I’m a dreamer.
When I was a girl, my mother liked to say I was driven. And I was.
I was driven to succeed, to exceed expectations, to push through obstacles. I was never satisfied with the status quo. I wanted more.
I had the American mentality of old. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. There’s nothing hard work and perseverance couldn’t achieve.
I’m gritty. Determined.
And I often rely too much on myself.
The thing about walking in faith is that it requires us to relinquish control. It asks us to let go.
This is something I’m not very good at doing. When things aren’t going the way I want them to, my instinct is to take the wheel, make a plan, and conquer it head on with my own strength and by my own power.
But when I do this, I’m often going against what God is trying to do. I’m paddling in the wrong direction and so my boat doesn’t move. It’s stuck in the same place–or worse, I drift in the wrong direction completely as my strength comes into opposition with the will of God.
I look around, scratch my head, and wonder why I’m stuck–not even realizing that the moment I picked up those oars and started paddling, I’d sabotaged myself.
Sometimes the direction God is leading us feels counter-intuitive. It feels like we’re going backward or on a detour. Or it feels like we’re not moving at all. Like we are in the middle of a sea just floating.
But when you feel that itch to pick up the oars and start rowing yourself, I would caution you. That might be the very worst thing for you to do.
I believe God is moving me into something. I feel it in my gut. But my reality doesn’t match what I feel Him doing. I look around and I see failure. I see chaos. I see broken dreams.
And I want to fix it. I want to hack my way to the life I want. I want to, with grit and determination, fight for my future.
But God is telling me to trust Him and to let go. To let Him row my boat.
I’m reminded of an analogy that Lysa TerKeurst shared in her book Uninvited.
“It’s like the crazy notion I had as a little girl that ballerinas could fly. I wanted to fly. So I begged my mom for lessons and pink shoes. I wore myself out from all the leaping. Sure, I caught a bit of brief air, but never did I soar. I simply landed with a thud” (TerKeurst 34).
I’ve spent too much of my time leaping in my own power wondering why I haven’t managed to fly. In my own power, all the leaping in the world is only going to end with the inevitable thud.
And so I surrender my oars to the God who sees the full picture. The God who sees passed my present reality into the things of the future.
In the words of Ayn Rand, I will “check [my] road and the nature of [my] battle. The world [I] desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s [mine]…” but only if I remember to let go–which goes against every instinct I have.
Are you leaping and landing again and again with a thud?
Are you paddling with all your strength, but stuck in the same place?
Then I would challenge you to let go and let the God who loves you immeasurably move you to the plan He’s had for you since the beginning of time.
He knows the way. He knows all the pit stops you need on the journey. And He never fails.