I’ve taken a little sabbatical from Five Minute Friday over the last month or so. Ever since I returned from the Declare Conference I’ve been in a little bit of a “wild obedience” bubble. Doing my best to silence the noise around me and grasp onto whatever I hear God whispering.
I’ve had a lot of moments throughout the last few years where I would constantly second guess God’s direction for me. “Did I hear that correctly?” I would ask and then wait.
And wait some more…
The silence would then have me assuming that I’d heard wrong and I just needed to carry on with the original plan. My original plan.
But if I learned anything at that conference (and I learned a lot) it was that when God speaks and we comply without hesitation – He. Moves. Big.
So as I resurface this week to write about reach I have to reflect on what that word has meant to me and what it means to me now. I hope you can relate…
I’ve never been one to extend the reach far enough to grasp something before someone else did. God did not give me a competitive spirit. Or perhaps He did, but I’d suppress the want through a mile long list of insecurities.
I’d ask questions like:
What will you do if your foot hits the finish line first?
What if you answer that question before anyone else and you’re wrong?
How will your life change if you get that promotion?
Reaching has never been written onto my list of aspirations.
I know you’re wondering why because it certainly wasn’t the reaching part itself. It was always the thought of what would come after the reach that would hold me back.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of setting an expectation so high that I could never reach it again on my own.
On my own. Not His.
I’ve relied entirely too much on my own strength over the years which has left me exhausted and, ironically, reaching for something other than Him.
Another cup of tea to send stamina to my limbs. A good book to take the edge off. My pillow when I just can’t hold my head up any longer.
So I stare at my hand and wonder, “When are you going to get this reaching thing right?” It’s as simple as holding it out and grasping His. Whatever I do, I should do well. And then if my foot does hit the line first, if my question is wrong or if that promotion seems daunting it won’t matter.
Because even after I reach – even if there’s a fall that follows – His catch will always be there to cushion the impact. Not my will but His. Not on my strength but His.
I’m learning to love the reach. Slowly. Surely.
Won’t you join me this week for Five Minute Friday over at Kate Motaung’s page? We’d love to see you there! Just familiarize yourself with this page first and set your watch for five minutes.
Jennifer, what beautiful and fearsome words as you learn to reach a bit farther, stretch yourself. I know your feelings all too well. They are the same words that would have described me in my 30s as a busy wife and mom, working full-time, learning to be a stepmom. Trust me it gets better because … He won’t let you not reach. Highly uncompetitive me and you learn slowly, ever so slowly that God is persistent when He knows what He needs from us. You made me take a trip down memory lane and smile today as I read your words. We’re neighbors at #FMF today. Glad you’re coming back to us.
Thank you, Sherrey. Your words are always an encouragement to me! 🙂
Jennifer, thanks for being so personal with your writing today. Yes, I agree and have struggled with that feeling of stepping out…reaching out…trusting. There is always a fear of failure or for me, worse yet…judgement by others if I fail. I encourage you on your quest. Blessing my sister.
Thank you so much, Connie!
I’m with you – I rely on my own strength way too quickly and am learning how to quiet my soul and lean into patience. And I am still reeling from all the things I learned from Declare, too! I wear my Wild Obedience necklace almost every day to remind myself to be bold with my words, and that my story matters.
Love connecting with you on the interwebs!
Liz, I need to start wearing that necklace. I’m one of those weird people who wants to keep things “nice” and I won’t unwrap something for ages. But it does me no good staring at me from the dresser. Thanks for that reminder!
Oh, I loved this! Especially the part about reading a book to take the edge off ;). I fear success, too, and your words have provided the push that I need to stop second-guessing myself in those areas where I feel the most vulnerable and to just reach out to God for the courage to do what he wants me to do.
I am with you, I am not one to reach high, no competitive spirit within me. 🙂 But when we reach because God wants us to reach, then its a whole different ballgame. And good for you for quieting the noise around you. I am finding it is hard to do that…..
“I’ve relied entirely too much on my own strength over the years which has left me exhausted and, ironically, reaching for something other than Him.” Now, there’s a whole sermon in there. I had never thought about being fearful of what comes after achieving a goal. Definitely something to ponder. Beautiful post. Stopping by from Five Minute Friday.
Thank you for your encouraging words, Leah!
Oh girl… I am learning to love it too! (Slowly. Surely.) xoxo
Great post. I like the idea that even if the thing we fear happens, He’ll be there too. Sounds like we can’t lose! Thanks for the encouragement.
Thank you, Lisa.
Thank you for the reminder today that He is always there to catch us!
Thank you, Heather.