Sometimes, a question turns into a life-changing moment. For me, it took place when I sensed the Lord asking simply, “Do you want to learn more? Or would you rather soar?”
Because I didn’t have an immediate response, I asked my daughter and husband how they would answer. Without hesitation they both responded, “I would rather soar.”
I love learning, especially about my faith. But, in an “Aha” moment, I realized sitting and learning– without getting out of the comfort of our nest–can cause us to become unhealthy. Spreading our wings in faith keeps us from becoming spiritually fat. It is kind of like, “Okay girl, when are you getting off that couch to actually do something with your faith?”
Alone in My Minivan
The next day I dropped my two youngest boys at a friend’s 10th birthday party. The mom and dad hosting the party encouraged parents to drop and go; because Christmas was only three days away, this gift provided a few minutes of kid-free shopping.
There were a few items on my to-do list, but instead I stopped for a moment in a side parking lot at our local Panera Bread. This typically car-free area occasionally provides me with a few moments of respite, which I needed at the moment.
Our 2007 Honda minivan is painfully lacking in the latest technology, which means I usually listen to local radio. In December this means rocking the Christmas songs, but at this moment I was desperate for worship; not Rudolph. After sifting through the available CDs in the glove compartment, I found one of my husband Kirk’s long forgotten 2002 WOW Worship CDs.
While listening, suddenly tears were streaming down my face.
A Fowl Sight
Through my tears, the rain dripping on my windshield and old worship music, I noticed a large stately bird–a hawk–at the top of the tree line across the street. I’m not good estimating distances, but the hawk appeared perched about a football field away. There it sat, oblivious to the pouring rain.
While I stared, I pondered the question: Was I willing, or even able, to soar?
Give Me a Sign Please
Looking up at the hawk I said to the Lord, “If this is you speaking, you can cause that bird to soar directly over my van.” Well, a girl can ask can’t she?
I waited for God to gloriously impart the sign which would confirm my question. Easy enough for God, right? But nothing happened. The hawk sat, oblivious to my plight.
Soaring in the way Jesus is calling requires being transparent in a way I’ve never been willing or felt able to do. Letting go of stuff and changing priorities is required. Meeting new people, embracing all those in my past and present, and loving everyone loudly, will be a natural outflow of leaving my perch.
The Lord kept tugging at my heart. “You can fly away from your fear,” I heard him whisper. “You can break free and soar. You can take everything you’ve learned and start living it out loud. You can become the woman of grace I always intended you to be. Don’t focus on the broken and the mistakes, focus on the grace.”
Gazing into the tree line I kept watching; the hawk continued to sit in the pouring rain. At least twenty minutes elapsed before I heard a familiar but surprising tune from the WOW CD.
“I used to think that I could not go on …”
I didn’t realize I Can Fly was originally a Christian Song. I only remember R.J. Kelly popularizing it in the movie, Space Jam. Stunned, chills and praise filled me as I listened to words I had not heard in years. It was as if the Lord used this song and the moment to reach down, pull me close and say, “Let me speak in an undeniable way into your moment and settle your wrestling heart.”
I used to think that I could not go on
And life was nothing but an awful song
But now I know the meaning of true love
I’m leaning on the everlasting arms
If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it
I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day, Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar, I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
See I was on the verge of breaking down
Sometimes the silence could seem so loud
There are miracles in life I must achieve
But first it’s got to start inside of me
But wait, there’s more
Every word of the song reached my heart. At that point I needed nothing more from the Lord. Though he had not answered my original prayer that the hawk might fly toward me, the Lord was showing me that–in spite of anything in my past or any shortcomings–I could fly. Not because of me, but because He could work in me to accomplish anything.
But as Yolanda Adams soulfully ended the song, telling me to “go through the open door and just believe I can fly,” I looked out of the front window. As the last note of the song played, the valiant hawk in front me–as if on cue–swooped out of the tree and soared directly over me.
Something out of a Hollywood film? No. It was better, because I could see that in God’s timing, he would do something better than what I asked for, confirming what he wanted to do in an ordinary person with just a small measure of faith in an extraordinary God.
A Christmas Morning Reminder
On Christmas morning my husband gave me three gifts, each beautifully nestled inside another. Explaining each gift isn’t important; but Kirk and I both knew each gift was his way of telling me, “You can fly.” The tears we shared were because we both knew life would never be the same. Together, we would be different. Together, we would soar.
We Can’t Sit on Our Grace
There is a grace which compels us to cast aside any shame, doubt, or insecurities. In my blindness, I was not following Jesus with full abandon and I wasn’t trusting in God’s grace to help me soar.
The relationship I have come to experience in Jesus Christ makes me want to yell from the mountain tops, “Come, see the one who has done so much for me!” I want to soar above any chains which held me and others down, calling to all who will hear, “Come, fly with me.”
If, like my daughter or husband, you already know you want to soar, then you are a personal hero. If you are more like me and need a push out of the nest, I pray He will speak into your moment as undeniably and powerfully as He did mine.
Friends, wherever we are at this moment, it is time to fly.