May 2, 2011 by Beth Hess
New month. New chapter in my “one guidepost at a time” journey through Brene’ Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection. For May, I will be focusing my thoughts on intuition, faith, and spirituality. Brown also subtitles the chapter “Letting Go of the Need for Certainty.” In her research of those living a Wholehearted life, she discovered a willingness to let life unfold in a way that values the mystery of it all. Life is not certain, and that’s Ok. Especially when you marry the mystery of the unknown with a faith that God Knows. God Sees. God Loves. In all things, God is Good.
Brown: “Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.” In my life, this has translated to the phrase, “Watch & See” … indulge me in a story, if you will.
In the fall of 2004, we were living in Colorado, just north of Denver. I thought we’d always live in Colorado. My sister and her family were there. My parents were planning to come after retirement. Baby Christian was on the way, and it seemed like a great place to be for the rest of our lives. That was my plan. During a November trip to North Carolina to visit Thom’s dad, we picked up (as we always did) a real estate magazine. Usually just a “what are the houses like here”, kind of thing, but this one hit Thom differently (though I didn’t know it for weeks). Some time later, then, Thom asked if I would ever consider moving to North Carolina. WHAT? WHERE? That’s the South, right? But God had been talking to him about providing for our new family and the opportunity to work with his Dad and live somewhere with lower home prices than Colorado. I was beyond shocked. And in denial. And agreed to pray about it only because I was pretty sure God already knew it was out of the question.
And I fought it. Hard! Thom would look at homes online while I ignored it. He asked me to check possible jobs in the area, but I didn’t. I could think of not one single thing that appealed to me about it at all! (Guess I wasn’t really thinking about the 2 hours to the beach thing at the time.)
But one Sunday morning, I was driving to church on my own while Thom worked, and I heard these lyrics from Starfield: “The whole earth Is filled with Your glory, Lord. Angels and men adore. Mountains bow and oceans roar. Creation longs for what’s in store. May You be Honored and glorified. Exalted and lifted high. Here at Your feet I lay my life.” Creation LONGS! It doesn’t plan. It doesn’t demand. It LONGS for what’s in store. And in that moment, something surrendered in me. I had never, in all our discussions and all my protest, considered for even one minute that this move might be something to long for — to face with anticipation instead of trepidation.
And that’s when I heard God’s whisper in my heart … “Watch and See. Watch and See what I will do … if you get out of my way!”
As you know by now, we live today in North Carolina. It hasn’t been easy. Some of the times have been downright hard, in fact. And if I’m completely honest, I will even admit I don’t understand fully what God is asking me to see that I couldn’t see with the Rockies as a backdrop. Ha! We have been blessed here, yes. There is blessing in the obedience alone, of that I am sure. But still I Watch. And I trust. And I anticipate the good gifts of a good God — when I am willing to let go of certainty and instead Watch & See what He will do.