I am sitting on Lake Rosseau, just me on a dock looking out at a lake.
I am attending a leadership retreat and more often than not, I do not feel like a leader. But I showed up because that is what you do when God asks you to go somewhere.
I woke up early this morning, no alarm. I simply woke up feeling oddly refreshed. It was early when I looked at the clock and I figured I could get a few more hours of sleep in, except suddenly I had this unquenchable need to get down to the water. So I packed up my Bible and this notebook and found the loneliest, most outstretched dock I could find.
The water is both soothing and scaring me.
The lake stretches so far; so very, very far, I think. I wonder if I could ever swim it all. If I could dive in, hands above my head, holding my breath for minutes or hours and swim to the other side. Here I am: just me, this giant, soothing, scary body of water, Jesus, and all of my thoughts that are falling out the sides of my head.
Am I afraid of putting myself out there? Answer: yes.
Am I afraid of trying again and again and again, only to fail once more? Answer: yes.
Am I afraid of rejection? Answer: yes yes yes.
Am I afraid that I care more about succeeding according to the world’s standards than I care about doing what God has for me? Answer: yes.
I am afraid of so many things, and the water slowly rocking the dock I am sitting on seems to make these fears more glaring.
I do not feel guilty. I do not feel shame. This, by God’s grace, shows me progress. A year ago I would’ve simply wallowed in those two ominous feelings.
But today, this morning, the sun still peeking over the evergreen trees in front of me; the cool morning breeze finding its way softly around me, I am not guilty and I am not shamed.
I am afraid but still I’m free. I am aware of all that I need to surrender.
My shoes are off, my hands are open.
God is here, and so am I.
God shows up, and I will too.
I am afraid, but I will surrender, and I am free.