unknown bridges

I had this re-occurring dream as a child, I can remember it just as if I had it last night. I can not recall how many times I had this dream, all I know is I had it ALOT. To set the scene you have to know that I lived in a town called Trenton, Trenton is nestled between two mountains, so there you have it the scene! So, In my dream I am standing on top of “Sand Mountain” and I can see “Lookout Mountain” in the distance with the valley of Trenton separating them. As I look across I see a bridge, but not just any bridge its a rainbow bridge connecting the two mountains, in the middle of this bridge, not just any bridge but a swinging bridge, there is a giant “castle structure”. This sounds like some awesome fairytale with this beautiful bridge and beautiful castle. However, no matter how hard I tried as many times as I had this dream I never could make it across the bridge to even the center. I could not get further than a few steps. At times the bridge would be clouded with the white fluffy clouds hiding the planks and even disguising the castle in some dreams. I would take a few steps and fall, or quit, or sometimes just simply wake up. I was scared of this bridge, even in all its beauty and even with the castle in the middle I never could cross that bridge. I had this dream so many times as a kid its ridiculous. I never did find out what was in that castle or experience the beauty of walking across this bridge because even in my dream I was so fearful. The tragic thing about that entire dream is that I am just as fearful now. I am just as fearful of crossing a bridge, walking into the unknown, trying new things as I was as a kid, Maybe even a little more because there seems to be so much more at stake.

Lately, I feel God calling me into an unknown, I feel an urge and a push to go deeper into something I’ve never seen on experienced. I met this amazing young lady not long ago who I had never met before and she made the statement that I was waiting on God to build a bridge before I made a step, that settled deep inside of my heart.

I have never been much for the unknown, I have never been much for walking in the dark or being spontaneous. I have always been more of the everything in black and white, planned and settled before anything moves. It’s not that I haven’t been knocked off my rocker a few times with my “planning” because I have. My late husband was diagnosed with cancer, that took my “plans” by surprise. I faced almost 10 months of the absolute uncertain, almost everyday a battle, and never anything certain or for sure. I had no contingency plans in place when my husband passed away. My current father in law has a disease has absolutely NO KNOWNS. I am married to a man who doesn’t plan very much of anything but lives in spontaneity. There are really no sure things in life, but I do everything that I can to prepare for the “unknowns”.

The real problem is Trust, I say that with great confidence. There are some things I know and there are some things that I am absolutely sure of, I know my God is good and He is faithful. I have seen and tasted His goodness both in times of lack and times of abundance. I have had the amazing opportunity to lean into Him so much further than others in my life, however recently I have discovered that there are areas of my life that I have yet to trust Him fully in. I have not relinquished my plan of my life to Him fully…and why is that? It is because of lack of Trust, I know He is good, but do I know He is good enough to give me the desires of my heart or do I want to seek them for myself and create my own plan and path to them? I have shouted from the rooftops of my trust, my obedience, and my faith…however there are things I am still fearful to relinquish absolute control of. Let’s be crystal clear, I am not holding onto some secret sin or hiding some monsters in my closet or under my bed…however not trusting God with EVERYTHING can be just as damaging to myself and those around me if I continue to walk in the place of mistrusting Him. Its almost as if I am a young child standing in front of this bridge again and I know the bridge is there but its swinging and sometimes the clouds are covering parts of it and I just can’t seem to make my way across, throughout my life I have walked a few steps out onto at His calling and leading but stop, I don’t follow through. The moment it doesn’t look like I think it should or want it to, then I stop. I look to my own path my own way. I start trying to build a more solid bridge, something that I feel better about something with a safety net under it, just in case.

I haven’t had alot of follow-through in my life with people or things, I had a few and I had few people but for the most part there just hasn’t been alot of it. Trust can be super challenging for me…obviously or I would have crossed that bridge A LONG time ago, I didn’t. I took a few steps and retreated. So, here I am again feeling the calling of the bridge, of the castle in the middle. I feel my heart pounding and my soul crying out to trust God. I feel the letting go of my desires and clinging to His. I feel the rivers of my soul raging! I feel that I can’t stay where I am but I don’t know how to walk on shaky planks across a valley with no safety net. Its revealing the deficiencies of my relationship with God. It is showing me where I lack, and where He needs to be allowed to increase in my life. It is a new level of trust and relationship, a place that I have veiled over for years and years with lip service. Its that deep calling from almost 30 years ago burning inside of me, knowing and yet not doing. Its a new adventure, crossing an unknown bridge trusting a known God. I have been waiting for God to do things my way, for Him to give me a report, a map, a project board outlining all of His strategies, agenda, and contingency plans. I have been expecting him to remove all the clouds and sure of the bridge so that it doesn’t swing so much. Make the path more clear, remove any of the unknowns. I wanted His plan but I wanted it on my terms, with all of the unknowns made absolutely abundantly clear. I do not like surprises never really have, I am too much for preparation to enjoy them. I use the word preparation my husband would use the phrase “control freak”, I guess to some degree they are the same.

I feel this calling and I am not sure what it looks like and not 100% sure how to give up what I have always done and what I have taken comfort in (being in control), but what I am learning is that one way or another God is going to continue to shake up what I do know until I figure it out. I might as well figure it out now.
So…today…a new day…a new adventure…a new learning to trust…and obey.

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