This time, I will let go of my fears.
I will explore new places,
I will meet new people.
I will float wherever the wind of the Spirit takes me.
If you’re an introvert like me, you have engaged in similar conversations with yourself. I would love to own a bold, adventurous spirit, ready to launch myself into empty space and be assured Jesus was waiting to catch me and carry me to His intended destination.
Alas! Too often, I have found myself tethered to the earth, to faith in the bottom line of my bank account, to the old adage that I should act my age. But I’ve had my moments.
There was the time God told me to start a Crisis Pregnancy Center in our rural county. Me? An at-home mom with three children under the age of five? My bumbling obedience gained me board members, an office, seed money. Every time I took one baby step, God showed me the next three on my journey. What a glorious ride to watch God shape the ministry and touch the lives of women who needed Him so desperately!
During a season of huge personal pain, I had hunkered down in in a spiritual foxhole, desperately trying to avoid more of the enemy’s bullets. God pointed out a teaching opportunity in the local paper.
“Go for it,” He said.
Not even wanting to venture out of my house, I bleated weak excuses like the sick lamb I was. “I’m in no shape to start something new.” “I’m not licensed to teach Spanish.”
His response: “I am your strength, and it never hurts to ask.”
Big, weary sigh on my part. If I struck out, nothing would change for the worse.
Gathering every shred of chutzpah in my tattered condition, I waltzed into the school’s office the next day like a 21st century version of the fruit-turbaned Chiquita Banana Lady.
(Everybody old enough to know the Chiquita Banana song, sing along): “I’m a licensed teacher, but not in español. I know the language, and I can help your school. After years and years of teaching, oh how thrilling it would be to share the fun of Spanish with your school family.”
No, I didn’t wear fruit on my head! But with God’s help, I bubbled with enthusiasm as I shared my vision for the curriculum. I boldly proclaimed my teaching strengths with no apologies for a lack of a specific endorsement in Spanish.
They hired me. Not only has the position provided joy and friendships these past eight years, that little Lutheran school was the perfect place for me to heal.
Last month, I retired. God has been calling me to a new adventure. Like a burner slowly inflating the envelope of a giant hot air balloon, my passion to write full time has expanded until I’m straining at the ropes holding me to the familiar. Am I ready to soar into the unknown? Will I let go of my fear of failure?
In order to lift off and allow the Holy Spirit to blow me in the direction of His desires, I need to cast off the tether lines.
Okay, Lord, I’m letting go. Up, up, and away!