The Courage of Acceptance

We were a group of women on the move.  We had assembled in my family room to set goals.  To move forward.  To take life and DO SOMETHING. 

I'll admit - this is where my heart feels at peace.  On the move.  I know that's not true for everyone.  It may not even be true for you. 

But if you are anything like me, you feel it too.  It's that need to do something.  My mantra in my head is often, "Doing something is better than doing nothing."  Just take a step toward your goal.  Start somewhere.  

The truth is that I feel better doing something.  I feel better when I feel like I've made an effort to show up.  I feel better when I can honestly say that I've done all that I can to fix my situation. 

Be Still

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46.  Yea, that one gives me peace - only when my heart is still enough to hear it.  Most days, my heart is busy planning my next step so that verse just annoys me instead.  

Be still?  How can I be still when I could be taking the next step?  How can i be still when it would be so much better to start toward doing something?  How can I be still when being still seems like doing nothing?  And waiting?  And accepting? 

I had worked myself into a flurry on Saturday.  I was on a roll, if I do say so myself.  Let's set some personal goals ladies.  Let's figure out what's holding us back.  As my TV not-so much friends but they feel like friends Chip and Jo Jo would say, "Let's git after it."

But then, a simple question.  How do we know when we're supposed to just accept something? 

My gut reaction:  NEVER!  NEVER ACCEPT!  Keep positive.  Keep pressing on.  Your coach believes in you. 

Lucky for me, I asked the group for their thoughts.  So many good answers.  Rely on the Holy Spirit.  Learn to accept yourself, but continue to change what you do.  

I kept the NEVER inside.  

Acceptance & Trust

After days of processing, I've realized that sometimes God does call us to accept.  To be still.  To stop doing and goal setting and striving. 

So, I asked myself what do I need to accept today?  The biggest thing that comes to mind is the single life.  I never planned on being single and 46.  I always planned on marriage, children, and a happily ever after.  

And sometimes, I struggle to accept that I'm still single.  (Just so you know, the older you get - well, let's leave it at that). 

I expected more from my life.  And yet my life is full.  I have great family.  I have wonderful friends.  I'm starting a business - that's just crazy.  

And I realized as I thought that some days God is asking me to accept my season of life.  Other days He's asking me to set goals - to put myself out there.  But in all days, He asking me to be still and trust. 

I have more, you know.  Do I need to accept where my business is right now?  Whether I should sell my house and downsize?  Whether my part-time job is really enough in the lean times to support me?  

And I'm betting you have more too.  Am I doing enough to parent well?  Am I stewarding my life and my gifts well?  That job that you may not love.  Or family that your rarely see.  Whatever it is - do we need to accept?  Do we need to be still?   Or do we need to set goals and move forward? 

The Tension

The hard part, for me at least, in accepting is I don't want to play the victim.  I don't want to get to the end and hear God tell me it could have been different if I had just initiated here or stepped out in faith there. 

And what I've found with all this wrestling is there is a tension to be managed.  Almost like a see saw.  You know, on one side is acceptance.  God loves you and me.  And His will is what is best.  And some days, that looks like acceptance.  Well, not just acceptance, but embracing.  Embracing the life you never expected.  Embracing what He's gifted us with.  Finding joy in a life we never would have asked for.  

The other side of the see saw:  realizing that sometimes we get to choose.  We choose how we show up in the world.  We choose whether we will try to change our circumstances.  We choose by stepping out in faith and trusting God to direct and guide.  We choose by putting ourselves out there in dating as a single.  As an applicant for a new job.  As a parents who need community and help. 

And so we manage the tension.  Today, being single wasn't so bad.  I'm accepting and trying to put myself out there.  In the midst of it all, I get to trust through the tension. 

The Courage

The real courage in all this may come back to living with accepting.  It's hard to accept.  What's attached to our dreams and desires is our heart.  We always dreamed of doing better or arriving.  And sometimes, accepting means letting go of the significance that thing could bring you.  Letting go of our need to be a couple to feel important.  Letting go of our need to have marriages and families that look put together on the outside.  Letting go of our need for that specific job or house or whatever you put in the blank. 

Accepting and being still is where we learn to trust God on the journey of the in between.  In between what we always knew we wanted and where we will end up in reality.  In between where we started and where He will lead us.  In between hope and trust.  

One foot faith lives with tension.  It learns to live with the idea that we both need to accept and pursue at the same time.  One foot faith follows God in courage to accept the life He has given us.  One foot faith learns to be still and know that He is God.  One foot faith learns to enjoy the journey just as much as the destination.  

Embracing this need to accept with you.  I would love to hear about and pray for that thing God may be asking you to accept.  Comment here or send me a message!