Monday, March 24, 2014
stepping off the cliff
"I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature." -Jane Austen
From Northanger Abbey. Me me me me me. It's not always a good thing, but if I'm in, I'm all in. It's backfired, because when you're all in, it's a lot harder to backtrack. But when my heart is in something, I'll give you all I've got.
"Worry is like the smoke alarm that tells you, 'You have taken ownership of things that don't belong to you. Give that back to God.'" -author unknown
I was never good at decision-making. I keep it on the down-low, but when I'm stressed, I feel my stomach clench up in knots and I can't shake the feeling that I'm running out of time. My mom always challenges me--"do you feel at peace about it?"--because Jesus gives peace and it's real. And surrendering is something I have to do all the time, not just daily, but hourly--because it's obvious when I keep trying to take back control of things I've already given to him.
"When deep injury is done to us, we never recover until we forgive. Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." -Mary Karen Read
Forgiveness is a road I didn't expect to be so hard to walk down. Mostly because I'd only ever expected to have to forgive people for wrongs they'd done directly against me. I never thought about having to forgive for things people didn't mean to affect me, to forgive for things people did because of me, to forgive myself.
"Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken..."
-Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116
I've always loved this sonnet. Learning a lot about what love is (and isn't).
"To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda or even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery; it means to live in such a way that one's life would not make sense if God did not exist." -Emmanuel Célestin Suhard
One thing I've noticed is that when you follow Jesus, there may be absolutely no one on your side. People might think you're mad. It's radical. If I'm living a life that would make sense without God, what and who am I really living it for?
"People often want the benefits of a low-commitment relationship with a conveniently distant God...however, how you see yourself mirrors exactly what you believe about what Jesus has done." -Aaron Dailey
Amen amen amen. It hurts me to see people who hit on their own self-worth when Jesus already paid the ultimate price for you because he thinks you're worth it. We push God away because we feel unworthy. Here's the thing: if you feel inadequate, it's because you are. Here's the other thing: Jesus is not.
"It's not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What's hard, she said, is figuring out what you're willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about." -Shauna Niequist
This is the crossroads I'm at. Choosing what I want to strive for, and marking well the sacrifices I will most assuredly have to make to get there. It's terrifying and exhilarating and I can't believe sometimes that I've been trusted with the responsibility of these decisions for myself. Little old me. And that just goes back to that first quote. Because being willing to go the whole distance for something or someone you care about--that's the choice you have to make. Empty every bit of your heart out, step off that cliff. That's what counts.