He’s burning it away… bit by bit. This process is so painful, though I know it is necessary. It’s invisible and unseen by those around me, even those who are in my closest circle of friends, because I won’t let people into that innermost part of me. Even throughout today, a day that was full of friends, community, and family, I felt it… His presence pulling me away from all of that and demanding me to be alone.

I didn’t want it.

My head and heart have been full of anxious thoughts and feelings lately, overshadowed by constant cycles of change that manifest as worry, and today I felt restless and preoccupied, with those thoughts screaming in my brain, crowding out any remote sense of peace that could even try to remain. The verse about not being anxious about tomorrow kept playing in my head, competing with those screaming thoughts, for my utmost attention. And in the end, at night, God removed all physical distractions and people from me, so I could sit at home alone. Alone but no longer fighting to be distracted. Alone with my thoughts. Alone with my feelings. And His voice …. whatever He was saying.

Yes, He is not safe, but He is good. And He desires the best for me. He desires that I be a new wineskin, expanding and stretching with the weight of new, fresh wine that He has created, so full that I am ready to burst. He desires that I step out onto a stormy ocean, feeling the tension of solid water underneath my feet, rather than holding foolishly onto a rickety, wooden boat.

Ever since Encounter 2013, I’ve heard Him ask me to take a risk. A risk in trusting Him. His plan. His desire for me. Not just any risk. A risk in trusting Him. Trusting Him. Trust Him. Trust Me. 

And I can’t do it. I fail. Over and over and over again, I cry out in doubt, in uncertainty, and my feet begin to sink. But then He’s right there, with His hand held out, gripping my own. His embrace.

Isn’t that the whole purpose? Acknowledge my insufficiencies, and acknowledge His grace. Maybe what, who, I want for myself is not enough. He alone is more than enough. 

“The gospel is free. Grace is free. But there is a cost in following.”