Ask, Seek, Knock, Live


About a month ago, I was on the phone with my brother as we both drove to work. He wanted my opinion on a slightly crazy idea he had. “I think it would be fun,” I told him, “and I don’t have a problem with it, but I don’t know if it’s the wisest thing to do.”

After a pause, he sighed and answered, “Yeah, Brens, but you and I always do the wisest thing.”

It gets old to live cautious, careful, and practical… always sacrificing the potential high of the moment for the security of the long run. Always striving to do the safest, wisest thing. My brother is tired of it, and so am I. (I’ve been doing it a lot longer than he has.)

Subconsciously, I’ve always believed it’s sinful or rebellious for a woman to really go after what she wants. There are spoken and unspoken rules about this in Christian culture, lines drawn arbitrarily. Pursue that career or opportunity, but if it’s not working out, don’t force it or be a nuisance. Sign up for online dating, but wait for the man to pursue you. In all things, guard your heart, be responsible, “wait on God’s timing,” and remember that you’re not in control of your life.

In recent years I’ve become comfortable taking small risks, but have continued waiting for God to enact large-scale change in my life, to bring the important things to me. I don’t know why I’ve continued to buy this as an empowered, independent woman, but now, on the cusp of 35, I’m finally shaking it off. I’m the strongest and most whole me I’ve ever been, yet I’ve never felt more trapped in my circumstances, helpless to really make anything of my life. Many people close to me will celebrate watershed moments this fall: marriages, new babies, movie premieres. As my planner fills up with events, I’ve realized that while I’m genuinely happy for my loved ones’ joy and achievements, I want more than a permanent supporting role. I’m the Judy Greer of my own life (love you, Judy!), and I can’t tolerate it anymore. I was not put on this earth to be a background player, never getting her own story.

I think I was waiting for permission to take the reins, to start asking, seeking, knocking, and doing. Now I see that I had it all along… that God has been waiting, patiently, for me to be ready to jump.

A friend said recently, “I’m still waiting for things to happen in the proper order.” Turns out, I was doing the same thing. But first I accepted, once and for all, that that ship has sailed. Now it’s time to be my own damn knight. For maybe the first time in my life, I am truly open to any and all possibilities, figuring out what exactly I want, instead of just choosing from the options readily available to me. I’m discovering how much I’m capable of. I want to make my imprint on the universe instead of absorbing everyone else’s. I’m not worried about guarding my heart. My heart has survived a lot, and it can take it. I’m itchy to get into the arena, and I’m not afraid to take some hits. I’m throwing off the cloak of submissive waiting and saying along with Kaylee of Firefly, “HELL WITH THIS. I’M GOING TO LIVE.”

About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister's iced tea. View all posts by Brenda W. →
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Posted in changes, empowerment, one word: alive

13 Responses to Ask, Seek, Knock, Live

  1. Sarah says:

    I want to fist bump you and yell “Hell yes!”

  2. “I’m the strongest and most whole me I’ve ever been, yet I’ve never felt more trapped in my circumstances, helpless to really make anything of my life.” Reading this, I just feel as though we might be twins. Amen and amen.

  3. I love this!!

    I especially love that you quoted Kaylee because I love her and I love that moment.

    I think I’ve spent too many years in a similar situation. Not quite submissive, but definitely not an advocate for myself and my wants and desires. This has had a lot of negative implications for my life that I’m only now starting to discover and undo. But I’m working on it and becoming a stronger, better woman because of it.

  4. Jamie Wright Bagley says:

    This makes me smile big. Your passion is fierce, and you are inspiring. May you have clarity in determining your direction. Pursue it with that fire in your eyes!

  5. Oh man…there is so much I want to say about this. I’m proud of you. I think this happens to a lot of people…but the truth is…it’s all in the way WE see ourselves…and the internal voices in our heads. We get to choose how we define ourselves…and how that internal voice talks to us…and once we realize that…the shift is amazing! I’m still working on it too…but it’s liberating. Especially when I catch and correct myself in the moment. Good luck! I’m cheering you on. :)

  6. Carol says:

    I think there’s a time to be submissive and patient and cautious, sure, but I’m excited that you’re taking this step. You’re taking control of your life, going after what you want. And I think God is happy. We’re put her to bring Him honor, and truly living your life will do that. He doesn’t want us to hide in our houses, scared to take a step without a crystal clear path laid out for us.

  7. I can sympathize with much of what you’re saying. It’s a relief to hear it from someone else! For some reason, I’ve tried to experience the same feelings from the same places, traditions, books, movies…It’s like I was trying to recreate the past or something. Probably because I was afraid to branch off into the unknown. Yet, whenever I’ve tried to create that old feeling – I couldn’t do it. I read this in Under the Tuscan Sun yesterday, “But I keep remembering that anytime I’ve stepped in my own footprints again, I haven’t feel renewed” (15). That resonated with me because it’s true of my life, too.

    Anyway, sorry for the rambling. I’ve stopped by your blog a few times in the last couple of weeks and I will continue to do so, as I think we have a lot in common. Thank you for sharing your heart thoughts!

  8. Pingback: Waiting Bravely | Don't Stop Believing

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