“Oh crap!” Those two words came out of my mouth as I remembered it was Saturday. The next morning I would have to put on my freshly laundered big girl panties and venture off to church to find the “mystery woman” I wrote about in “Shirt Packed and Big Girl Panties On,” as well as “To Be Continued…”
All of the emotions of fear and anxiety came crashing in like a tsunami wave, but in the mix of all my worrisome anxiety was excitement. It wasn’t the type of excitement in which I couldn’t wait to put on my Sunday best and track her down like a hound dog, but the excitement in the sense of finally being able to check it off my “to do” list. You see, for the past two weeks, this ongoing task has felt more like a dreaded monkey on my back than anything else, and I was ready for it to jump off.
All week I knew my best chances of finding her were to attend all three worship services, but I knew statistically speaking, most people my age typically attend the second service. However, I was never good at probability or statistics in high school or college, and I still don’t seem to be good at it years later because I was wrong.
While getting ready for the second service on Sunday morning, I received a text message from a friend informing me the “mystery woman” was at the first service. What!?! Does she go to the first service?! People with children can get up that early?!
So moving at a slightly faster (but not too fast) pace and hiking up my big girl panties so high I could have tucked them inside of my bra, I arrived at church a few minutes early and walked around (sorta) looking for my friend, but eventually learned I was too late and the “mystery woman” had already left.
I had missed her again.
All I could think about while walking to my seat for worship service was that this monkey I am still sportin’ on my back is getting increasingly heavier, and these boring blog posts are never going to end! God, why can’t You make this easier if this is what You want? Why can’t You have her fall into my lap? Why can’t I sit back and have You direct her towards me instead of sending me on some wild goose chase? God, is this what you really want, or can I move on? (Please, please, please say to move on…)
As I closed my eyes, the first words I heard were…“Why aren’t you trying?”
Drats! Why do you have to answer a question with a question all of the time? I think I am trying. I put on my big girl panties, hurried (sort of) to get to church before the first service was out, and looked (sort of) for my friend by the cafe doors. I tried…it just didn’t work out…she left before I could locate her.
“Why aren’t you trying?”
I just told you…I did try. You were there. You saw me.
“Okay. Let’s say “you tried.” How about you try a little harder?”
Ummm…Uh?! (Que the sweat…)
“I love you, baby girl, but let’s be honest because I like honesty. If you really wanted to find her, you would have gotten up early and went to the first service and stayed for the second and even third if needed to track her down. You could have tried harder by contacting a few more people for them to be on the “lookout” and usher her into your direction after the church service was over. You knew you could have done these things because you thought about all the different options throughout the week…so why didn’t you?”
(scrunches nose) Ummm…well…I don’t know.
“I already know the answer. I want you to come to me, sit in my lap, and tell me so that I can help you. Will you do that? Will you be honest so that I can help you jump over this hurdle?”
(Deep breath) You want me to be honest? Here is honesty. I am a coward. I am fearful. I am not brave enough, bold enough, or courageous enough for this task. I thought I was, but I’m not. I wish I didn’t have to find her. I wish it weren’t so awkward to find her. I wish you would make this easier by having her drop from the sky and land in front of me with a big gigantic bow and smile on her face. Better yet, I wish we could forget about this whole thing and move on. So, can we? Please?!
There was silence. In my spirit, I could have heard a pin drop. I thought the conversation was over, so looking up, I realized we were no longer on the first song but singing the second. It was a new song. A song I had never heard before, and the words pierced through my soul like a knife. My conversation with God hadn’t ended…it had only just begun as I began to listen to the words of the chorus…
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way
God has called me out beyond the shore, beyond my comfort zone, and into the deepest of waters, but fear and dread have kept me in the shallow end where it’s comfy. I keep waiting on God to push me, pull me, drag me or force me into the deep waters, but that is not His nature. He will never force me to do something that I don’t want to do, but what He will do is provide me with an open door, and it is my job to walk through it, trusting that His love has paved the way. It’s time to go all in.
The fear of man brings a snare, but because I lean on, trust in, and put my confidence in the Lord, I am safe and set on high. Proverbs 29:2
- For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13
- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
- So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6
- The fear of man brings a snare, but because I lean on, trust in, and put my confidence in the Lord, I am safe and set on high. Proverbs 29:25
- I fear not (there is nothing to fear), for God is with me. I do not look around in terror and be dismayed, for He is my God. He will strengthen and harden me to difficulties; yes, God will help me; yes, He will hold me up and retain me with His (victorious) right hand of rightness and justice. Isaiah 41:10 (The Message)
- The LORD is my Light and my Salvation–whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
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