Walking, Wading

I piled on my requests, laboring over the many people, relationships, and places they represented. Others would say I’m not following the correct or proper kind of praying, falling short of the methodical, letting go of the formula that makes it seem like I’m in control of the response that I’m looking for. Part of what I help others to do themselves is to lament, this lost practice full of faith with eyes that see. There is grace for my knees that ache, trading the floor for a pen and paper and ink smudged all over the side of my palm.

Ekemini Uwan of Truth’s Table spoke about the unbelief that plagued Peter as he stepped out onto the water, threatening to drown him. Peter cries out asking to be saved, but to do that, what he needs is to keep his eyes on Jesus.

With the sheer force of boasting, I think of the highest score of perfectionism being given to me as what lies behind my actions, this false motivator. I had both hope and despair as a keen bitter taste on my tongue, speaking the words, “the problem is, that my perfectionism has always been so rewarded. Who am I without it?”

The gentle hands of the Potter are yet still the hands that wield the knife of the gardener, molding and shaping different imagery than pruning and plucking.

We cannot will ourselves into the deep obedience that God requires. We can’t obey until we ourselves have received this grace and picked up our cross. We can’t obey until we have laid down our life, with all our false and worldly identities and idols. We can’t obey until we face the facts: the gospel comes in exchange for the life we once loved. But when we die to ourselves, we find the liberty to obey.
— Rosaria Butterfield, The Gospel Comes with a House Key

I do not think that even the strength to die to self comes from ourselves.

In a swing at the end of my lament, the declaration rings and reverberates: I don’t know much, I don’t have much, but my all is yours. The grief and mourning gives way to knowledge that all I have continued to place my hope in is clearly not working, but following Him come what may means much more past the unknown. The walking out of obedience sometimes looks and feels like there is no sensical thing about it, and yet, He is present and guiding in the depths of the chaos in the waters. It’s the safest place to be.

Step by step, here am I.