press in, let go

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Loving this song right now – please go and listen to it. It’s Oceans by Hillsong United. And it’s beautiful. And a little bit relevant to this post, so I’m sneaking in a few lyrics from it. The album, Zion, is awesome by the way. I can’t get enough of it!

Anyway, onto the post.

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine


Baby B suffers with trapped wind. Which sucks enough for an adult, but is much worse for a baby. She curls up, goes bright red, and shouts out in pain. It’s horrible to watch, but she gets some comfort out of being picked up and held, which is both exhausting (especially at two in the morning) and adorable. Recently, she has gotten into the habit of pushing herself up with her legs in order to smoosh up her face against mine. Which is totally heart melting. Even at two in the morning.

It melts my heart even more when I see her do this with Chris.

Looking at her like this, I understand how she must feel. In the midst of pain, she chooses to push herself forward, to move closer to him, to press in closer to her father. And what does she get as a reward for her efforts? She gets to feel his breath, the steady drum of his heartbeat. She gets to hear words of comfort and love, whispered just for her. And in that position – pressing in as close as she physically can – the pain seems to dim. I see that she feels it, by the way her body tenses up, but she lets out a little whimper or a sigh, and then relaxes. She is totally at rest in her Daddy’s arms. Completely secure. The pain doesn't go away. But it doesn't seem to matter as much anymore.

Recently I feel called to step out in faith. To do something that to the outside world probably doesn't make much sense. It requires me to let things go, things that give me comfort, that make me feel strong. But it’s false comfort, and false strength, that these things bring me. However … I still don’t feel great about letting go.

Feeling wobbly, I decided to go back and look at some of my old journals. I smiled as I read them. I realised how much I've changed. How far God has brought me. How much my confidence has improved. How much He has healed me. What an incredible journey it has been so far.

I went from a girl lonely and afraid, standing on a beach in the dark, screaming silently at the sea. Goosebumps on my arms and wind whipping through my hair. Heart pounding, partly in fear at being alone and vulnerable, partly through anger that had built up in me for months. I suffered a great hurt from someone I trusted far too much. I was very young, and very fragile. And I promise it’s not an empty saying – my heart felt broken. I felt ruined. I felt my innocence was lost.


Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine


I didn’t know Him then. But He knew me. Carefully and slowly, amidst the terrible choices I made and the inevitable consequences that came, He drew me closer. Undeserving, I cried out for help. He answered.

Though I didn't know where I was going, I learnt that what I held onto was bad. I felt that the unknown I was walking into might just be good. But I was afraid. And it took a long time – many determined decisions, made and then unmade and then made again. Many tears in the night and (later) many desperate prayers, because I couldn't understand how I’d ever not hurt, how I’d ever lift my head out of the tangled mess I’d stepped into.

But He was there. Slowly and patiently, through people, through words of comfort, through song, through verse, through circumstances, through quiet whispers that almost went ignored – He coaxed me out of myself. He promised me something better. If only I would let go of what I held onto before.

If only I would press in a little closer.

If only I would reach out. Push a bit harder.

I’d hear His heart beat for me. I’d hear wonderful words spoken over me. I’d find strength to deal with the pain. It wouldn't hurt so much – if I could just press in ever closer.


Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior


Nine years on, here I am. Blessed beyond my wildest imaginations. Heart healed fully, and then some. I see the bright and shining thread that He has woven through my life and the moments that He has stepped into my decisions, my relationships. I have seen what happens when I choose to follow myself instead of Him, and vice versa.

And yet I still find it hard to let go of things that I don’t really need?

All I need to do is press closer once again.

I'm sorry if this is a little vague. One day I will be able to put into words the beginning of my journey of faith without putting myself or anyone else into a vulnerable position. Words matter, and written words can’t really be unwritten, not once they’re on the internet anyway.

You can ask me though, if you know me in real life. I want to share what He’s done, because it amazes me even now. If I ever doubt, I look back on it, the long journey on which I have come, and those doubts fade away fast. His love for me is evident in those pages.

Watching my daughter basking innocently in her Daddy’s love for her is enough of a reminder today.

Press in to Him. Let go of the rest.

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