Monday, December 19, 2011


Over the last fifteen or so years there is a scene that has repeatedly played in my mind. A young woman is in the ocean, completely underwater. Although I am watching the scene unfold, the young woman is me. I  have seaweed wrapped around my ankle. In an attempt to break free, I begin twisting and turning, kicking and wrestling, until eventually I am completely entangled in the seaweed, drowning as it is holding me beneath the surface. Just as it seems that I have lost the battle, in exhaustion I am quiet just long enough to hear a voice say, "Let go."

As I stop struggling, the current of the water loosens the seaweed, and I am freed.

Last year at this time I was here:

In Beautiful Zimbabwe

At one time not so long ago, I thought this would be my home. I gave up so much to be here. But four months after my move, four months after giving up my career, relationships, and leaving my family, and after four months of being chewed up, Zimbabwe (i.e. Mugabe's government) spit me out.

I spent many months twisting and turning and getting tangled up in worry about how and why I left. I was not given a choice, but I couldn't help but question if I fought hard enough to stay.  And I couldn't help but wonder if my little ones felt abandoned (again).

Then last year at this time God blessed me with the chance to go back. With my return I was not sure what I would find. I was not sure why God was allowing me return. Was my job not done? Or was this visit to be the closure I needed?

I spent my planned 20 days there, and left with new hopes and new disappointments.

In all honesty, this trip left me twisting and turning and struggling just as before.

I have continued striving to make up for not being there, for plans that were never completed, for change that I couldn't bring. In the last year I have made many personal investments of time and money in an attempt to pay off my "debt" of unfulfilled promises. They were good investments for good causes, but they have made no change in how I feel.

The problem with these investments is that they have been made in my own attempt to "make things right." And the problem with my actions is that for awhile I thought I could actually accomplish something through my own power.

Recently I was having a heart-to-heart with my mentor about how I am just so confused and stuck, not sure where God wants me. And Zimbabwe and my involvement there continues to be the biggest weight, lying heavily on my chest, making it hard to breathe or think clearly. In regards to my present and future I keep asking God "what" and "where" and "who." Then she gently gave me the spiritual equivalent of a good woopin', and she asked me how much I am actually still before God.


Not asking or wanting or whining. Not twisting or turning or wrestling.

Just still. 

My answer...well, it didn't really come out in words, it came out in tears.

That conversation was a month ago. I have stopped focusing on getting an answer, but have started focusing on being in a relationship with the Lord where I can hear His voice. I am learning to quiet myself so I am able to hear him however he chooses to speak, even if it is as small as a gentle whisper.

He has not given me any huge revelations as of yet, but there is one thing I have heard him speak clearly to my heart.

Two simple words:

"Let Go."

And just like that, in God's simple yet inexplicable way, he has taken my yoke upon him, and I can breathe.


Rica said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. The word "still" has been on my heart recently too... with all that has happened in the past 6 years, I feel like I have been on a rollercoaster and have not taken the time to be still before God and quiet my heart. I think it has been so long I have forgotten what this is like. With the upcoming birth of our little girl, I am having many opportunities to practice silence and it is very challenging. Yet so important to understand God's heart and His plan. My heart has burned for Indonesia the way your heart aches for Zimbabwe... and in my few times of silence I have been shown a clearer picture of God's plan. I pray that your silence produces clarity in your own life as well as drawing you closer to your Creator. Blessings. ~ Erica

Mark Langham said...

So well said. So much truth Rebecca.

Jennifer said...

I'm learning lessons along the same lines- letting go and clinging to Him when "it" doesn't make sense. Like you, girl, I'm guilty of trying to make things work the way I plan. Thanks for being so honest- I relate.

Jill Foley said...

Thanks for sharing....I didn't know about your time in Zimbabwe. Praying for you as you "be still".

Gayle said...

Smiling. See my e-mail.

Melissa Irwin said...