We finished watching The Longest Ride and it took everything in me to hold back the tears. It was my second time watching it and twice, I’d read the book; which says a lot. I never read books twice…
But it’s not just the sappy love story that gets me; [albeit that does do my mushy rom-com loving heart good] it’s the story of true love and faith that pulls so strongly at my heart strings.
Because true love requires risk and risk always requires faith…
Faith that what you’re risking is worth the potential of what lies ahead.
In the story, Sophia gives up her dream job at an art museum in New York City for the chance at love with Luke, a cowboy living in rural North Carolina on a ranch- a lifestyle she doesn’t know the first thingy about. Luke, a professional bull rider, now number one in the world, gives up his career for Sophie because of the danger it puts him in each day.
They gives up everything they know and everything they’ve worked their whole life to achieve, for the potential of a life of love.
Neither of them know what the future holds or how they’re going to make it work. And For Luke, the reality of loosing the family ranch is real with the loss of income from bull riding, but still he does it.
Fate intervenes and through a series of happenstance, Luke finds himself at an art auction seeking Sophia and bids on a “worthless” painting that lands him the new owner of an entire prestigious art collection worth millions. Luke and Sophia end up using that money to create a life together- to save Luke’s family ranch and to open up an art museum for Sophia to run with pieces that have a story and meaning to her.
Neither of them could have imagined this life for themselves and it FAR surpasses the greatest one they could have built in their own strength!
To me, it could only be divinely orchestrated.
Because that’s the thing with God: He calls us to lay our life down and surrender everything – our dreams, our work, our plans, our understanding- and instead lean on him. He invites us to trust him because his plans are for our good, always. He tells us that it is his desire to bless his children and to give us abundantly, far greater than we could ever ask or imagine! He promises to give us our hearts desire, if we will seek him first!
But we must be willing to hold nothing back, to trust, and to wait.
He begs us to reach out our palm wide, holding everything in it – everything we hold dear – loosely; to be willing and ready at any moment to lay it down for love- his love- and to where his love will send us. We must have open and unclenched fists to be ready to receive what’s next.
I can’t promise to know where he will send us – you or me- but I can promise this:
What’s waiting on the other side of our surrender will far, far outweigh the risk and the sacrifice of what we lay down.
Because sometimes when it looks like our world is falling apart, the pieces are just finally falling together.
And when it feels like we’re giving up everything we have, everything and more is waiting on the other side.
As I finished my final wedding last night, the echoes of people’s remarks stirred inside me:
“It’s such a shame to see you stop doing this!”
“Why are you retiring? You’re so good at it!”
” Your were made to do this.”
“I don’t understand why you’d give this up, especially at the top of your game.”
And it’s true. Logically and to the world it doesn’t make sense. In the natural, it doesn’t all together make sense to me either. I asked for confirmation, yet again, on the drive home. “God, affirm that I’m doing the right thing.” This movie was it.
When I first felt God call me to lay it all down- to close my business- I thought I had heard wrong. It was everything I’d worked towards, more than I’d dreamed off achieving and the thing I’d given the best of me to for nearly a decade! My business was my baby. And I had just hit a point where I felt I could finally celebrate hitting “my pinnacle.” Couldn’t I coast for a time and ride the wave of my success for a while?
Yes, I could and the choice is mine. But God had made it clear: If I continued down this path, then I would be going it alone; doing it in my own strength. I would be settling for a life that I could build in my own efforts, without God. His anointing had been on my business for a time and he had blessed it immensely, but he was calling me else ware now; where, I had no idea and I still don’t quite know if I’m honest. But I do know this:
The reward will far outweigh the risk and what’s waiting for me on the other side is SO much greater than anything I’ve even dared to dream before. And I want that… so much more than anything I could muster on my own.
God, I’m trusting you. I want the story only you can write. I want what you’ve got in store, so I lay it all down. Lead me where my faith is without borders.
Photo Credit: [Last set] Nadia Hung, Studio Jeanie, Matt Kennedy