I am a woman of many opinions. This comes as no surprise to anyone. And I like to think that most of my opinions are pretty okay ones. They weren’t always, I know that for a fact I used to give some super crappy advice (aka the old faithful “as soon as you stop looking you’ll find someone”). I think as we grow up we have to really learn how to filter our thoughts and the words we speak through Jesus and let him show us when to speak and when to shut up. There were plenty of times when I gave very well-meaning advice to a friend that probably did more harm than good because it wasn’t Jesus’ timing. But I’ve always done my best to give advice in a real-life kind of way. To use biblical references and for Jesus to always be the focal point, but to have more to say than just quoting Paul and Moses. While the Bible really is the best place to go for anything, sometimes people need to hear “I’ve been where you are, it super sucked, and this is what helped me through” more than “don’t forget, God uses all things together for his good”-even though the latter is crazy true. But I’m a firm believer in first filtering any advice you give anyone through Jesus and make sure it’s what he wants you saying in his time. It doesn’t even have to be something that takes days. Right there, in that conversation, you can let him know that what you want right now is to glorify him through your words. It’s a really cool experience when you converse with him like that and then let him speak through you, knowing that you had nothing to do with any of it. And sometimes he’s going to tell you to keep your mouth shut.
What about those times? What about those times that you’re hearing loud and clear that you need to sit back and watch someone you love run straight into a brick wall? It’s hard, especially when you feel like you could save them by simply giving your opinion. You just want to grab them and scream “I’ve done exactly what you’re about to do, and it did not end well. PLEASE hear me, walk away”. But all you can hear is the still voice of God telling you that there are bigger things at work here, so yo need to let him do his thing. And in the end, that’s what it boils down to. Faith. It comes down to trusting that he is always at work, and that sometimes, he doesn’t need you to butt in to get the job done. It’s about placing the people you love in his more than capable hands, and not always feeling like you need to pipe up about the destructive decisions they’re making. You have to choose to remember all the times that you ran into that very same brick wall and the huge lessons you learned because of it. Sometime I think I should rename Fearless “Running into Brick Walls” because it’s how I’ve learned almost every lesson I’ve ever written about. I’m a bull-in-a-china-shop kind of girl, it’s how Jesus has taught me my entire life.
The thing you have to fight after you get to that point is bitterness and judgment, because we’re human and it’s what we do. But you can fight it, and you fight it by going to battle for that person. You hit your knees and pray that maybe the wall doesn't hurt them as badly as it hurt you. You pray for the right words to say when they come limping back and need Godly restoration. You pray for your heart while you’re watching the train wreck, that it is filled with concern and love and faith, rather than “I told you so” and “If you’d only listened to me”. I’m actually right in the midst of this right now, and even though there have been times I’d watched people I love do destructive and avoidable things, this is written while it’s fresh again. I’m watching a friend I love dearly lose herself and refuse to find her identity in Jesus. And we’ve had many a sit down about where her heart is. And Monday I finally got the answer I knew was coming, that it was time to back off. And I was aggravated. I was frustrated with her, that she was being this way about it, and I was frustrated with God, that he wouldn’t let me continue to intervene. But he’s made it very clear that my job now is to pray. And to love her. And it’s freaking hard because I’m a talker and I feel like if I could just try to explain one more time what she doesn’t see, that it would make it all better.
But God’s a better fixer than me. And he’s a better listener than me. A better guide, a better protector, and a better friend. And, unlike me, he can see the entire picture at hand. He knows that if she needs to run into that wall and come up bloodied and bruised to finally get the things he wants her to learn, then that’s exactly what’s going to happen. So, control freak Blake over here has to let go of the reigns of someone else’s life (really? awesome.), and let God show off like he has 100 times over in my life.