I laid approval on the altar.
Literally. We were prompted to lay down one thing that would keep us from being who God intends us to be. The thing that we struggle with – the thing we hide behind. And in that 60 seconds of decision time, I wrestled with God. “What is it, Lord? What do you need me to release?”
I’m a word girl, so I wrote a sentence on the corner of my notes: I don’t want to use my gifts for man’s approval, only God’s glory. But because I’m also such a detail oriented, Type A girl I realized I’d have to tear off too big a section of my notes to surrender that sentence. Seriously – this was the thought process, people.
So I had to narrow it down. Or He did. Approval.
God whispered that word to my heart and said, “It’s time.” And it was, and it is – because I’ve sought it from people, whose it wasn’t to give and I’ve sought it from God Who already gave it. I’ve pursued approval as permission to proceed. As if I needed to be vetted by people in order to validate my calling, when I’ve been vetted by Christ.
So I sat in that chair and I stared at the word and I could breathe. And worship. And lay myself down. I met God at the intersection of grace and answered prayer and it was beautiful and utterly uncomplicated.
In this place, in this moment, I could lay down this one thing and all the baggage that went along with it. The back story and the tale that was spun on my behalf. The wondering over what was said or what they think. The confusion and chaos mingled with all the hows and whys. I could untangle my hands from the old habits, the former structure, and the need to understand.
Finally, I could breathe. This was no simple taken-for-granted inhale. This was a starved for air, craving the capacity, winded from the uphill battle, seeking freedom and finally finding it, soul healing release of breath I’ve been holding for what feels like forever. Finally, I could breathe.
And pray … “You take it, Lord. You keep it. I don’t want this back. I’m going to try to wrestle You for it, but if You hold tight, I’ll hold fast. I won’t be perfect, but that’s no surprise to You. And when (not if) I fail, I wont fall – I’ll grow. And learn. And pieces of me will start to look more like pieces of You and I don’t think I could ever ask for more than that.”
I tore off that tiny strip of paper, with the word that weighed a thousand pounds, and watched as it was carried to the altar along with everything it represented. Wound around that tiny scrap was a piece of my past and a chunk of my heart. It was laid down, with a willing and surrendered spirit, to the only One capable of lightening the load.
No more hiding. Finally, I can breathe.
This post is part of the Five Minute Friday link-up. This incredible community of writers participate in a weekly five-minute-free-write. It is purposed to be unedited – but my Type A personality binds me to a quick refinement and spell check. Most importantly it’s an opportunity to pour our hearts on the page over one pre-selected word prompt. This weeks word is: hide. To learn more about this free write challenge, visit our lovely hostess Kate Motaung, or come check us out at the Thursday night twitter party at #fmfparty.
Featured Photo Credit (graphic designed by Tiffany Parry)