Okay we all know that moment. The moment that comes after you have carefully stepped one toe gingerly outside the comfort and safety of the box you'd rather stay in... and set it down on unknown ground. It makes your stomach clench. It takes your appetite away. It might cause a few sleep-resistant nights but you push forward because you know in your heart it's going to make you stronger.
You look backward before taking that first big step and that box... it beckons just a bit. It's safe and warm and known. It's maybe a little cramped in there, but you tell yourself that a person can get used to anything. If you leave that protective little shelter, who knows what could knock you sideways. Or go wrong. Oh that box... it's so very predictable. And let's be clear, we like predictable.
When the doctor raises his eyebrow as he faces you in his office and begins to explain your prognosis, you want predictable. When your child's school calls in the middle of the day and there is bad news, you'd give anything for predictable. When you spouse says, "We need to talk tonight. I've got something I need to confess to you...." predictable would be a comfort. Unpredictable seems like it's always going to be bad, doesn't it? The great unknown. The spontaneous "who knows."
I know people that have built a very predictable, safe, known world around themselves. It's a nice life, don't get me wrong, but they don't seem to let anyone in or out. Sometimes I wonder if it ever gets lonely, that being locked up in predictability. Because you know something? Come close and read this next part carefully.
Safe predictability does not exist.
It really doesn't. We tell ourselves that it does. We lock our doors and we drive safely and we keep laws of God and man but that's all a bit of an illusion because a hurricane doesn't care if your door is locked. A fire doesn't worry about what laws you never broke. Cancer doesn't think twice and relationships take turns without warning. Boxing ourselves in and making our world as safe and small as we can, do not qualify as living. Real living is breathing in and out and facing every unexpected thing that comes with the assurance that we are not all there is because the unexpected will come. It is, in fact, crouching at your doorstep waiting for the right moment.
Endings are always beginnings. Always. We throw ourselves over the bed and cry and wail at the heavens because life took a dip on us when we weren't looking and God looks down tenderly and whispers, "Hush little one. I know you don't understand and I know it makes no sense but I have good plans for you. Even the ones that come from pain are for you. Never against you. They make you what you need to become and they shape your heart so it takes after mine, as long as you don't let bitterness and anger harden it first."
And as I continue to walk this path alongside you, I know this truth. This moment of bravery in faith, and trusting that His plan is going to be awesome in the end, is where hope is born. It's the place that hope breathes and blinks it's first few moments in a heart born anew. He has a mighty plan. It's not always safe, or predictable or known... but it's always for us because in His eyes we are known. We must be brave in our faith in HIM and step out of that box to live the life He has planned for us.
And it's going to be awesome.
I am tentatively planning on a shop opening of Feb 5th at this point. The watercolor in this post will be available for purchase as soon as my shop opens, along with many other new prints.