Some days I really hate being friends with spiritual directors. I mean, I appreciate the deeper conversations about life and relationships and God. But then there are the times when these spiritual director friends ask those good questions. You know, the questions that stop you in your tracks. The questions you don’t quite have an answer to. The questions that you suspect point to murky parts of your heart.
The questions that may very well make you drop an f-bomb.
Perhaps you’ve already guessed that I have had one such conversation recently. I was sharing my disappointment with a situation in life. This situation is painful on its own, but it also echoes heavily from a similar instance in my past. My friend listened and empathized. Then she asked the question:
What is it in you, that is drawn to these situations? What is your part in this?
Crap. I knew she was right on with her question. I couldn’t answer it on the spot, but judging by the way my body immediately tensed up, I knew there was something to that question. Something I sort of didn’t want to know. Yet, a tiny sliver of my heart was ready to go there.
So, I returned to the question the next day, just me, God and my gnawing anxiety. It slowly became clear that at the root of this question was my fear. I am drawn to these situations, because I think it will make life easier, less risky. I fear that I won’t be enough. So, I bolster myself with others I see as stronger, more capable and more charismatic. I hope that I will ride on their coat tails of success. In the process, I find myself hidden and unseen.
This place has provided a false sense of safety, but it has also left me disappointed. There’s a voice in my heart crying for more. I fear what must be risked to lean into the more I see within me. I keep waiting for someone to come along and unleash it. As I write this, I realize that perhaps it is not for me to wait for a person to recognize what is within me. Hasn’t God already seen and known (and created) me? I think I’ve been waiting for a situation that will provide this neat, succinct platform to the places I believe God is calling me to. However, I don’t know if that’s how God would have me get there. Maybe now is the time to risk (I mean, that has been a theme for me since summer). Is this the day to step out, trembling with fear, into new terrain?
I’m reminded of a worship song I often used to listen to “If You Say Go.” It’s a simple song, but speaks to the place of obedience, saying yes when God says “go” and saying yes when God says “wait.” The beautiful turn in the song is the reassurance of God’s part:
If You call us to the fire
You will not withdraw Your hand
We’ll gaze into the flames and look for you
I think God may be saying “Go.”
Lord have mercy.