Fifty days have passed since I started this journey. When I considered doing this I honestly thought: 100 Days to Brave would be a cake walk for me; I’ve had to learn to be brave through so many hardships already, how hard could it be?
Like a lot of things I’ve walked through, I continue to be surprised by things that catch my breath and not always in a good way at first.
Why is being brave such a challenge?
My Hubster told our little boys “you can’t be brave unless you face fear.” I thought that was a beautiful thing to say to teach them to be strong men. He did a great job. They are both strong & brave men; living their lives in new cities with new circumstances; contributing to the world in the roles they fill. I’m a proud & blessed Momma. But their brave challenges have not been my brave challenges. I have my own and honestly they’re not easy for me to walk through.
Annie’s book is pressing in on relationships and how they call us to be brave. Like Annie, I’m an Enneagram 7 who doesn’t like pain, who likes to reframe hard things to minimize the pain, distracting myself from hurt, and often walking away from discomfort without leaning into the painful communication that working through hard things requires.
I know that might surprise you since I write about growing and changing and letting go of expectations; learning along the Way to lean into the yoke that Jesus has uniquely fit for each of us. Yet I am challenged.
It’s hard to let go of hurt and cast my cares on Jesus. Why? Because when I’ve been hurt, I want others to know, to experience at least a piece of the pain I feel. It’s not rational. It’s emotional. Those are two different parts of me. Learning to bring them together to one cohesive unit within me is the challenge and I choose to be brave.
Five years have passed since we left the part of California I had lived for 29 years. Five years is long enough to have gotten involved in a new community, made new friends and moved forward in life. It’s more than a little embarrassing to recognize I’ve been like Lot’s wife looking over my shoulder instead of keeping my face forward. The move was hard and painful for me. It seemed some of the people I had spent so much life with simply forgot me. In the trying to move forward, I was also mourning what was no longer; there was a still small voice whispering “worship”. I turned to Spotify to a Hillsong Worship playlist I’ve listened to countless times. Comforting. Familiar. Yet this time I heard with new ears:
In the crushing, in the pressing, You are making New Wine.
In the soil I now surrender, you are breaking new ground.
So I yield to you into Your careful hand and I trust You I don’t need to understand.
Make me a vessel, make me an offering, make me whatever You want me to be.
I came here with nothing but all You have given me; Jesus bring New Wine out of me.
Tears flowed. It is not easy for me to let go of something. And I can be unpleasant in the process. Ask my Husbter. Poor man. He’s a saint. These words from Hillsong could not be more personal. I felt Holy Spirit telling me the crushing, the pressing was for my good, but most of all that God would be seen in me as others watched me navigate these waters. He would receive the glory in my choice to let go of disappointment.
Cuz where there is new wine there is new power;
there is new freedom and the kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames to carry your new fire today.
You see in every letting go we have a choice: to cling to hurt, to let bitterness take hold or to hold out open hands, fingers spread so that what’s in them falls through like water pouring over our fingers, washing them so that nothing of selfish thoughts are left, only an openness to what God has ahead.
It’s a laying down of the old ways, the ‘old flames’ to carry the new fire we are being offered. He won’t force us. It’s His offering to us out of what He has already done.
This my dear friend is why being brave is such a challenge. We only see what we know. Sometimes we think that is all there is. And if we don’t get what we thought we needed or deserved, then we are disappointed. There’s nothing wrong with disappointments. Its what we do with the disappointments that makes the difference. Do we re-hash them, making them stronger in our minds, in the emotional place where disappointment can turn to resentment then into bitterness? Or is there a different, better Way?
Let go, lean in. It’s more than my hashtag. It is a gracious invitation from the One who has walked the path of truly letting go; who offers the invitation to learn from Him, who offers us rest for our souls.
Make me a vessel, make me an offering.
Jesus bring new wine out of me.
I know this place. It can feel lonely. But here’s the thing: you are never truly alone if you’ve claimed the offering Jesus made on your behalf; Holy Spirit walks within you giving you what you NEED. But even then, sometimes we need another to bear witness to this hard part of our journey. As I coach others in spiritual formation, I have been given the privilege of holding open the Sacred Space of listening, the seeking of God’s wisdom together and the gift of presence. It’s a beautiful process.
If you’re walking through a challenging time and want to learn to walk more closely with the One who loves you well, message me.
Where there is New Wine there is new freedom. And the Kingdom is here.
Don’t we want that?
Enjoy listening to New Wine