What do I want next?

The sun is hot, and I can feel the heat of the rough concrete wall stinging the back of my legs.  The waves come in, building and rolling over and building again. Schools of bright fish tumble in the surf, yellow and black and brilliant blue flashing through the water. We sit on the sea wall in companiable silence just watching, then he asks the question, “What do you want? What do you want our future to look like?” I’m quiet at first. It is the question in the back of my mind, the one I know is there and needs to be answered but also the one I’m running from. I’m afraid to examine what I really want, afraid to discover what’s really in my heart, but I can’t push it away forever. Uninterrupted times between the two of us don’t come along so often so I just start to speak, not really even knowing what I will say until the words begin to pour out, “I don’t know what I want. I think I want it all. I want my big house back. I want space that is clean and decorated and mine. I want to be comfortable and secure. I want to be able to give our kids all the desires of their hearts…football and gymnastics and friends and stability. I want to know where our money is going to come from.  I want to give not need. I want to live somewhere safe and familiar. I want life the way it’s always been…good food, good friends, good vacations.  And I want to NOT want all that stuff. I want to be willing to give my life away for others. I want to be willing to live somewhere uncomfortable.  I want to rescue children and feed refugees and care for orphans.  I want to find my comfort and stability in what is unchanging and eternal and truly secure. I want to discover the joy of walking in self-sacrifice. I want to live so my children know the sum of our lives is not in stuff and ease and self-serving achievements. I want to be willing to say yes to anything and everything that God would ask, not counting it a cost but a privilege. I want both…my comfortable nice life AND the way of the Cross. I want to live the American Dream AND have the fulfillment that comes from giving it all up. I WANT IT BOTH WAYS”  Even as it comes out of my mouth, I feel ashamed and selfish and afraid. Afraid that even with all I know and with all I’ve walked through, I will hit a point when I’m no longer willing. I look at others, at what their “yes’s” have required and I don’t know if I can go that far. I came here thinking I was willing, telling God I was willing, even naming this blog after the forever yes that I told Him was in my heart. But what if I’m too weak? What if I can’t follow through? What if my desire for an easy life trumps my desire for servanthood. All of these thoughts are swirling and crashing and colliding in my mind as I stare out at the waves. What if…image

He says nothing at first and I imagine that he is disappointed. That he never thought I would be the one to get cold feet and want to back down…me-the one who pushed to be in this place, who prayed for it, longed for it. I finally venture, ” I guess you think that sounds pretty pathetic, huh?” And he answers with compassion, kindness, love, “No. I think it sounds real.” A pause and then another question, “But why are you so afraid? What is your history?” And it’s like a light turns on for me as he says those words. I know the answer. My history is that I say yes. I have always said yes, and I will continue to say yes. I’m only afraid because somehow I took my eyes off of Him and started to look all around. I stopped recounting the ways He has been faithful to me and started judging the ways I perceived He hasn’t been faithful to others. I’ve been trying to figure out every horrible thing He might possibly ask of me instead of seeking what He is actually asking. That simple question from my husband stopped me in my tracks and made me realize this truth – I don’t have to say yes to everything all at once. I only have to say yes to what He is asking today, right now in this moment. To say yes to the journey, yes to the tests, yes to the blessings. And this I can do. My Heavenly Father is so gentle with me. He has never asked me to walk a path that He did not prepare me to walk. He has never left me. He has always, always given more -so much more – than what He asked for. My history with Him is that I say yes. His history with me is that He cares for me, He watches over me, He does exceedingly more than I could ask or imagine, He takes what is meant to crush me and turns it to my benefit. And He is big enough to handle this, my doubts and fears and the pull of self. He will lead me step by step by step on the path that He has planned for me from the beginning of time. And whether that path leads back to Montana or to the most forsaken corner of the world, it doesn’t matter because what I really want is Him, and He will be there with me.image

5 thoughts on “What do I want next?”

  1. I’ve been following your blog, but usually end up getting interrupted by kids before I have a chance to comment.:) But oh my word, so much of what you write resonates so deeply with me. Sometimes I feel like you stole a page from my journal.:) THANKS for sharing your journey!

    1. Thank you Kacey! It encourages me so much to know that my journey can encourage someone else! And I totally get the interrupted thing. Don’t even ask me how many tries it takes before I actually complete a whole post. 😉

  2. Hi Tiff,

    The Lord just gave me Isaiah 54:9-10 and I believe that He wanted to pass it on to you.
    I love you Tiffany-noodle and I love what God is doing in your life, but He has always done great things in your life and He is well pleased with you.

    Dad

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