03 October 2008

"the seduction of safety"

Note: I thank you for continuing to respect my request not to offer advice or proffer solutions regarding the decision I have to make. I love you girls so much!


I can't get those words out of my head. They are haunting to me.

You may remember them from the John O'Donahue poem that Christianne shared here. I can't get them out of my head because I know they matter for me now. I imagine they will keep swirling through my heart and brain over the 27 days in which I have to make a big decision about how my life will change.

I'm vacillating somewhere between reasonable certainty and paralytic ambiguity when it comes to the choice before me. But in the midst of all the confusion, there is something that is crystal clear to me: whatever choice I make, I'm not going to be unequivocally sure that I made the right or best choice. I'm wondering if this is one of those times where God says: it's choose your own adventure time, and I'm going to bless whichever path you choose.

But I don't even know that for sure.

No matter what I choose, there's not necessarily any safety waiting for me. Going will be an adventure; staying will be one in its own right also. Neither will be particuarly safe. Each path comes with its own share of hazards that I will be responsible for managing.

Something else I'm sure of is that if I should become lulled into a half-conscious state by something that is safe and comfortable, but not where He's going -- if the path I take is going in the opposite direction of where God is headed -- He has a way of turning that around. I think of Paul on the road to Damascus and Jonah in the belly of the whale. Neither of those methods of grabbing my attention seems particularly gentle, and I do want to be attentive to His desires for me. With so many layers of uncertainty, I'm just not sure if there is a "correct" direction and if so, which one it is.

But somehow I know that wherever I end up is where I need to be. Maybe all I can do is embrace the adventure and watch as the world unfolds as new before me.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

[Gulp.]

3 comments:

Sarah said...

But somehow I know that wherever I end up is where I need to be.

Your faith is so beautiful, and how you pursue God even here, when you wonder what he's doing with it all.

Safety IS seductive. At least, I know it is for me. I thing that what's safe must be right, but also that it's what I must do. "Unsafe" somehow came to equal "stupid" in my world, and that sucks.

I don't know if it's like that for you.

I also wonder if there's anything that really is safe, at least how I'd like to define it. Maybe not so much?

Christianne said...

Oooh, Sarah makes a good point in asking whether anything is truly safe. We have our notions, but can our notions really be fail-safe? That's a good question, and I'm nowhere near knowing what to do with it.

Kirsten, I too love your heart in this place. (As hard as it is, I'm sure, for you to carry your heart in this place.) Thanks for sharing with us your thoughts at this point, and also for continuing to let us know what you need or don't need from us right now. I feel like your need to be where you are and stand in your own place as you hedge toward decisions is palpable. I really desire to respect that space, knowing that I can just keep holding you up before God as you and He whisper together in this place.

I love how you said He has a way of turning things around if you happen to "choose wrong." It's so true that He's going to be with you no matter which direction you go, and there's no parallel reality to get stuck in here.

You're asking such big questions, and a big part of me wishes I could take the uncertainty and fear and questioning away. (That's the nurturer in me.) But I find you marvelous, girl. You're big and strong, even though you may feel small and weak, because He is in you, and He walks with you. I see you two walking hand in hand.

Christin said...

Oh, my dear friend. I hate that you are in this upheaval now, but can't help but praise God in the display of your faith and in what God is doing in you now and will continue to do in your future. In my prayers for you, I send caution scattering in the breeze and pray that God will grant you wisdom and clear direction. I pray that you will know the path you choose is the right one and be confirmed in it over and over to bolster your confidence. This may not be what God has instore, but I claim my freedom to ask God for big things. And I can't help but suspect that God is already doing this as you express your faith, your knowing that whatever you choose, it will be journeying with the Almighty.

You are beautiful in so many ways. I love you.