There are times in life when our faith doesn’t seem to fill up the cup anymore. When our attitude has shifted. When we want to do great things and want to succeed and feel that joy from the success after the struggle and it just doesn’t happen the way we thought.
What do we do when that leap of faith for Him seems like too big a step, like too far a jump or just too much to ask?
Big moments and the culmination of dreams realized always seem like they need that grand gesture moment – when the light switches on, when the gear changes, or the mountain doesn’t seem quite as big when you have someone by your side. And looking back we often laugh at our fear, our hesitation seems silly and we begin to wish we didn’t know the part of ourselves that had been full of doubt and hesitation.
Griffin and I had made a few attempts at a courtship, and we had taken turns telling each other it wasn’t time yet, taking some time away and dating other people. We had given it another shot and had taken a particularly memorable road trip to one of our favorite cities. It was the dream trip! Unasked questions were answered and we really just clicked.
But once we got home, back to school, back to the daily grind, the glow and assurance I had felt when it was just us two in the car, talking and learning about one another in a new deeper way, had slipped away, almost as a dream.
What do we do now? Are we a couple? Was the weekend just a coincidence? Was this who we were now, together?
Ok, I will admit it I was a little terrified. It was new (again, in a different way) and it was working! And I really did not want to mess this up! Alas, my seasoned fearful heart that had begun self-sabotage to prevent the actual heart sabotage was running through every reason why it was a bad idea to actually date this man I loved.
Wow, when you say it like that… Yes, heart, you know you love this man – Now run away because you are scared he is exactly the same as the one before, when in reality he could not be more opposite. Sure. That makes sense. Let’s go with that.
Are you kidding me?! Man was I being just a little tragic….
Luckily, Griffin had written me this spectacular note about how he really wanted to give it a try and that it was worth it to give it a shot, but also that he would wait for my to be ready if I wasn’t. (His patience is legendary for all of you wondering. Also, note writing really should be brought back.)
So we decided to go for a drive, talk it over and see how we felt. We drove for a little bit, and because I couldn’t quite concentrate, we pulled the car over so I could get my brain working properly.
I had so many fears and worries and ridiculous situations rolling around in my head that I just couldn’t see my way back! I was sure that this was what I wanted but that it was also what was most terrifying.
The details are foggy here, but I think Griffin asked what he could do. And man, did that just change everything! I had been so focused inward and backward that I had forgotten the key ingredient in this decision! Griffin! This was partly about me, yes, and about being in a relationship again after a divorce, but it was also about him. It was about being in a relationship with the man I had fallen in love with before we had really dated, with the man that was now my best friend. The man who had waited patiently for months for me to heal, and date around and play and finally get serious about being a stable, single, faithful woman, so I could be with him. It was about him. The other half of my potential future life.
“What can I do to help you?”
“Just kiss me.”
My mind focused. My heart stopped racing (but only a little 😉 ) and I remembered what I had so easily forgotten: He was the man I loved. He was the friend I could talk to for hours and he was the one that made my heart flutter and be at ease at the same time. It was him.
Sometimes we have to get out of our own way to realize what is right in front of us. For me, it was Griffin’s understanding of my heart that helped him to focus my scattered emotions. But it was also faith in God. We had been shown so many signs and been sent so many tender mercies from the Lord, that it could not have been more clear, that now was the time that God had prepared us for, to be together. He had been preparing the both of us. And it was time for me to put faith and trust in His plan.
For some, this may have seemed like a huge leap of faith (to date seriously after such a short time after my divorce) but for me, from the inside and from the way my heart synced up to my head and my lips in the moment, it was not a leap of faith across a great chasm; it was a realization that over the months of dating and not dating and being friends and getting to know each other that Griffin and I (and God and I) had been building a bridge, one plank at a time, across the chasm of my clobbered heart, to get to this moment. Each plank had placed love where fear had once been. This was no longer a leap across the chasm, but the final few pieces of plank that finally brought us next to each other so we could begin to walk in the same direction, side by side.
When I look back on my life, if becomes clear how often Satan has used fear to control me. And how easily it had become for me to let go of God’s love in the process. When we trust and have faith, love can prevail. We must have courage to overcome and cast out that fear, but it is Christ in whom we truly rely upon for this.
I have also begun to see how few, if any, steps forward I have made have been leaps. God only asks us to take one step towards him at a time.
God gives us things, blessings, direction and trust, one step at at time, “for precept must be upon precept. Precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10)
He gives us further wisdom in the Book of Mormon:
For behold, thus saith the Lord: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little; and blessed are those who harken unto my precepts, and lend an ear to my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more. -2 Nephi 28:30
For those around me, this step I took into the next part of my life seemed foolish, or hasty. But for me, it was the next line of my story. God had been part of my journey up until then, and it is silly to think he was not part of it that day, as I took that perceived leap of faith with Griffin.
I have had many of these moments in my life, when I look back and wonder how I have gotten to this place or this moment and find myself amazed: It has been by Him and His love and my faith in Him.
God asks for the just the faith of a mustard seed (Matt 17:20) and we only need one step at a time (see hymn 97) and nothing will be impossible for us. God is not just in the details, He is the details and the small things.
“Behold, I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” – Alma 37:6
Life may seem to give us great chasms to leap over, but we know that with God, we can accomplish anything. He will help us, one step at a time, and He will be at our side, dashing fear and strengthening love and faith.