Stories that Matter

We Are More …

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Why does it have to be so hard?

I wonder what the final count would be, were I to tally up all the times I’ve asked that question. And heard it. And felt it. Felt it so deep in my soul that it becomes a searing pain. One I have no idea what to do with.

Why, Lord? Why does it have to be so hard? Why do people, your people, hurt each other so badly, with so little remorse?

So many questions. No real answers. And the pain keeps coming. Relationships crumble around us and we watch like we’re watching a movie in slow motion, all the buttons stuck, can’t rewind, can’t fast forward, you’ve just got to let the thing play out.

Were we really made for this? Do we have that kind of strength? That kind of faith? To truly be still and know …

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This winter I spent some time in snow. A. Lot. Of. Snow.

I experienced a couple blizzards, felt the chill in my bones and wondered at the beauty of the whiteness. I walked silent through the woods and scarcely dared breathe for fear of disturbing the sacred moment.

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And it hit me then, tears frozen on my face, that this can’t be it. This pain, the harshness of life, the heartbreak and the sorrow and the mind-numbing complacency that comes after so many desperate attempts to get through it all unscathed. There has to be more. Surely there is more.

We are more …

Maybe all it takes is really believing it. Embracing that truth. Releasing … everything.

Let It Go …

Yeah. That song. It gets stuck in your head, but wow … when you think about it, really think about what it means, you know there’s some profound truth in it. I do.

It takes a certain kind of courage to let go. When you’ve held onto something for so long, even knowing that it wasn’t yours to keep, it’s work to uncurl your fingers, open your hands and release the thing. And it hurts. But sometimes the things we think we need the most are the things that drag us down. They keep us in that confined space where there is no room to grow. We think it’s safe and warm, but we don’t realize we’re suffocating. Don’t realize we were made for so much more.

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Out there in the silent white world, things come into focus. And maybe you know that feeling. When you finally stop and listen and know … you know with every fiber of your being that you’ve just been given marching orders.

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The choice is yours. Obey or ignore. I’ve ignored a lot of things. And I can tell you this — obedience is sweeter. Not easier. No. Sometimes it hurts … more than we thought it would … because it’s not what we want to do, but it’s what we have to do. So we do it. Kicking and screaming maybe, but knowing we were meant for more. Knowing if we just step out in faith, we will find that true peace. We will know, finally, that we are on the path we’re meant to be.

Detours are too dangerous. Fun for a while, not really knowing what’s around the bend and there’s the thrill and excitement of it all, but sooner or later you’ll smack into a rock you didn’t know was there. And that’s gonna hurt. Ask me how I know.

In this season of change, there has been a letting go. An acceptance of the way things are. Knowing I can’t control what has come and gone anymore than I can predict what is still to come. But somehow, I need to be okay with that. I need to know that come what may, I’ll survive. If I fall again, I’ll get back up. I won’t give up, I’ll get up. Because I’ll be right where I’m supposed to be.

And here’s the fun part. When you finally let go, release that thing you’ve been holding so tight to, whatever it is … once it’s gone … only then are you fully able to accept the gift that is to follow.

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Don’t miss that.

It will come.

I know it’s hard. Boy do I know.  I’ve heard and felt and seen more pain in recent months than I know what to do with. I can listen and try to comfort and I can pray, but I can’t hold onto it. I can’t carry it. I was never meant to.

So I let go and trust.

Trust that we are more.

Because we are.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37

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5 Comments

  1. gene on March 16, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Its best to lean into our suffering, we heal faster that way. After my son was killed while in the mission field I spent eight years going through many of the same emotions you seem to be experiencing. I finally had to abandon the “Everything happens for a reason” idea of God and confront my anger and brokenness. I decided it was better to be an honest mess before God than to continue pretending I could accept what happened as being all part of His plan. That honest approach before God led to my healing, but it didn’t happen overnight!

  2. Jeanne Takenaka on March 16, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Cathy, beautiful, and filled with hope. Your words resonate in my heart. Obedience is seldom easier but definitely sweeter. And falling and rising. . . Again? Definitely a wee bit easier when I know I’m where I’m supposed to be.

    • Cathy West on March 16, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      Again, and again, and again. And yeah, it hurts. But I have to believe that in the end, after everything, it’ll be worth it.

  3. Ian on March 20, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Wonderful teaching, Cathy. It is funny how we hold onto the pain. It becomes a warm bedfellow and we wonder what life would like without it. Recently I was struck by the power of the first few verses in Hebrews where it mentions how “sin clings to us”. It becomes comfortable, sometimes even a badge of honour.

    Then I remember that old cliche about forgiveness: the only person’s neck you’re holding the knife to is your own when we struggle to forgive. I think that idea is relevant to most sin that clings.

    And letting go is scary as we wonder what we’ll be like without our constant companion. Just another deceit sin tries to convince us of.

    But as you say we were made for more and we need to trust Him not ourselves. But gee letting go is so hard.

    I trust you’re beginning to see some of the fruit from your courage in letting go.

  4. Jessica White on March 23, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    The Lord has taught me so much when I have let go my own expectations, dreams, desires and just opened myself to Him. I find that when I keep close to Him everything else in life no matter how scary or overwhelming doesn’t seem impossible. I’ve also learned it’s okay to be scared as long as I trust that He is going to see me through and I am willing to keep moving forward. Thanks for sharing.

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