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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Flying Free

(I will post lots of pictures soon that will chronicle my retreat better then words can. But for now, my musings. [and Jordyn, you gotta send the piccies to me!])

I have so many expectations in life. I have most of my future planned out. I have decided that I will major in English or Photography and that I will pursue careers as an author and photographer. I hope that I will get married and have kids--preferably three daughters and four sons.

I honestly have everything planned out.

I can be spontaneous, but I would rather have everything set out and planned.

So that I can anticipate what is going to happen.

So that I can set expectations and count on them to be fulfilled.

I have memorized the book of James, and while I was mulling this despicable trait of mine over, this verse popped into my head.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." James 1:14-15
God has been telling me that this constant planning and re-planning is not good and not right. Ever. Because by trying to plan out what will happen, I am not showing trust in Him. I am showing that I do not trust that God knows what is best for my life and that I must be the one to take control of it.

I'm not saying that planning for the years ahead is bad. I think it's good if you have an idea of where your life will go, an idea of who you want to grow up to be so that you have some long-term goals to work towards. But my planning became more than just dreaming. It became anxiety and distrust and a whole bunch of other icky stuff that destroys relationships and self-esteem.

While I was on my retreat, I caught myself "planning" (i.e. worrying about it, trying to think ahead of what I would do with so-and-so, how insanely amazing it was going to be, etc. etc.). I "planned" that I would do this if someone did this, that I would talk such-and-such amount to so-and-so person, that I would make so-and-so friends and have such-and-such fun.

I had very high expectations for the retreat. Very very high.

Even though it was incredible, some parts of it failed most miserably to reach my expectations. Some things went wrong.

Instead of focusing afterwards on the good things that happened during the retreat, I found myself grumbling about the things that didn't happen.

I walked away from that retreat feeling empty instead of content.

And that is not okay.

There was a time in my life when I was really lost. I strayed completely from the path of righteousness and I lost all sense of direction. God no longer sparked the flash anymore, and the Bible became a dead mass of words that held no meaning.

Those days were the worst of my life. But with God's help, my feet found the path once more. Once again, I began trodding along the way of the Lord.

Looking back on those days, I am glad that God put me through it. I walked away from it with a renewed faith in God and an overwhelming awareness of the extent and completeness of God's grace.

God stripped away my plans completely, and let me lean with all my soul on Him.

Those days were hard.

Very hard.

But the beauty in my life now is a result of coming through the dark days. After I emerged from the pitch-black tunnel, the pure daylight seemed brighter than ever.

Right now, I desire so many things. I want this and this, and I seem to never be content. I'm anxious because I want something to be given back to me, and I worry about it. I grow disgruntled about it.

I can't seem to just let it go.

God kept telling me to let it go, but I held tighter and tighter.

I've been holding on so tight
Look at these knuckles
They've gone white
I'm fighting for who I wanna be
I'm just trying to find security

But You say let it go, You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the ones who lose control
You say you will be, everything I need
You said if I lose my life it's then I'll find my soul
You say let it go.

-Tenth Avenue North, "Let It Go."
The truth is, I couldn't let this thing go.

Until now.

If I am to let go of my tendancy to hold onto things, if I am to let go of my nature of continual "planning," then I must let this thing go.

I must let it go, and be free of it.

My retreat was fantastic. It is a weekend that I will look back on with fondness and amazement.

I made memories that I will never forget.

I colored a Mickey Mouse valentine. I played Diaper Wars. I talked on a bananaphone with my best friend. I sleep-talked/sleep-walked and freaked all my friends out. I learned to snowboard. I hung out with all my best friends.

Despite all this, I did walk away from the retreat feeling sad and depressed because everything did not go exactly as planned.

But that feeling is gone now.

That emptiness was a result of my setting "plans" instead of letting God take control.

The darkest part of my life was a result of me trying to anticipate things and spending my time trying to keep up a perfect image. I almost lost God because of that--I almost lost me.

The unhappiness that I have felt lately was a result of me trying to take events that God carefully planned, and trying to twist them to fit my circumstances. I tried to defy God.

God's telling me to let everything go. I need to fall utterly and completely in love with Him again.

I'm letting go of the chains that are wrapped so tightly around me--have been ever since I can remember.

He's setting me free.

Finally, I feel like I could fly.

When I am depending upon the wings of God, I can rise above my petty culture. I can rise above my catty, competitive and exclusive nature. I can rise above the sins and dark puddles of this world.

With God, I know that I can fly free of Satan and the havoc that he and his minions have caused.

I can let go.

I can rise above.

I am free.

10 replies:

Hannah said...

Amazing post, Bekah.

Jenna said...

This is amazing Bekah. I love how you just pour your heart into God. I loved snowboarding with you it was amazing. Writing Valentines to Luke Skywalker A.K.A Shaun(: What a great kid. And banana phone was hilarious!!!:)
Love youuuu
JEnna

Kailyn said...

Ditto. Totally inspiring, uplifting, and moving! Incredible, Bekah. I'm so glad you have been encouraged, and that you're finally letting go. Good for you!

Love,
Kailyn

Stephani said...

A wise person once told me, "If you say yes to God's will each day, then five years from now will automatically take care of it's self." It's OK to have an outline of your future. God gives us dreams and desires. Your dreams and desires were put there by him for a purpose. You just have to choose each day to use them how he is telling you to use them. There is a lot of freedom and peace that comes when you realize that you are only called to be obedient today. Then tomorrow, you will be obedient again, and again, and again. Remember, "Give us this day, our daily bread."? This day. Daily. Let God surprise you every once in awhile and then capture that surprise with your words and your camera. I'm excited for you and what God is teaching you.

Nicole said...

Awesome post Bekah!
What a coincidence! I went on a weekend retreat with my church this weekend too!

Jordyn said...

Bekah-this is amazing-even better than the first draft, I really mean it. ;)You are so honest about your struggles and faith, which is really inspiring-as you probably know. It's SO true that we need to fall back in love with God, our first, only, and most true love we'll EVER find. The pictures are on their way! Can't wait to see your captions. :)

Love you,

Jordyn

Bob West said...

Bekah ...

We are at war and god has greatly gifted you. Therefore our enemy will always be much more intent on bringing you down in a hundred different ways. Only keep in mind with Christ in control ... satan can never win in your life! Ephesians 6:10-20
Your friend in Christ, Bob

Forgiven said...

Wow...thanks so much.
This was AWESOME...I've struggled with very similar problems...chains I go and pick back up...'Let it Go' is one of my favorite songs on that album...that and 'Beloved'...one of the reasons I chose Forgiven AndFree as my screen name...it has meaning to me.
I'd love to share it on Never Alone, if its okay with you. Fantastic to find such wisdom, from one so young...its great.
many blessings
~Forgiven

Memzie said...

That is a hard lesson to learn for anyone.
Thank you for being so honest with us. It was a remarkable post!

Scentsy Candles by Sue said...

Wow, I love your honesty and faith. Our journey of faith is filled with ups and downs, but God is always there and times of struggle are usually the times when your faith truly grows. Always lean on God - He will never leave you!

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