Holding on While Letting Go

“She grabs life with both hands.” Isn’t that a good thing? Doesn’t it mean she lives with passion? She is fully IN. She wants to be fully present and drink deeply from the draught of life. She dives in to experiences and people with abandon. She does not hold herself back.

Wow. That’s sounds really appealing—so why am I exhausted just writing it? Thing is, though I want to live with passion, I can’t be fully present 100 percent of the time. It’s too much for this soul to take. I need to retreat. Pull in. Tune out.

Life is loud, and my heart needs quiet.

I’ve dived in with abandon in the past and slammed into the unseen, rocky bottom. I am aware that I am more cautious now. It is my toe that dips in the water first. I want to know how deep, exactly, is the water before I go. Some of my discretion is wisdom born of suffering. Some of my holding back is fear born of suffering.

Come, Jesus.

“But we are those who do not shrink back.” I don’t want to be a woman who shrinks back from anything or anyone God calls me to. If He says “Dive,” I don’t want to hesitate. But sometimes, like cliff jumping into the water 30 feet below, it takes a bit of encouragement to my soul to buoy my faith and resolve. If Jesus calls me to do something, then He will equip me to do it. Leap!

He doesn’t promise that I won’t get hurt in the jump. He promises that He won’t abandon me in the free fall or in the landing. He calls me to LIVE. To live in Him. To live fully. To press in. To pursue Him and to pursue people. He cautions, “Don’t shrink back. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Don’t let your soul take up residence in a cul-de-sac.”

He promises that He is my Life. He is my safe place. He says, “Take hold of Me with both hands.”

That I can do. That I will do. Because I trust His good heart. And if I get bruises in the process of following, I can know that He will use even those for the honing of my heart to become more like His.

His heart holds on to His Father’s in a Union He prays for us to know. I desire to know it. To live it. To love from it.

He invites me to love. He fuels my passion for life by the fire in my heart that He lights Himself. He asks me to let go of my fear. He calls me to let go of holding back.

He tells me to release my demand for a pain-free life for myself and all those He loves.

Turns out, pain is not the enemy I thought it was.

A cold heart is. Hands that cling to this false idea that a good life requires a vigilance of self-protection rather than a vigilance of nourishing my resolve of faith. God knows what my soul needs. Yes, I need quiet sometimes. I can more easily find Him there. But He is also to be found in the hustle and bustle that our lives sometime require. In all of it, He will not be held back. He has leaped from the highest of Homes to dive after you and me.

He has committed to grabbing on to us with both nail-scarred hands. And He is holding on. He will not let go.

From Stasi Eldredge’s Blog