Monday, May 30, 2011

Oh no she didn't...

Oh yes I did?

I caught the bouquet on Friday night, at my dear friend's wedding, for the third time this year.

I love it when God gives supernatural epiphanies with ordinary things.

Are you ready for this?

In March, I was in line to catch the bouquet, thinking about how silly the tradition was and the silly "promise" that goes along with it. I was clearly in line to catch it, couldn't have been better positioned to receive it, when I thought "this is silly" and pulled my hands to my chest. It fell on the floor right in front of me, and I let someone else pick it up.

First lesson to be learned.
Has there ever been a time in your life when you hear God's voice? A time when you know - without a shadow of a doubt - that He makes you a promise? You stand there, positioning yourself to receive it, sure that He has sent it, patiently waiting for its arrival. You wait, you may even see it coming, and you take yourself out of the game. Fear? Apprehension? Doubt? You remove yourself from the game, perhaps to avoid the life change that you know will come with catching it, receiving His promise.

My brother's wedding. Two weeks ago, it was a lovely affair. Again, I stood on the floor, in a line of eager women -- this time thinking "still a tradition, but why not?" Apathetic, the flowers were heading for me, as if they had chosen me for themselves. This time, keeping my arms in the air, I caught it. Hand clasped around the stems, I soon realized that I was not the only one holding them. Another lovely lady was holding the flowers by their heads. She pulled the bouquet towards herself and jokingly asked if I wanted to fight for them. "Umm no!" was my response. I am not desperate. Not desperate enough to fight over flowers and the promise of being the next to get married. I laughed and handed them to her. I bowed out.

Second lesson to be learned.
Has there ever been a time in your life when you are playing this beautiful game of catch with God? So in tune with His voice, you trust Him when He says it's coming, it's heading your way. You see it, you want it, but as it gets closer, you grow apathetic? No longer passionate, zealous, perhaps you have been waiting awhile. Perhaps your fire died down to hot coals. Or maybe you have been waiting so long that you found it easier to kill off the hope -- the hope of its arrival -- than to stand any longer, expectant and with open arms, positioned to receive. Maybe, just maybe, you were so close to receiving this promise, but you took yourself out of the game after being influenced by another person. Any way, hate is not the opposite of love. Apathy is.

This week, standing in this ridiculous line again, I stretched my arms out -- this time, with confidence. They came, they landed, I grasped and took hold. Was I surprised? No. I smiled.

Third (and final) lesson to be learned.
Has there ever been a time when you hear Him clearly, you stand with all anticipation and endurance, your eyes are so tuned into the spiritual realm that you see it, your person feels it coming? You are in faith, confident that it will come and despite all conditions, persevere for its arrival. It comes. You are positioned perfectly, you receive. In that receiving, you find joy, intimacy, confirmation that you had heard Him all along. Still in the game, you prepare yourself to return it.

The above may make absolutely no sense. I get that.

I climbed into my car on Friday night and couldn't stop smiling. No, not because of the ridiculous myth that I will be the next one to get married, but because God had been faithful to show me the work of His hands... be it through a silly cluster of flowers and a Beyonce song.

There have been times in my life when I have heard His voice, listened to His word, and walked off the field -- not wanting to accept it. Too afraid of the implications. Let's be real. Losing your life can be terrifying at times. It is times like these when I have to ask myself, "What am I holding on to?"

There have been other times in my life when I give up out of apathy. Lukewarm to the promise, I give up because I just don't care. It is then that I ask myself "Who are you really living for?" I have also walked out because the pain of standing on the field, without receiving is too much defeat for my little self to take. I remove myself and question if I even heard Him speak in the first place.

There have been times in my life when I float in His provision. So in tune with His voice, determined, I stand. For a long time, even. I practice what it means to trust, and to step out and step up, even when it doesn't make sense. I tell you the truth, receiving makes it worth it.

This post was entirely too long. Welcome to my world.

Abba Father,
Forgive me for every time I have given up, walked away, lost the faith for the promises You whispered to my soul. Help me to trust, help me to withhold, strengthen my arms and my back and my heart to stand yet another day. May my ears always be in tune with Your voice and may I listen. Take me as I am, and turn me into Your faithful one.


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