Winter is over, Spring is here, we have lots of rain here in Maryland which is making it hard to enjoy Spring but nonetheless. I love seasons and I love to reflect on seasons from a spiritual point of view. I think there is a lot of symbolism in the way that nature works, in the way that the seasons change and I think God can show us some pretty cool things when we take a closer look.
It is so dang hard for me to try new things...writing comes easily because I can pour out my thoughts and say BIG things and dream BIG DREAMS, but then when I have to go out and say these things in front of people or share my heart face-to-face, I want to crawl in a hole.
I like my little safe world, but it is not a way to live.
It is a never-ending lesson for me and something I have to constantly remind myself- my walls do not protect, they prevent.
For me, they prevent growth, they prevent ministry, they prevent relationships and they prevent change. I am thrilled to share that I am making progress. I am throwing off those things that have been entangling me, especially this idol of self-protection. I am allowing myself to be vulnerable more often than not. Sometimes I get hurt, but I'm still glad that I was able to open up. It is not an easy thing to do. We need to be careful.
I am becoming NEW, we all are, as we submit to Christ.
This year more than any year in my life, I have been living out loud who I am in Christ in a local body of believers and I am stepping out of the crowd and into the role God has for me and I am scared. I am scared every Tuesday afternoon as I prepare for Bible Study. Still scared of rejection, of not fitting in, of socializing (because this introvert would rather sit in a room and stare at the walls sometimes) ...
But as I have moved forward as a Women's Ministry leader in my church, I have felt something like a little bloom starting to grow that I have been waiting for. Something I did not think I would find this side of heaven. The Lord has been sowing something that was in my heart and it is oh so sweet...
But the old me is tired, bored, stagnant, and selfish.
So, how can we be new and live out new parts of ourselves when we are SCARED?
We just do it.
We do it in community.
We do it with God's help.
And we do it by some hard choices- such as saying goodbye to some old parts of ourselves...for me- it is fear of being vulnerable and rejected in those moments...
I literally have to ignore some crazy big feelings that at times make me want to turn the car around and go home. I remind myself of the truth- that I am made for community. I am made for intimacy with God and others.
The truth is that in order for us to live, some parts of us have to die.
I am not good at goodbye's.
I don't even like throwing away old sweaters that I am attached to, but eventually that old sweater?
It just doesn't look good anymore and sometime it starts to sag and feel funny. And so I let it go and the funny thing is, when I start looking through my closet and throwing away the stuff that doesn't fit, that looks funny, that I don't need, I feel lighter and freer.
And I create space to grow... space for new things to put on that feel maybe a tad uncomfortable at first but eventually become the real me.
Winter is tough for me. I struggle a lot with feeling BLAH, depressed and overall it just feels kind of dark most of the time...But in the winter, I tend to slow down a bit and I am forced to reflect and I am oftentimes made aware of my intense need for the Lord once again and I have to get back to the basics.
Every year this happens and I think God knows what He is doing. He knows His people get busy and forget and He slows us down and sometimes we have things we have to bury things that need to die and sometimes we have things that need to planted in us, new ground that needs to be toiled, roots that need to be torn out....and then the wait is over and here comes Spring...
I love Spring- I love looking around at the dry, barren, hard, messy ground and seeing the buds popping up through the dirt, I love how the rain pours and life grows and flourishes all around us.
And I see that the Lord does this in me and He does this in all of us, whether it is your first time believing or you are approaching a new season...
Here's to new things, saying goodbye to old things that just don't "fit" these new, beautiful creations we are becoming in Christ and here's to BLOOMING, right where you are.