Updated: Mar 5, 2020
It has been such a great week so far! It’s amazing what a little self-care can do for the soul. I grabbed a blanket and cozied up by the fire to write this post and I’m feeling so blessed. My heart is so full. I had a dear friend text me this morning saying, “I know you know it, but I’ve been praying in gratitude this week for how warm your heart is. I hope you are filled today.” Guys…like seriously? To start my day off with a text like that, to feel the love of a true friendship, and to feel the warmth, the fire, the excitement in my heart this week is lighting up my life! It’s amazing what a new month can bring…breath of fresh air! Praise God!!
Jesus has been so active the past week. I absolutely LOVE when Jesus shows up so blatantly that you can’t miss Him. It truly is a gift. I love the little ways He surprises me by bringing me so much sunshine after a season of gray and cloudy skies. I want to tell you about a song I heard today because it is SO dang good!!
Songbird by Baily Bryan
So many lyrics stood out significantly to me but I want to focus on one little fragment of words stung together in such a profound way.
O Lord, I don't have the answers I am just a wanderer, trying to find my place O Lord, I don't have the answers I am just a songbird, trying to find my way, yeah way
I was struck by the honesty of this lyric. The desperate cry of the human heart. The acknowledgement of as much as I want to know the answers, I don’t. Only God knows and I am just along for the ride. Sometimes that ride feels easy and light and sometimes that ride feels difficult and heavy. Either way, I’m trying to find my place, trying to discover my purpose, trying to serve God, trying to juggle all the things thrown at me while maintaining my peace. Life is messy sometimes.
I thought a lot about the phrase I am just a wanderer. I couldn’t help thinking about the Israelites and the desert wanderings. For years they wandered and waited for the promised land. The Lord promised it and He never takes back a promise. Yet, how difficult it was for them to maintain hope and perseverance and courage when the struggle felt endless. I feel like them a lot. Granted, I’m on the flip side and know how the story ends-thank goodness- because it helps me a lot to reflect on when I am going through seasons of trial. I know that even though the journey feels long, the Lord has a promised land waiting for me at the end of the trial. It may take a while to get there but I know He never fails me. The promised land is waiting. He is simply preparing my heart so I will rejoice in the promised land more than I would have prior to going through the fire. As I reflected on this, the little phrase Wonder as I Wander captivated my heart. Here’s why….
Wonder is my word for the year. Every year I pick a word. I pray about what it is I’m needing in the upcoming year. What does the Lord want me to focus on as a general theme? How does the Lord want me to grow in the upcoming year? I usually find my word through scripture- something that stands out to me that doesn’t pass away. This year it was wonder.
I was visiting Ian and the Gospel reading at mass sent chills down my spine. Particularly this verse from Luke’s Gospel: “Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us.’ The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, ‘Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.’”
The line in particular ‘Have you no fear of God?’ weighed heavy on my heart. I always struggled with the thought of what does it mean to fear God because I certainly don’t think God wants us to be scared of Him.
I’ve come to realize that fear in this context is describing a holy fear. Holy fear in my book means wonder and awe.
Awe: A feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.
There it is…that word. WONDER.
Before I had selected my word for the year. Ian had made a comment to me about how he felt I should delete the word fear from my vocabulary in 2020. I took his opinion to heart and wonder remained in it’s place.
Wonder: A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable; to desire or be curious to know something.
My friend, or ‘adopted older sister’ as I like to call her, gave me a quote when I graduated high school that I will never forget. “Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity of what’s ahead.” (Are you sensing a theme here about my struggles with anxiety of the unknown?”) This quote tied in perfectly with Ian’s comment about deleting fear from my vocabulary and replacing it with wonder and curiosity.
I wanted my year to be filled with excitement about what the Lord was going to bring. I wanted to be open to the moving of the Spirit in my life. I wanted to be surprised by the Lord. I wanted to have a heart open to what He wanted to reveal instead of how I thought things would go. I wondered what 2020 would bring. I wondered who I would become in 2020. I wondered how I would grow through 2020. I wondered what new the Lord would bring into my life. I wondered how the Lord would reveal Himself to me in the year 2020. This mindset of freedom from fear and welcoming a heart opened to receive was so enticing to me. I knew the Lord wanted me to be a little more flexible-not so rigid. This word felt so right.
So this little phrase Wonder as I Wander captivated me because I feel like I am wandering.
Wander: To walk or move in a leisurely, casual, or aimless way; to move slowly away from a fixed point or place.
The second part of that definition interested me because of the word fixed.
Fixed: held for a long time without changing, especially to conceal other feelings; predetermined and not subject to or able to be changed.
Often times, I wrestle with the Lord because I tend to be fixed. I tend to be stuck in my routine and unrelenting when He asks me to change. I like the definition of wander. How it says to move slowly AWAY from being fixed. I am wandering. I am struggling to move away from the fixed place I have been so long and move into the flow of grace the Lord has waiting through this year. I say struggling because it’s not easy. It isn’t easy to wander; to not know where you are going or what the next step is. It isn’t easy to walk away from what you have always known to find out what else is waiting for you. It isn’t easy to unrelentingly trust God with the future and with the direction of your life. It isn’t easy, but the Lord never promised it would be easy. He promised it would be worth it. He promised that promised land is waiting at the end of it. We have to relent, trust Jesus, give Him our undivided heart, lay down our fear, replace it with wonder, let Him surprise us, and then walk in the joy, abundant joy, of the promised land that is waiting for us.
Also, at the end of all that, just for fun, I looked up what the Urban Dictionary had to say about the word Songbird. It’s so great…
Anyone who consciously looks for the best in all people, places, things; who has acknowledged and released the pains of their soul. And who energetically help all others release the pain of their souls so that the healing of the planet will occur. Songbirds love everyone as I love you.
I don’t know about you but I want to be a songbird. I want to wonder as I wander to find my way through this next week, the next month, this next year. I want to intentionally look for the best in all I encounter. I want to learn to exhale the pain that I hold tightly in my heart and release it to Jesus and I want to encourage others to do the same. We all have healing that needs to take place and there is only one Divine Physician. Let’s let Him heal the pain, the brokenness, the regret, the shame, the addictions, and the hard places in our heart, so we can shine radiantly and make the world a better place. Let’s be songbirds together and sing loudly the beautiful tune of love.
Peace guys! Praying for ya’ll this week.