This week I started to feel my fingers curl under, and my nails head for the inside of my palm. I have watched my open hand become a fist, and even as I type these words I am fighting – desperately fighting against keeping my plans mine, rather than letting God shape and mold and constantly redefine them. Let me tell you what sister: fighting to give our plans to God takes courage, takes boldness, takes bravery. This week, we launched the Imperfectly Brave Weekend and know what I did instead of exhale? I inhaled. BIG TIME. I got brissly and cried crocodile tears, I wrapped myself around the dream, cocooning it. But know what happens when we cocoon our dreams? They never become the butterfly. When we cocoon, we suffocate — when God cocoons, He prepares. I am writing these words to unwind my cocoon, to open my palms, to immerse myself in Jesus. To imperfectly give back the dreams God has written on my heart.
In order to do this and to actually let go, I have to believe that God has a far greater plan than my own.
“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:8-9
These words must become my mantra this week. I am etching them on my heart. And even so, the fight will remain. Coasting is not an option. Fighting to keep our plans open to God is just that — a fight. If I am not constantly aware of the battle, I will easily keep my hands closed, teeth clenched, screaming, “My way or the highway.” But, this stance – this posture – it’s how I miss God. It’s how we all miss God.
Are you? Are we? Are we all grasping just a little too tightly to our plans? Our dreams? Our kids? Our husbands?
Weeks ago, Collins and I sat at the beach with waves lapping over our legs. “Go swimming,” she would say, the moment her eyes blinked from sleep, “Go swimming.” So we did. We went swimming whenever we could because the sea called our names.
The ocean speaks immeasurable beauty into my soul. The crash of the waves still sings about the power of my God. The coolness of the water has always refreshed my spirit. It is built inside of me – this love of the water, the love for my Savior.
At first, Collins was terrified of the beach and rightfully so. For most of her life, she had only seen a bathtub filled with shallow water. An ocean could slightly overwhelm. I tenderly sat her down in the sand, right where the water met our toes, and we let it dance around our feet. She stared out beyond the waves and then looked up to me, beaming. It was good, this water was good water.
We inched closer.
The water lapped around the backs of our legs. We inched closer. It touched our waist. We inched closer. We let the water overcome us until we were gasping for air, rising to our legs to dance.
This was good water.
This is the water for us, sister loved by God. This is the water that lets us dance. It makes us wild and free. This is our water that says, “Come,” and lets us open wide our fist.
“Come everyone who thirst, come to the waters…Incline your ear and come to me; hear that your soul may live.” Isaiah 55:1,3
You and me — together — why don’t we sit? Why don’t we sit and let the waters touch our toes, why don’t we inch closer?
Because if we become more aware of the water, we begin to loosen our grip. If we let the coolness of the water embrace us, then the ways of the world don’t seem so hot. If we rise to our feet to dance, our posture melts into fullness of joy. We simply have to get to the water.
Come to the water with me, today. It’s the only way to give our dreams away, our plans away, our hopes away to God. Because when we are at the water, we will be too focused on the wind whipping our hair that our tightly clenched fists let go our side, while our eyes stare wide-eyed into glory. Open palms lead to freedom, and freedom leads to beauty and beauty leads to lights shining on hills and that — sweet girl — is what you were made for.
What dreams are you clenching too tightly to? What plans? What hopes? How can you get to the water today? How can you loosen your grip?