Capable of surprises

I’ve been spending the past few weeks praying and reflecting on my experiences, and as I’m digging in I’m amazed at how a culmination of early childhood memories and things I learned in my adolescent and early adult life have led me to be in the place I am now, a place where, if I’m honest, I’m finding trust to be really hard. I’m struggling to believe that God has a good plan for me. I don’t find it easy to believe that He wants to take care of me. There’s a very real lack of trust and security that has been there for a very long time, and has only recently come to light. And the reality of this is startling to me.

So much of my life has been shaped by early narratives, narratives I learned in an imperfect world that is filled with imperfect people. I learned things that were not true, things about myself and things about other people, that led me to think I couldn’t count on others to make me happy. I gave and I loved and I did what I could, but I did not believe that love would ever come for me. And now, as an adult, I’m seeing these beliefs manifest themselves anew. I’m seeing the effects of these narratives shaping my reactions and responses, impacting my most important relationships, and keeping me from really living in the freedom of what God has planned for me.

I don’t want to believe these things, and now that I know what they are and where they come from, I can begin to recognize when I’m living out of these beliefs and I can ask God to come into them. I can tell Him about my fears, that I’m afraid that He won’t take care of me, that I worry that I can’t trust Him, or that the only outcome that seems possible is the one where I lose what I want. And when I enter this place and I tell Him what’s wrong and I ask Him to help me get through this, I’ve been feeling Him, quietly, say something to me.

I’m capable of surprising you.

Just five simple words. One simple phrase. And yet hidden within these words is the power to release me from everything I’ve believed for my entire life.

I’m capable of surprising you.

A promise. A challenge. A confident reassurance. With these words, the Lord is proclaiming the truth to my poor battered heart. With these words, He is shattering my every expectation.

I don’t need to believe these things I’ve been holding onto. I don’t need to see Him through the lens that I created in my sorrows as a little girl. Maybe it’s time to believe what He says, and to think, even just for a moment, that He really does love me.

Friends, we all have narratives that aren’t true. We all have things that we learned growing up and damaged our perception of love. Maybe you learned you couldn’t count on anybody, too. Maybe you learned to hide your heart away. Maybe you learned to be ashamed of your needs or that, somehow, you weren’t capable of love. Whatever it may be, I invite you to name it. Then, take it and invite God into it. Put it at the foot of the Cross and let His blood cover it. Let Him wash that place clean. And let Him speak, with His last breath on the Cross, the truth that takes its’ place.

The Lord is capable of surprising you, friends. Let Him surprise you today.