the upside down kingdom

The pain of change comes and goes in waves. Over the past few days, I’ve found myself getting pulled under. I’m not a strong swimmer, figuratively or in real life, and more often than not, I find myself washed up on the shore, choking on fish water, wondering how on earth I got here.

This last year of my life, I was continuously dared to be a fighter by my truest friends because they loved me enough to not let me stay the same. They were my commissioners on my search for joy, leading me in hard and holy talks about why I couldn’t seem to grasp the fact that I am worthy enough of an abundant life and that with Christ, I’m stronger than the one that fights to take it away. They helped me exercise my belief in hands that can move mountains and a breath of life that can raise the dead, reminding me that Jesus has promised me’ immeasurably more’ because there are ‘greater things in store’ (Ephesians 3:20; John 14:12). They were catalysts in helping me begin the greatest adventure of all: learning to love and be loved.

But twenty-one, all four days of it, has brought on a different sort of feeling. The past few days have been blanketed with the haunting stillness after a fatal storm- change. I can’t blame anyone for the way things have happened; it’s inevitable and relentless, just as I have been and just as I will be. But I am learning this time around that when you’re pulled under the current, fighting the waves can actually make things worse. You will grow anxious and exhausted in the flailing of your arms trying to hold everything you know close. Things will slip, you’ll lose control, and you’ll drown.

Instead this time around, I’m trying to embrace the pull, praying for the grace to see a new perspective of beauty found underneath the water. I’m learning to hold gifts loosely because only good is promised and that is the very essence of Christ himself, nothing else. When I take the humble position of a holy Nazarene man, coming forward to be arrested with wrists outstretched (John 18:4-5), I’m promised someone will be saved, and I believe that someone will start with me.  That’s the way of the radical Upside-down Kingdom: losing your life to find it.

Over My Head by Bethel comes to mind. Definitions of the character traits of God are being redefined, and with that come new definitions of what it means to live.

Here is to a year dedicated to redefining what you already know.


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