Bravery

I am learning to be brave.

 

But not the bravery that is required to jump out of a plane or speak in front of people.

Not the kind that is required when applying to a new job or standing up for someone.

 

Oh how I wish it was that kind of bravery.

 

 

I am learning spiritual bravery.

The kind of bravery that is required to choose His plan over mine.

The kind where I hold everything I hold dear in my hand, an open hand, and not a closed fist.

The kind where I keep my hand open, no matter how bad I want to hold tightly to everything I love.

 

 

I had a plan – a wonderful plan.

A plan I loved and could reach, and it was happening.

I loved every part of my plan.

I thought over it, I mulled over it, I put my heart into it.

I treasured it.

 

So I was holding my plan in a tightly closed fist.

 

Even a slight tug at a finger caused me to scream and put my foot down like a toddler holding a precious toy.

I took it everywhere. I thought of it all the time.

Every detail had importance.

Everything had to go right – and it would! I had planned it out meticulously.

 

 

So when God didn’t directly touch the plan, but rather poked a key detail, I was…. well. I just was.

 

That was my plan… Why did He have to mess with it?

My heart was sold on this plan… I was chasing after this plan.

In my eyes it glorified Him, it had Him centered, and it was a good plan.

 

 

 

My plan was just that: good.

And good isn’t good enough for the Lord

 

My plan wasn’t the Lord’s. That’s simply it.

 

He didn’t destroy it; He just threw a question in it.

And that question’s answer could change everything.

 

 

The question served one (or many) purpose: to remind me that He has much better in store.

My plan is NOTHING compared to what He has planned.

 

But why is it still hard to not fight for my plan?  To unclench my fist and let Him take it away?

 

 

Here’s the thing about a clench fist – God can’t take away from it (which I guess is the point), but He can’t add to it either.

 

I am not letting God take from me, but I am not allowing Him to give anything to me either. He may have endless blessings that He wants to overflow into my hands, but a clenched fist doesn’t have the room for them.

A clenched fist wont accept anything new no matter how good it is.

 

He has more in store for me than I realize – dreams, goals, and passions I know nothing about yet – a God-ordained calling.

He wants to place all this and more in my hand to treasure. But I need an open, receiving hand.

 

The posture of a receiving hand is the same posture of a giving one.

To receive from the Lord, I need an open hand.

To give to others and the Lord my hand also needs to be open.

To give and receive divine blessings, I must have an open hand.

Can I bless and be blessed while holding tightly to what I have? Yes, but why limit blessings?

 

 

Also, part of my calling is to not only to make sure I am where I belong, but to also not hold others where they don’t belong.

And that is possibly what my plan was doing.

Who am I to hold someone back from God’s greater plan with my mortal one?

Holding my plan in a tight fist not only affected me, but it affected others as well. It held others where they didn’t belong.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am still fighting the urge to slam my foot down and scream, “No! Its mine!”

I still want to cry and hold it as far out of His reach as my small arms can reach.

 

 

But He is my Daddy.

He has better for me than I can imagine.

He promised me a good and perfect plan (Romans 12:2).

He only wants the best for His daughter.

I have to be okay with not knowing what “best” is, but trust that it is truly best.

My Father dreams better than I do – and I am a big dreamer.

 

Trusting the unknown is bravery.

 

 

When He tapped my clenched fist I learned something else. A clenched fist is painful, but not just because it has to be forced open to take something.

A constantly fist cramps up after being clenched for a long amount of time. I am inflicting pain on myself before anyone even tries to touch it.

Fighting to hold what is in my hand is painful – self-inflicted pain.

 

And my Father sees the pain I am in.  All He wants is for me to hold my hand open – a much painless option.

 

An open hand also shows that I recognize that it is all His anyway.

It was His when He gave it to me; and it is His to take away.

It’s not mine to hold on to.

 

So even as I cry at His feet begging to know why He would take away my plan, I have my hands open.

Waiting to see what He replaces it with.  Hopeful with curiosity wondering how He will keep His promise.

He knows the desires of my heart; He will give me a path that is wonderful and pleasing.  I just need to be still and trust Him.

 

Why waste energy holding tightly on a mediocre plan when I could give all I have to what He places there?

I’d rather spend all my energy on His goodness and His plan that I don’t have any energy left to clench my fist around it.

 

 

 

So I am learning to be brave.

Not the kind of bravery that is required to jump out of a plane, speak in front of people, or stand up for someone.

But the kind of bravery that is required to hold everything I hold dear in an open hand.

A hand where God can place more in, and take away.

A hand that recognizes His dreams for me are greater and better than my own dreams for me. 

 

The bravery that accepts that it’s all His anyway, I am just blessed to hold it. 

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