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It’s Okay to Dangle

It’s okay to dangle.

Sitting in church this morning, surrounded by lives and living dreams and unrealized plans, people going and coming and goaling and achieving, a word filled my brain and tooted out my ears.  DANGLE.

It’s okay to dangle.

I am not okay with dangling.  I have a gut-need to know what’s next.  I can wait and remain steadfast…if I know where I’m headed.  This is why I endured a nineteen month engagement.  Alex knew I needed a goal.  We couldn’t get married until I graduated from college, and we lived in different parts of the country.  Before he proposed, I was a crazy chick.  Ask my college roommate.  I couldn’t focus.  I burst into tears at the weirdest times (see previous post), like during an episode of Friends, or if the VCR failed to tape Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Okay, those tears are real and totally appropriate.).  At one point, in a fit of frustration, I broke my pink fan with my bare, slightly psychotic hands.  That fan kept us from sweltering in our un-airconditioned dorm room on the top floor of our giant, brick, people-sized kiln.  That fan deserved better.  But I was chunky peanut butter nuts and couldn’t handle not knowing what was happening after graduation…in two years.  I.  Don’t.  Dangle.

It’s okay to dangle.

Planners don’t dangle.  Planners have plans.  And then I learned to lay down the plans and follow God-plans.  We followed His adoption plans and His sponsorship program plans and His travel plans.  I can follow a good plan, even if it’s not mine, because I know Who made the plan and enough of where it’s headed to know that it’s His.

And now…I’m on unsteady, fan-smashing, no-plan ground.  We are unsure about the next step for our family.  God has multiplied our sponsorship ministry and raised up additional leaders, so I am unsure about the next step for my personal role.  We are nearing the end of our ministry with our high school students.  My future is dangling.

It’s okay to dangle.  It’s okay to dangle.  It’s okay.  To dangle.

It’s okay to dangle, because I know Who holds the rope from which I’m dangling.  I am not comfortable.  Has anyone ever actually dangled from a rope?  Not comfortable.  With every cell in my body, I want to lift the curtain on my future and see where I’m headed.  Just a smidge.  Just a little lookie-loo.  But God has me dangling right now, and…

It’s okay to dangle.

If you’re like me, dangling, swinging in the wind, ropes uncomfortably cutting you in places, wondering how long you’re going to be here, I’m waving at you with my one free arm.  Hello, fellow dangler.  Here are some questions to ponder while we wait:

1. Do you know Who’s holding your rope?  In my own dangle tangle, I am using this time of not knowing to get to know better my Rope-Holder.  That means more time with my nose in my Bible and more time talking with Him.  He hasn’t revealed His will to me about my next step, but He’s revealed plenty of His will for all of us in His word.  I’m tanking up on what He’s already revealed as I wait on His personal revelation to me.

2. Are you ready to stop dangling?  Right now, as much as I loathe the unknown, God is teaching me about trusting Him and waiting on Him.  He’s showing me a really gross layer of my impatience and frustration that I need to scrape off.  I need to dangle for awhile.  Ugh, I don’t like even typing that.  I need this ‘tweener time in my life to bow my head in humility and rest in my Rope-Holder.

3. Can you hear His voice?  I don’t know what’s coming, but I need to get where I can hear Him clearly.  Again, that means in His word, and it means listening.  Am I a good listener?  Please don’t ask my friends and family.  I am a work in progress.  Are you a good listener?  We’re His sheep, and His sheep know their Shepherd’s voice (John 10), so is your fluffy little sheep butt close enough to the Shepherd to hear His voice?  I want to spend time consistently in prayer and practice following the Holy Spirit’s leading in my life, so that I will hear Him and know that I am truly hearing Him.

It’s okay to dangle.

I hope that it doesn’t last long.  I love that sense of purpose when I have a hill to charge up.  I love mobilizing people to accomplish something amazing.  I love the gurgling excitement of working on a dream.  This dangling, this not knowing, it irks me.  Major irkage.  But God is using this time to teach me some simple, or not-so-simple, lessons on patience, on motherhood, on giving thanks in the daily little moments that I like to ignore.  This dangling is character-work.  It’s the stuff of sanctification.  This dangling…

It’s okay.



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