“I have to make a plan. If I can make a plan, I won’t be afraid.”
I’ve been reading a lot lately. My goal for reading this year is to read 25 books of all varieties. I’m currently sitting at 4 completed; but I should be done with two more before May (hopefully). The quote above comes from one of the books that I’m currently reading. This quote is essentially the summation of what I’ve learned about myself since my last blog post. Hopefully this post isn’t too candid; but what is a blog if it’s not honest, right?
I’m a total control freak.
As a matter of fact, I learned that it got so bad in January that I chose circumstantial control over people that loved me and wanted to fight for me. Who does that?
The past month or so for me has been a lot of failing and a lot of learning; just like your twenties are supposed to be, I’ve heard! So here is an incomprehensive list of the things I’ve learned in the past 50 (or so) days:
- I am smart; but I do not know everything. (see, @mom, I can finally admit it!)
- The way I do things is fantastic…for me…a lot of the time; but it’s actually way healthier for people to have their own ways of doing certain things than for people to do things like I do them.
- People have different life goals than me that influence their actions. (i.e. – My goal is generally to get in-and-out of the grocery store as quick as humanly possible and so I know where the things are that I need and I don’t get anything else. But someone else might have the goal to get everything they need or will need soon and they don’t want to miss anything, so they are not in any big hurry. AND BOTH WAYS ARE PERFECTLY FANTASTIC; they’re just different. And different isn’t just good; different is healthy.)
- Thankfulness is essential. And people should know that you’re thankful for them.
- I am not in control. I never have been in control. The Lord does his thing in spite of me most of the time, and for that I am wildly thankful. He sees the big picture that I don’t. He sees the full puzzle; and I’m over in the corner not even able to get past one edge piece (side note: I suck at puzzles in a literal sense AND a metaphorical sense).
I’ve gotten to watch grace in action over the past few weeks. There are people that I screwed over because I fought harder for control than I did for them. Yet when I apologized to them for the specific things I did to hurt them, they looked me in the face (or in a letter) and said, “I believe you…I believe in you…and I believe in grace & forgiveness — the kind that gives 2nd & 3rd & 1000s of chances until we can finally stand & proclaim the joy of getting it right.”
I’ve gotten to read the Bible with some new friends of mine, and we talk about grace every time we sit down to read. I get to tell them week-in and week-out that we can’t make sense of grace because our logical minds can’t wrap our heads around the fact that someone could possibly forgive us and gladly move on WITH YOU in pure joy and excitement. Grace doesn’t make sense. If grace made sense, it wouldn’t be amazing. If grace made sense, then it wouldn’t really mean that much that Jesus hanged on a cross taking all of our sins on himself and gave us his righteousness so that we could be sons and daughters of the King of kings and Creator of all things.
So, in the midst of all of the trials, errors, and failures of the past couple months, I’ve seen and learned more about who the Lord is and how badly I need the him. So it makes sense now why Paul talked about boasting in his weaknesses; because it is in Paul’s weakness that he gets to experience the raw majesty, power, and authority of the Lord.
It’s in my weakness that I get to experience the raw majesty, power, and authority of the Lord.
In regards to the quote at the very beginning, I’m kinda like the character that said it. We’re both starting to slowly figure out that we don’t plan to be successful; we plan to try and sidestep fear. But to sidestep fear is to be a coward.
Courage isn’t a lack of fear.
Courage is action in the face of fear.
Courage is engaging fear as it comes; not avoiding potential future fear.
I’m learning how to be courageous and not be bound by my fear. I’m still pretty bad at it. But I wouldn’t rather be learning courage around anyone else than those I’m with in life right now.