Monday, October 13, 2008

I feel as though I've been on this journey of sorts over the last month and a half, pushing myself to be better than I am, forcing my way into a new me. It's been a little on the tight side- IMAGINE, putting square peg into a circle hole, or a round peg in a square hole (whatever, pick what would be the hardest).

These days I really believe you could call me Peter- Peter from the Bible; not Peter the bold and brave, speaking fearlessly, but Peter the buffoon. To quickly summarize, Peter was a man who knew Jesus, saw Jesus heal people, walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, KNEW Jesus, and yet in times of trouble, Peter was afraid--EVEN when Jesus was right there with him!
The Peter I'm referring to, is the messy Peter who jumped out of a boat when Jesus called out to him, and then he started sinking, because he started looking around realizing the reality of the situation. Reality states that PEOPLE don't/can't/won't/shouldn't walk on wate
r. Reality screamed Peter's name. Peter, of course, had started looking around, (Did I mention it was a stormy day?) taking in all that he saw, and he started sinking? Yeah, that’d be me.

How does Peter equal Stephanie? It’s pretty obvious to me when I compare the two stories. I, like Peter, have taken a look at my surroundings, taken a look at all that’s going wrong, or confusing, or misleading, or just not what I want- the storm- and I have started sinking.

The story doesn’t end with the death of Peter. Oh no. Jesus reached down and pinched Peter on the back of the arm. Wait! No, Jesus reached down and took Peter by the hand. Jesus looked at Peter and said, “Why do you doubt? (Insert here: “Why do you doubt my ability to save you? Why do you doubt that I SEE you, that I KNOW you? Why do you believe that I would FORGET all about you, when even a bird without food causes concern? Why? Why?”)

What I am finding is that sometimes I have to be taken out of my element, out of what I am most familiar with, most comfortable with so that I can grow. Otherwise I stay the same, never changing.

Had Peter never thrown himself, dare I say recklessly, out of the boat and attempted something new, then been afraid and then been "reprimanded," he might have stayed the same. He might have continued on as bumbling Peter, afraid, uncertain, loud, boisterous, and messy.

I’ve had these experiences recently, where I have (albeit metaphorically) thrown myself out the boat, been afraid and then I've basically been (as I call it) wacked in the forehead. It’s like a reality check where God has placed people, random, unexpected, strangers, family, friends (new and old), in my way to speak to me about things I know only God knows. And when I’m wacked in the head I hear God saying, “Um, uh, Steph? Do ya really think I would just uh, I don’t know, throw ya out there to fend for yourself? Do ya really think I could let you go, just like that?” And I find myself humbled, and maybe a touch annoyed at myself.

So we can read about Peter. He was a real man. He was changed into a new man, on the inside. I imagine that people who knew the Peter of old, and the Peter of new, could still see the old him. I imagine he wasn't perfect. I imagine he might be the person who would drop food in his lap, ketchup on his tie. (Insert, trip up the stairs and forget where I- oops, HE parked the car.) I imagine he still probably said what he felt in his heart, crying at the same time- all cards in. I imagine him cheering for the Dallas cowboys with all of his might, and then singing a song when he thinks no one hears him. I imagine him LIVING, and then DYING to himself every day. Those things that made Peter, Peter were still there. But there was something else added into the mix, that made him a softer eyed, kinder man. A man who spoke the truth even when it was painful. A man who went to bed, and got up the next day, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Okay, I’m gonna give this another shot.”

There is a picture that I have in my head. A picture of of a person standing on the water of a stormy lake, but acutally not just standing, but walking and running arms out, dancing, despite the storm. Someday, I hope that's me. Someday.

There is freedom when you let go.
In the darkness you can find light.

Who would have ever thought that me saying, “Hello Charlotte,” meant saying goodbye to something else?

Time to go. I have a boat to catch.

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