hope

Be still, and wait

Ashley Danyew | Be still, and wait_1Image Credit: Lara Casey

It was March of this year - that's when I first felt the small tug on my heart.

SD and I had a heart-to-heart about where God might be leading us as we rode up the ski lift that next week, sun beaming down on the snow-covered slopes below us.

It was one of those conversations that stays with you, one I still cherish. It was a time and place in which we bared our souls in honesty and openness, unsure about what was ahead but willing to trust that God would make it clear in his time.

Change is never easy, especially when it's uncertain.

Certain change is almost easier, in a way. You know it's coming. You know what will change and how. You can prepare for it, or at least feel like you're preparing for it. But uncertain change requires a level of trust and surrender, believing that God will prepare you for whatever is in store.

Last month, we marked the beginning of summer with the sudden influx of several new and exciting prospects. Could this be the change God has been preparing us for? Are we witnessing his hands at work? The message was clear: Wait on me. Trust in me. Surrender to me.

Truth be told, I've never been very good at waiting. Waiting for that email to pop up in my inbox, waiting for that letter in the mail, waiting for the cake to cool before frosting. You know.

Sometimes, it feels as if nothing is happening. Waiting is stillness. All the while, I feel like I should be doing something - preparing, getting ready, making pros and cons lists (I am so Rory Gilmore). Tell me: How is waiting productive?

But I'm beginning to realize that in our waiting - our stillness - God moves.

So, we wait.

I'm learning to accept it, this season. I want to live a life of contentment, to rest in the unsettledness of life right now. I want to live in hope, not fear, and dwell in the security of God's grace and faithfulness rather than the insecurity of my actions and dreams.

Maybe you're there, too, in that place of waiting. Maybe you, too, struggle with the stillness. If so, I hope these words are as comforting to you as they were to me when I stumbled upon them while flipping through the hymnal last week:

"Only be still, and wait God's leisure in cheerful hope, with heart content to take whate'er thy Maker's pleasure and all-discerning love hath sent; we know our inmost wants are known, for we are called to be God's own."

- Georg Neumark (1657), translated into English by Catherine Winkworth (1863)

Be still, and wait on the Lord.

Possibility

"Dwell in possibility..." - Emily Dickinson To dwell in possibility is to claim hope.  The idea of possibility strengthens the confidence we have in ourselves.   “You can and you will,” it whispers.  “Nothing is impossible.”  I think we often get caught up in the realities of life – we’re encouraged at some point to ground our dreams and ideas so they are more attainable and more realistic.  There are some things we just can’t and won’t be able to do.  Face the reality.  As it turns out, our reality is what we make of it.  Never be afraid to dream big, to set seemingly unattainable goals, to work hard, to take action turning new ideas into reality.  As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

What is doubt saying is impossible for you?

For me, it’s achieving excellence in music performance where the most impossible task always seems to be overcoming myself – overcoming the intimidation of being vulnerable and completely exposed.  It’s learning to let go of situations that are beyond my control and keeping calm in my heart.  It’s setting work aside, turning off all of the creative ideas in my brain, and living.

Reality is what you make of it, friends.  Will you choose to dwell in possibility?