Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Season of Wandering & Rest

"The surrender of walking through wilderness
 is how you step into the promised land."
This afternoon little man was all about doing somersaults in his bed and some serious fake snoring.  He was having anything but rest.  For almost an hour he bounced around, threw his stuffed animals and blankets out of his bed, squealed and giggled until finally he hit that point of exhausted screeching and crying that usually comes just before their little bodies succumb to sleep. He wriggled around and cried those big crocodile tears. And my heart broke to hear his cries.

But as his momma, I know he needs rest.  Levi's little body has been going, going, going since 6 am and I know what the repercussions of a boycotted nap will do to him later on this afternoon and even into this evening. 

I can't help but wonder if God is thinking the same things about me. That maybe He is looking at me and seeing the pace at which I move through this life and all the while thinking, "Daughter, just rest." 

Rest from the busy pace. Rest from the voices of the world that are telling you I am not enough.  Take a break from the chatter of the other momma voices that cause you to doubt your own strengths and focus on your weaknesses. Just rest and listen to me. To my voice.

I've already written a little bit about my journey to this place.  I shared that I knew I needed to guard my heart and filter the things I allowed into my life.  I made the conscious decision to cut out media for a full year.  And in my extra time during my baby's naps and in the evenings after bedtime I had planned to spend this year really pursuing things that brought me life.  Things like writing for myself and to other mommas and photography and art.

I wish I could write and tell you that I've done perfectly at this over the past few months.  But the truth is, I may or may not have done the ugly cry while on the treadmill at the gym saying goodbye to the sweet fictional Braverly family that I've come to think of as my own extended family.   I may have also googled on occasion the words "bachelor Chris". Because let's be honest bachelor fans, cutting out The Bachelor cold turkey was not going to be easy.

But in all seriousness, I told you I would let you in on my journey, so today I'm sharing where I am.

This has been a really, really hard past 6 weeks.  I knew that choosing to listen to God's voice rather than the world's voice would be hard but I never imagined this difficult.

I'm sure you've all heard the saying, "silence is deafening".  Well, I'm here to share that it really, really is deafening. At night, after tucking the babies into bed, I have no television to drown out the silence, no secular music to jam to while scrubbing the counters and picking up toys. 

It's just me.  And what I'm finding is that often times, I don't necessarily like me.  And so, God and I are coming to grips with why.  He's flushing out the reasons I hide behind a false identity, the reasons I can never really fully rest. He's using this time of silence to hash out the ugliness and to redeem the views I have of myself and of Him.  And this is a really hard place to be.  I shared with one friend that I feel very much like an Isrealite, walking through the wilderness, waiting on God.  And this waiting and this silence has been lonely and at times downright heartbreaking. 

This morning while having coffee with a friend she asked me the hard question, "Whose timeline are you on?  Are you on Brittany's time line with this heart change or are you on God's timeline?" And like little Levi fighting sleep, I cried those big, heavy crocodile tears right there in the middle of the Caribou coffee shop.  Because as much as I hate to admit it, I am on my timeline. I've given God a deadline and I've said, "Change me, but do it fast and please don't let it be painful." I want to see results fast and I don't like the rest and the waiting and the silence.

But even through those big heavy embarrassing "scare the man sitting next to me reading his newspaper tears", I managed to get out the words, "I know this is a beautiful place to be."

Wait, what?  Beautiful?  Yes, beautiful.  Because for the first time in maybe forever, I'm surrendering to the Lord.  I'm asking Him to take all of the false senses of security and ways that I hide and I'm telling Him it's okay to do big things with my heart. 

You see, I so greatly desire to make a difference in this world.  I want to pour into the lives of other mommas.  I want to hold hands with the little old woman who is lonely and I want to do her makeup and tell her she's beautiful and listen to her life story.  I want to create things that have meaning and I want to share my creations with the world.  I want to be a momma who loves and nurtures her babies and leaves a strong legacy.  I want to be a wife who encourages and is that "safe haven" for her husband. But I can't do all of that with a false sense of self.  I can't do any of that unless I know my true identity. 

And so, I'm going to keep pressing on. I'm going to keep crying those tears and scaring the man next to me at the coffee shop.  I'm going to keep doing the hard, messy work as I go head to head with my brokenness this year (and however long it takes). I'm going to continue to sit in the silence and I'm going to watch as God takes the messiness and restores and makes the broken beautiful. 

"In the middle of the day, he asked if we could just go for a walk together & listen. 
The woods were all silence.  The quiet knows that--
 The surrender of walking through wilderness is how you step into the promised land.  
When we stood at the edge of the field-- you could hear how the wind stood still between the trees. 
There's something about stillness & knowing who He is & how He makes roads." - Ann Voskamp

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