It was on the corner of 52nd and 8th that I wept.
I wept helplessly over lukewarm coffee and dry chocolate cake, in an uncomfortable green leather booth, at one of the only Manhattan diners that seemed to be open that late at night.
Just hours before, my husband had been offered his dream job in New York City. And after high fiving each other in the elevator on the way out of the office, it didn’t take long for reality to set in. Just 2 floors down to be exact!
We would be moving to Manhattan in just 5 weeks…
5 weeks to say our goodbyes to the people who we loved (and who knew nothing about our intentions of leaving)… 5 weeks to sell our house, our two cars, and nearly all our possessions as we would be moving from a 4-bedroom house in suburbia to a 1-bedroom in crazy town… And 5 weeks to – somehow – get in touch with the super-human mojo I would need to go from the small town girl I’ve always been, to the hardcore rough and tumble Manhattan mom that I would need to become in order to survive.
If those diner walls could talk, they would tell of a girl who shed an innumerable amount of tears that night. Each with an excuse as to why…
There I sat for hours, weeping into my dessert (which was my husband’s sweet – but failed – attempt at calming my anxiousness)!
My husband had always been the one with notable strength and the ability to persevere under the most challenging of circumstances. I, however, was much more qualified in things like ‘quitting’ and chugging water. The expanse of the city had him giddy with excitement, while the very same thing had me cowering in fear!
I was focused on the money we didn’t have… the hopeless housing market we were currently in… the timeline that seemed impossible… and the street smarts that I was desperately lacking…
Somehow he managed to see it as an opportunity for God to show up.
One thing was clear, God would HAVE to show up! And in my weakness, I didn’t know if He would.
And so I cried all night long. Like, seriously!
The next morning, on the plane ride home, with bloodshot eyes and only 2 hours of sleep (you know, because I was far too busy crying to sleep!) I found this verse.
“Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night.” – Numbers 14:1
This weeping ‘community’ was the Israelites, and by the looks of it I had a lot in common with them!
I needed to know more about these people! So I flipped through page after page to learn more.
What I found was that on many occasions God had ‘shown up’ for the Israelites in much the same way that I needed God to show up for me. He had saved them from a life of slavery, He had done the impossible and parted the Red Sea on their behalf to protect them from the wrath of Pharaoh, and He had never failed to provide for each of their daily needs up to this point.
Not only that, but the Lord had big plans for the Israelites! With every day that passed, He was leading them closer and closer to the Promised Land – the life He had so intricately designed for each of them.
So why is it that they were crying?
Because there were giants up ahead!
Upon scoping out the area, they found that there were giants roaming the land and standing directly in the way of what the Lord wanted for them. And so, being that the Israelites were paralyzed in fear, they wept into the night.
In Deuteronomy 1:29-30 the Israelites were addressed,
“Don’t be shocked or afraid of them! The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.” [Just as He had done before!]
But instead of resting in this truth, the Israelites chose to allow their fear to consume them! They ultimately refused to trust the Lord and acknowledge how He had provided for their every need in the past, and in the end because of that, few ever got to see the life the Lord had for them come to fruition!
And it was then that I realized, that I too, can be an Israelite…
So that day, at an altitude of 30,000 feet (give or take a few thousand feet), I made the decision to embrace the life the Lord had laid out for me and to trust that He is bigger than the giants that were standing in my way! I brought to Him all the fears that were looming, the needs that couldn’t possibly be met, and the magnitude of the changes that were directly up ahead – all of MY giants – and chose to lay each one of them at His feet and praise Him! Not because of what I knew He was going to do, but because of what He had never failed to do for me in the past!
I chose to trust Him, even if it meant moving to New York City…
Joyce Meyer put it well when she said, “Feeling fear is simply the temptation to run and hide from what we should face and confront.” And as I stood on the street this last week peering into the same diner booth that I sat in just 10 months ago – watching the waiters bustling and patrons conversing around the very same booth that I once
sat in wept in – I couldn’t help but wonder what my life would look like today. What if, in that very moment, I would have chosen to run and hide from what I knew very well the Lord was asking me to courageously confront? Where would I be if I hadn’t given God the opportunity to provide the solution for every excuse… every fear… and every tear that had grazed my cheek that night?
I realized even more, that the pivotal decision I struggled to make in the diner that night, is the same one we are faced with every single day of our lives!
Are we going to trust God? Or are we going to quit?
Are we going to look to His strength, or rely on the inadequacy of the person staring back at us in the mirror?
Are we going to embrace the life the Lord has designed for us, or try to pave an easier way and risk the chance of never knowing what He had so perfectly planned on our behalf?
The truth is, it will only be a matter of time until our excitement is met with giants up ahead…
And when it happens, let’s weep. Let’s shamelessly let it all out because we have never in our lives been so terrified! But once there are no more tears to be shed, let’s bravely stand to our feet so that we can see – maybe even for the very first time – where life would take us if we let our faith in God be stronger than our fears!
And in the event that we lose sight of this truth (because I know, I so often will…)
You can meet me on the corner of 52nd and 8th.
You bring the tissues,
I’ll be the one with the chocolate cake.