Because I Know the Way and It Is Safe

By: Darcy Mears, Children’s Ministry Coordinator

I have a new driver at my house. At 8 AM on her 15th birthday, her Dad drove her to the DMV and by 8:30 AM she drove out for about 10 minutes…then reality set in. It was fun AND a little scary. Thrilling AND a little scary.

new-driverI remember this same craving for the next new adventure or experience while I was growing up. I remember the dichotomy of butterflies AND nausea in my stomach on the first day of Middle School and High School. I remember the confidence and anxiety that occupied equal parts of me for my first Varsity volleyball game or the stage performance when I opened the show with the first words and closed it with the last.

Now that I am a grownup, I am much better at tempering my expectations. Past experiences have taught me what will probably happen and how to deal with whatever runs into the road. I can now easily take the wheel and push the blinker, press the pedals and pump the gas.

Yet at times, I miss the butterflies and anxiety that can come with expectation without actually holding the wheel. You guessed it; I am starting to realize that always sitting in the driver’s seat can be mundane and flat. I tend to drive the same places and do the same things because I know the way and it is safe. In doing so, I close the door on fresh and possibly audacious experiences in my life. I long for that willingness and exciting freedom of allowing someone else to drive so I can just enjoy and be thrilled by the ride.

So, I am setting out to embrace the unknown and ride in the passenger seat. Through prayer, I hope to learn something new about myself, my faith, and seek a new understanding, trusting that God will take me where I need to go while I sit back and revel in the journey. I want to find a bold new way to accept God’s love and grace in my soul and love Him back.

love

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18 -19

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Let Go of Your Diaper

By: Kayley Smith, Connect Group Leader

Recently I was doing chores around the house while my 1 year old was contently playing in her bedroom, when I heard a noise that caused me to pause. What was that sound? What was she doing? Do I really need to stop what I’m doing?  I went to investigate and found that she had discovered how to open the diaper pail and had successfully emptied out all the diapers and scattered them over the floor.

let-go-of-your-diaperWhen she realized that I had arrived to put an end to her fun she grabbed one poopy diaper and set off into the next room. As I chased after her she picked up the pace with the poopy loot flapping at her side. When I grabbed hold of the diaper and tried to yank it out of her hand she pulled back, determined to hold onto what was hers. When I was finally able to pull it free from her chubby hands, she pathetically flopped herself onto the ground and started kicking and screaming…devastated!

In that moment, I became keenly aware of a spiritual lesson playing out before me… One where I am the child, desperately clutching my stinky “diaper”, running away from a loving heavenly father, who knows infinitely better than I do what is good and life giving for me. An all wise parent who knows how eternally unproductive, or perhaps even destructive, some of my endeavors and desires are and who puts up with my tantrums when he pries them from my clutching fingers and says “No, this is not good for you, My child.”

When doors have closed and I have been denied my heart’s desire have I wallowed in self-pity or have I looked for the sovereign and sufficient hand of God?  When my life is not as I had planned and my peers appear to be passing me by, am I grabbing for my next source of worldly gratification or am I boldly approaching the throne of grace?

Thank you Lord for the gift of parenthood and with it, a new perspective on Your wonderful love for me. Heavenly Father, draw me close, sit me on your lap, wrap your arms around me, and teach me your ways. Ways that are higher than mine, with pure intentions. Help me to discern the things that truly put first your Kingdom and the obedience to let go of that which is worthless and unholy. 

“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”                Heb 4:14-16