of desperation if not embarrassment. Settling in wasn’t exactly going the speed I had pictured in my head. In fact, life had really slowed down for me. And in the slower pace, God was speaking. He was working. As He always is. But over my own plans and nesting instincts of what all must get done before baby #2 arrives, I had a hard time hearing Him in the day to day. Don’t get me wrong, there was much joy for us in this season – but these are the honest struggles that accompanied the joy.
Just as the nausea of the first trimester was beginning to wane, the news came that we were expecting not just one new baby but TWO. Twins. Yep. It came on the heels of a scare during my pregnancy so we were thrilled to find out that not only was the baby okay – BOTH babies were okay and thriving! We decided to take the rest of that month and just praise God for these gifts – because we knew the moment we began researching, reading books, etc – the Enemy would swoop in with a host of fears & arsenal of lies to steal, kill & destroy our joy. And even knowing that, it still happened. May came to an end and we bought a book on Expecting Twins recommended by another twin mom. It was great and practical and SCARY…would I ever sleep again? How on earth would I keep up with my toddler and not just one but TWO newborns?!!! Why did God think I would be trustworthy for this task? Would my marriage survive? We just learned what each other’s love languages are for crying out loud. And keeping my house clean & tidy and family fed – well, that would be a straight up miracle. My joy became increasingly mingled with anxiety & my internal monologue frequently began to drift towards doubt that God really knew what He was doing when He entrusted me with these lives.
And then in the last week, He reminded me of the words I sang back in February. I sang with passion about the opportunity to trust Him without borders and when the opportunities came, I began to falter. Would I really take His hand? Would I really follow Him upon the waters? It was much easier just to sing about.
A book I am reading called Not A Fan captures this well:
It may seem that there are many followers of Jesus, but if they were honestly to define the relationship they have with him I am not sure it would be accurate to describe them as followers. It seems to me that there is a more suitable word to describe them. The are not followers of Jesus. They are fans of Jesus….But Jesus was never interested in having fans. When He defines what kind of relationship he wants, “enthusiastic admirer” isn’t an option….The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything of them. (Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman)
Ouch. That hit me right between the eyes as I reflected over this season of my life. I sang about wanting to follow Jesus upon the waters of trust but when it came down to taking His hand in the midst of my circumstances, I held back.
Jesus, help me to take your hand. To be a follower of You and not just a fan.