He will complete the work He started in me (Philippians 1:6)

So many songs, messages, and verses have tugged at my heart lately, begging me to move forward. Those around me are stepping forward in their relationships, visions, and lives in general. Weddings which spark the beginning of a new life - two paths, two hearts becoming one new and beautiful life. Passion placed in one man's heart which has spread like wildfire through the minds and hearts of those around him. Joy in the eyes of a woman who just last year lost so much. Witnessing the harvest represented in these lives, I can't help but feel stuck, waiting for who knows what. 

I've placed labels on this state: anxiety, unhealed wounds, desert place. And yes, I have experienced each of these. But my feet still refuse to step ahead. My arms are locked at my sides. I stare at this mountain before me, knowing full well that it was just a foothill when I approached it. My doubts and fears have added rock upon rock to this mound. While anxiety, wounds, and a desert time may have left me here, I am certain that they do not hold me to this place now. If I stay here, I won't be scraped, bruised, broken. But if I stay here, I will be a life that fails to keep living. What am I waiting for?

I listened to a preacher just the other day speak about Christ and His disciples (Mark 4:35-40). Jesus had boarded a boat with the twelve and stated that they would cross to the other side of the lake. As they sailed, a storm began to rage. The men were frenzied as water rushed in and winds swayed their vessel. They awoke Jesus, who was sound asleep on a pillow, and begged Him to save their lives. He hushed the wind and waves, as at peace as the men were frenzied. The preacher's purpose in recounting this passage has gripped my heart and refuses to let go: Jesus told His disciples that they going to sail to the other side. Their Creator and Savior told them where they were going. Come wind, come waves, they would reach the other side.

Why am I so afraid then? Yes, I will be tossed, soaked, bruised. I have been before. But each scar is a reminder that I am still here. That Christ's arms have carried me through and will do the same again. My feet can move because He walks beside me. My arms can reach because He is always reaching for me. My fears are just waves which fall silent at His voice. I can climb the mountain because He climbed before me, carrying every fear and failure upon His bloodied back. I can be confident that I will reach the other side.


Jaime V. O'Donnell is currently a full-time college student studying Christian Counseling and a resident of the West Essex area.