Coffee Cups on College Envelopes

The cup sits on the white cloud of college envelopes,
envelopes which are much more than just mail to be sifted through.

Each one added to the pile is blaring a message.

Come here; our campus is the most gorgeous! 
Want to travel and discover the world?  Our college is for you!
Big dreams.  Big opportunities.  Schedule a visit and explore your future today.
Some even dare to get flashy.

You've been chosen!  
Your accomplishments really make you stand out from the crowd.
We're proud of you.

Regardless of the marketing scheme, these messages on envelopes manage to stir something deep within.

Each one added to the pile is emitting a whisper.

You are getting close to finishing high school; what are you really going to devote your life to?
The world is a competitive place; do you actually have something to offer?

The whispers swirl within, continually invading deeper spaces.

What if I completely screw up and miss God's plan?
Am I anything special?
Will dreams ever be realized?
What does it even feel like to dream with abandon again?

One touches the core in an immobilizing intimidation:

What if I'm heading in the wrong direction?

Fear is like a cold and thin plastic bag which, placed over our heads, suffocates and confuses, for it lets in enough light and allows vision to be just clear enough that we almost believe what we see is unclouded reality.

Doubt is like a sticky substance thinly coated over fingers which allows us to touch, create, and accomplish but not to the best of our ability as we can never have full contact.

The suffocating view through fear's lens and the hindering doubt entangle so easily.

God, can You be trusted?
Lord, what does total surrender really mean?

As the college envelopes keep coming, I am kept continually reminded of how 
our one existence on this life is.

One chance - 
to heal wounds, to warm hearts, and to fight battles.

One chance - 
to seek God's face while He may be found.

We cannot know the future.  
Sometimes, it seems impossible to even know our next step, at that.
But, we are not the one in charge of this grand story of God's glory,
are we?

A man plans in his heart, but the LORD determines His steps (Proverbs 16:9).

Our Abba has given us not only a light unto our path, but also a lamp unto our feet.
It's far too easy to get caught up in wishing for the light to illuminate our whole path
that we are not content with what's in the lamplight here and now.
No, we may not know every step of our lives, but we do know what is ultimately in the light of our life's journey: to know God and to make Him known.  And, here in the lamplight, there is glory and peace unbounded.  Reaching those with whom our paths coincide with love overflowing,  dancing in our Abba's presence, and doing that which he has for us in
every   step   the   lamplight   reveals   next.

The path may be unlit.
Our own insufficient knowledge and control over our own lives may be frustrating.

But if we are always waiting for complete light, 
we will never learn what it is like to be a wholehearted
of our Savior.

 When we trust our Maker with our lives -
that His plan is greater than any we could create for ourselves,
that his love is deep enough to hold us ever step of the way,
that He is working in wonderful and mysterious ways no matter what we see and feel,
that He will never leave

When we surrender all that we are - 
our dreams,
our hopes,
our fears, doubts, and failures

we.  are.  freed.

Through a trust that shouts - God is good
a surrender that sings - God is greater
even when the whispers are escalating and the way is so, so dark
we.  are. freed.
to discover that there is such joy in the lamplight.
When all we can see is His face,
we learn a beautiful dependence and intimacy with the King;
the only one who will remain no matter where the light leads.

Though our vision may be slight, our God is the author of light.
With our heart in His hands our joy found in surrendering to His plans,
we.  are.  freed.
Though our hearts may bleed,
our hearts can cry
in trust: O Lord, you can have everything;
in surrender: O Lord, I am Yours for anything.

Although the white cloud of envelopes still awaits, of this I can be certain:
If our God is for us, who can be against?

© 2014 Deborah Hope Shining


  1. Everything about this post is right on: the sentiments, the beauty of your words, the truth you've expressed. Way to go, Deborah. Now for the harder part: live what you believe.


I definitely don't want this to be a monologue. What are your thoughts? Questions? Ideas?