Saturday, January 25, 2014

Radical Obedience ~ 10K Trail Walk in Haiti

I grew up in a family where judging ourselves and each other by ridiculous standards was a sport. A. Sport. I know I am not alone in this...my tribe has taught me that...Bless them. Bless all of us. Growing up is simply...hard.

I saw this photo today on Pinterest as I drank my morning coffee...through a straw. ;) Just kidding. 

My business partner calls me a "pusher" as he jokes that nothing would get done without my pushing...action plans, checklists, and CTAs after every meeting (internal and external). I really resisted that label for the first several months, but he has finally helped me to realize that my pushiness is a positive, if not essential, to our firm...just as his skills are...

Hmmm....

I want to do things.

I want to DO things.

I don't want to judge or talk about all of the things I don't like in this world or in others or especially in myself. Reforming (emphasis on the "ing") self-hater here. I want to talk about all of the things I love. I want to DO something about the things in this world I see that are wrong. I want to make a difference. I want to love. Love. Deeply and dangerously and radically love others. Be a positive oxygen-breather in this exquisite world. 

Dirt floors or majestic skyscrapers. Designer duds or tattered hand-me-downs. Gravel roads or expressways. The beautiful sun rises and sets on both. There is beauty and love in both. There is purpose. There is joy.

I grew up believing I had to achieve and save (money) in order to be safe, loved, protected. I was such a fool. {Shaking My Head}

Two weeks ago I was walking a 10K through the back roads of Haiti. I was unprotected through the majority of it (lost my buddy...whoops), dirty, sweaty, nasty, being greeted by beautiful people and waving and greeting them with "Bonjour" as if in a parade and I was the lead float. These people were joyful, kind, often barefoot as some of them walked alongside me going to work, hoe in hand, children carrying water in buckets bigger than they were....with joy. All with joy. I was a nobody with nothing but snacks and a water pack on me. Just walking through life. Life.

I was safe, loved, and protected in that exquisite, unpredictable setting. {Deep Sigh}

I have had it all wrong. {Deeper Sigh}

I got it wrong. The last year and a half  (two years) have been a radical wake up call. The list of things I "got wrong" have been been growing exponentially...By. The. Day. None more than the list of things I believed (since age 9) I needed in order to be emotionally, physically, and spiritually safe. I am the child of a God with a radical sense of humor. When he is tired of waiting for you (read that as me) to "get it"...well, he wakes up your heart in a...well, radical...way.

As I come out of my post-Haiti fog and sort out the lessons and the joys of my latest trip...this seems to be the overarching theme...God really shook me up from a safety perspective. From the middle of the night drive to Dallas with two strangers (both men) in order to make my flights....to the 10K experience....to conversations....to risking Tacura not remembering me (bless my sweet heart that he did)....to going alone (again) and just dunking myself into the experience. I literally winged this experience...just me and God. 

...and there is the latest lesson...

Will I trust him with my personal safety? Not just emotional, not just my dreams and plans, but my physical safety...My. Life. All that it is...

Tears. {Sigh.}

I want to be around people who DO things. I want to DO things. I want to make a difference and be unsettled and be radical in my love of others...

I have no use or time for gossip, hatred, or simple ugliness towards others (or even towards me)...

I want to be too busy DOING something and LOVING others and SHARING in this wild life to have a second of time for any negative. 

Maybe I am a pusher. Maybe I am a little crazy. Maybe I am in dangerous, unchartered territory for my heart or comfort....

I like it though. I was in heaven walking that 10K. It was as if shackles were falling off. It was dangerous and crazy and beautiful and the hearts were EVERYWHERE. God was EVERYWHERE. 

My favorite song in the church hymnal growing up was one that no one ever wanted to sing...it was on the front cover and I guess it was/is hard...

Hmmm...

The song was about walking with God, in a meadow, and I had it in my head while I walked...because Heather and God had a long walk that day. A long conversation. What did he want me to see? Learn? 

Live. Breathe. Love. 

I have you. Trust me. 

Love others. Let yourself be loved. Deeply. In this new raw, unprotected space I am introducing you to...

Push. Relax. Enjoy.

It came in waves. Waves.

Funny Story....
 
So...I kept getting chills while I walked. It was something like 100+ degrees the day of the race. Every time I got a chill, it cooled me off, and I literally said a blessing each time, thanking God for keeping me cool. Let me remind whoever reads this that I had not trained, never done a 10K....yet here I was walking a Trail 10k in Haiti. Nuts! Gay, our medic for the race, checked in with me on my last stretch, and I told her I was great and how God was keeping me cool. She looked at me sweetly and said, "Ummm. That is not God. That is your body telling you that it is too hot and you need to drink water." Oh if all of you could have seen my face and read my thoughts....because I nodded agreement, but inside I was sure it was God. LOL 😂 

...and that is the lesson...

...in the middle of a digression....

I want to DO. I want to be brave. I want to stretch myself past my comfort zone. Why? 

Radical love and purpose reside there. I want THAT. 

Ask yourself...(I am.)....are you happy?, truly?, living in your comfort zone? Your answer might surprise you.
 
*Follow-up 1/27/14...This just might be the craziest, most rambling post I have ever written. I literally felt like I threw up on my keyboard Saturday morning when I wrote this...and today, three days later, reading it...it quite literally reads as such. *Sigh* So the perfectionist in me is tempted to delete or hide the post, but the Lord is whispering for me to keep it up...trust him with it...trust my readers with it. There is a lot going on in this post, but it is fully representative of the whole "lot going on in" my heart right now. I am searching...as a friend of mine says, "Heather you are searching for your purpose, and we get to watch...and it is wonderful." Well, that is sweet, but it is hard...for me to let everyone watch me grow. Because...like I always say, "Growth SUCKS." No one wants to tell you that when you are reading their books...Brene Brown to Eldredge to the Bible to Lean In....we skirt around the "work" part of growth. *Ugh* So...thank you for loving the posts that read beautifully and for loving me through the posts like this one that read like I am speeding down the hill without brakes. *Yikes* I truly love this tribe of mine...and I grow more and more aware of how blessed I am to have each of you...Every. Day. :))))