Thanks to all these superhero movies of late, I’ve spent a lot of time the past couple of weeks thinking about those scenes where the hero suddenly discovers who they are.
I. love. these. moments.
Captain Marvel’s whole story line is about her identity being suppressed by those who truly know who she is – how powerful she is. She is held back by their lies over her identity – but when she discovers what she carries, she realizes why they were so scared. Her hands light up and she can single-handedly take out an entire enemy army. Chick can breathe in space and barrel through spaceships. No wonder those who were against her fought to keep her believing lies about herself.
As an audience member you relish the buildup to that moment of awakening. You know the hero is more than they believe and you know everything will change when they figure it out. And, even more thrilling is you know victory is already theirs – somehow, someway – it’s just a matter of how they get there.
And maybe, just maybe ya’ll – our stories aren’t so different.
Everything is waiting for us to wake up and believe who we were created to be. The entire cosmos is sitting on the edge of its seat waiting for our moments of awakening.
The past several months have come with their challenges. I’ve shared a little bit about them before. I’ve been asking God a lot of questions in this season –Do I go back to safer ground? Back to how life used to be? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? Did I screw up?
I think of the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land groaning – wanting to go back to Egypt because at least they knew how the food would be provided. They’d seen God do so much, and yet the life of full trust – full abandon was hard to swallow. I wish I could say I’m such a Joshua, but honestly I’d probably been murmuring with the multitudes. Safety feels – well, safe. Risk can be hard on the heart and mind. And faith always requires risk.
I asked God a couple of weeks ago about a potential job offer. An invitation had been extended – it would require relocation and major life change – but I wouldn’t have to wonder how my bills would get paid for a while. And all it would take would be returning to a rhythm of life from a previous season. So, I asked God, with my tired-how-much-further-do-we-have-to-go-up-this-mountain-face:
Do I do this?
His response, “Sara, I want you to be free.”
Don’t you just love the way God answers questions?
I began in that moment to see a picture of myself in wide-open land. The sky was overcast and I was kneeling down, like someone lost in the desert. I knew instinctively this was the Promised Land. I knew also, I was right where I was supposed to be. And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, this place was filled with giants.
I was surrounded.
I knew I had two choices: I could leave and feel the freedom that comes from creating distance between me and my fears or I could stay and discover, like some superhero, who I really am – and who God really is in me – and perhaps this was the freedom I most wanted and God most wanted for me.
I think that 99% of my giants boil down to mindsets – lies that have taken up residence in my mind. It’s hard to feel free when there are giants in the land – so when God told me his desire was for me to experience freedom, I began to ask – how do I take down the giants?
About that time I was listening to the song Raise a Hallelujah, where the lyrics say, “my weapon is a melody.” I began to think of the power of praise – of gratitude – of thanksgiving to reset my mind on God and the power of prayer and scripture to remind me who He is.
In grand cinemagraphic fashion I could picture myself – my bruised, war-torn, weary self, standing up before the giants in that desert. I imagined if all I had were whispers, I’d start there, simply giving thanks for how beautiful the land was, how grateful I was for the One who stood with me and led me there, for the promises that would unfold in this very place – and I would look straight into the eyes of every giant and thank them for coming to the place of my great awakening.
Because this is where I discover how big and free I am.
On the inside.