Peter got out of the boat, walked on water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was terrified, and begging to sink, he cried out, “Lord save me!” Immediately, Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. (Matthew 14: 29-30)
A season in my life is coming to a close, and I am livid: So angry. I am deeply sad. I am confused. I am scared. Did I mention that I’m mad? Because I am. Very.
The sadness feels like a large hollow golfball wedged inside my throat. It is a yawning grief, that feels like a large echoing chasm extending down into my chest.
This grief is a bitter-sweet grief, because the loss is appropriate and healthy, and as a result, the grief does not lead to deep despair, but to an aching longing. This path of grief feels like a strange mixture of reluctant release and eager anticipation.
The past year and half have provided for me a season of immeasurable growth. I have solidified, expanded, and settled deeply into myself. The amazing part of this soul-solidification is that I no longer feel my former desperate, frenzied need to apologize for the space that I take up: Emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and physically. As my roots have grown into the soil of our world, and the lives of those around me, I have finally begun to accept my place. This season has brought this new state of permanence and substantiation. I no longer feel like an unwanted vapor, flitting around, trying do everyone a favor and escape from their awareness.
The irony of my growth is that it has taken place most clearly in my self-forgetfulness. In the waves of worship, where “deep cries out to deep,” I have lost myself to the point of being absorbed into the fullness of all creation, as it worships the Creator. In this self-surrender, I began to unreservedly live into my fullness in Christ. I have feasted on heaven’s unbelievably rich goodness, and nothing else can compare to the sweetness of God’s bountiful presence.
As seasons change, can I trust that God will continue the work that He began? Can I continue to walk forward in the words of prophecy spoken over me and the promises that God has whispered to my heart? God’s track-record of working divinely through each transition in my life has been impeccable. He’s never failed me yet.
I always struggle when the vision is unclear; when I have no idea how the plan will unfold over this next season. I feel a bit like Jesus has called me to follow Him out on the water, and here we are, in the middle of the lake, walking on water together, and we encounter the point of tension: Transition.
I don’t know how many times I have taken my eyes off Him and started to sink. (Probably like 999 times). He always reaches out to save me. So here I am again, walking on water, and the weather is shifting. The storm takes on a different quality; the wind changes directions; the water under the soles of my feet gets a bit more crisp; others walking on the water with me move to a different lake of obedience. Can I keep walking? Will I sink?
“Lord, save me!”
But then He catches my flailing hands and whispers to my soul: “I’ve called you to the nations; to raise up an army.”
And I scoff.
Me? The one whose fever hasn’t dropped below 101 for the past six days for no good reason? The girl whose heart is starting to act up more than usual? The girl who can’t go to a concert without being pushed around in a wheelchair? The girl who sometimes can’t remember her own phone number or the name “hummingbird”?
Me? The one with three suicide attempts and 25 years of anorexia under her belt? The one who has dealt with OCD, Anxiety, and depression since before she could talk? The girl who can’t even talk about her childhood without dissolving into nonsense syllables and near-catatonia?
And He says, “Of course you. That’s what I do. Look at who I called throughout history. The outcasts. The unstable ones. The stereotyped, disenfranchised, paupers with seedy upbringings. Consider the personality and characteristics of the first person whom I called to walk on water. You fit in perfectly.”
Inhaling deeply the crisp freshness of the recently shifted breeze, I lock eyes with the Savior, take His hand, and shaking, I keep walking.