somewhere new, someplace safe: a prayer of preparation

I am getting things ready for my big summer adventure out of state for three months.  Having never done this before, I feel so unprepared.  Do I have everything I need?  Do I have enough?  Will I be able to get everything together?

I keep having dreams where I arrive forgetting something important.  Or, in one dream, I was set to leave and realized I hadn’t packed anything yet and there were so many things I didn’t even have.

This feeling of unpreparedness sinks in a little deeper now that the time gets closer.   Deep inside sits unsettling questions:

Can I do this?

Am I enough?

Underneath all the to-do lists and practical things I need to do, there is something else a little more sinister: this belief that, simply, I can’t do it.  What was I thinking?  Didn’t I know I’d get scared?  Didn’t I know I’d get overwhelmed?  Silly Lauren.

I’m reevaluating all the reasons I chose to do this in the first place: to get to know who I truly am, the woman I am designed to be.  To be fully myself.  To rid myself of the self-imposed stigmas.

I’ve realized: when we start to remove everything we once used to define us, things get a little confusing.  They get a little messy.  And they start to feel sloppy.  Stripping away all we thought we knew of ourselves, the blank slate stares eerily back at us.

But am I blank slate?

When we get rid of the labels, when we look at those things we thought we knew and say, “You don’t define me anymore,” what are we left with?  We’re left with the realization that underneath all those layers of fear and insecurity and mediocrity is greatness.

We have been given everything pertaining to life and Godliness.  2 Peter 1:3

Do I dare allow those things I’ve kept quiet and hidden finally come to fruition?  Do I dare let go of everything I’ve thought was safe in order to find what is true?

Sometimes, hard struggle is the music to which our hidden beauty is set to dance.  If we are open to it, all the true things will start to catch breath.  They’ll capture a rhythm.  And they will begin to move.

I get to sit with this panic and unpreparedness, this stripping.  Maybe it’s not even a stripping–maybe it is simply an opening.  Through this opening, I release what holds me back and let flow what makes me new.

It is uncomfortable yet it is necessary.

What will I learn of God in this?  What will I learn of myself?

This is release.  This is opening.  This is preparing.

Lord, I am open. 

As I prepare for the unknown, 

as I prepare for the scary, 

I remain open.

I let go. 

I let go of the need for perfection. 

I let go of the need for perfect peace and I accept what is. 

I let go of the need to control and to be fully prepared. 

I let go of fear. 

I let go of insecurity. 

And I stand open to great things. 

I stand open to hard things. 

I stand open to my struggle.

I do not shrink away and try to hide. 

I am open. 

I am open to great quests and little searchings. 

I am open to explosions of wonder. 

I am prepared. 

I have everything I need. 

I let go. 

And I am open. 

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