The Lent Series: Deserts & Dust.

This is the second installment in The Lent Series. To read the first, check it out here.

 

I’m desperate for this wilderness.

Some days I can’t breathe because what I want looks nothing like what I have and it seems so far off, like I’ll never catch up. Even in a season that's supposed to be about slowing down.

The pressure builds in my chest because I keep stacking up expectations, building little fantasy lives I’d like to lead. They sit like a ticking clock on my heart. Tick, tock. Time is wasting. What are you waiting for? What are you doing?

It’s there, crowding my heart space. Weeds choking growth. Too many yeses, not enough intention.

I know there’s something that needs to be surrendered. Something needs plucked out of my life and thrown at His feet. Something has to die.

I have to let go.

And I’m not quite sure what it is. But I know the anxiety has a well-worn path to my house and the stress comes in waves and something is just not right.

I want to strip everything away.

Marie Kondo (author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) suggests a method for getting rid of belongings. Take everything out of the closet and out of drawers and throw it all on the floor. That way, instead of sifting through shelves and deciding what to throw away, you have to physically return the items you want to keep.

I love that idea. Because in choosing what you do want, you automatically say no to the things you don’t want.

The wilderness. Out of the life I’ve built and into the wild. Away from the expectations I’ve built and into a wide open space.

Free.

Maybe it’s time to get rid of it all and decide what gets to stay.

Maybe its not enough to pluck one little weed and call it sufficient.

Maybe it’s turning our backs on everything we know and then hand-selecting what gets put back.

Invitation only.

The only way to hold on is to keep letting go.

I heard that line in a song this week and it slammed into my heart out of nowhere.

Keep. Letting. Go.

I’m holding on to my pride and my ideas, to the things I say I’ll do in His name and to the way I want things to be.

And still, I feel, at times, like I’m barely holding it together.

The only way to hold on is to keep letting go.

And I’m practicing the art of being still.

Of getting alone and quiet and allowing my heart to be uncluttered, with nothing to hold onto.

Gosh, I have a hard time being still.

But, sometimes those desolate places are beautiful. When there’s nothing to do but sit. Wait. Empty hands. Open heart.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)

It’s there, when you’re stripped down, when all feels barren, that He will make a way.

Seeds are planted when the earth is dust. We, too, must become good ground for seeds sown. We, too, must have empty spaces, cleared of so much that all feels lost.

He’s doing a new thing, do you not perceive it?

 

 

photo credit: unsplash