My mind woke me up at 4:45 a.m. this morning. My bladder soon followed...so there was nothing else to do than get up, pee, start the coffee, and sit down and start writing....thoughts, to dos, concerns, dreams...and somewhere in all of that the sun came up...which is surprising on multiple counts as Arkansas is currently experiencing monsoon season. ;)
I had an 8:30 a.m. breakfast meeting with a friend (our firms are strategic partners). In fact, his firm was one of the first I knew we would need when launching ours.
The one hour meeting ended up lasting over two, and while the original purpose was business, our personal lives...and ultimately our spiritual walks soon overtook the conversation. It was breathtaking.
I remember a time not so long ago when I could count on fingers how many people I had cried in front of, but those days are long, long gone. I get misty-eyed in business meetings even more than with friends. I spend a great deal of time apologizing for it while simultaneously cursing Brene Brown and her dang vulnerability lessons. :)
So even though to be so raw and trusting and vulnerable with those I love and trust...and especially those I don't (though this morning most certainly falls into the first category), it still leaves me breathless when I take a moment to recognize where I am emotionally in contrast to where I was...just a few short years ago. Breathtaking.
When God takes someone on a journey, he doesn't usually give them directions or a guide. He is a God of mystery...especially when the lesson is radical obedience. Of this...I am most sure.
So...I have this playlist on my iPod titled "Haiti" which I save for songs that moved me on my trips, travels, and/or were sent to me from others to "help" me. Since returning in March from my last trip, I have come across some songs that remind me of challenges I am having in light of Haiti or remind me of Haiti...so I have added them. No other song describes my walk right now better than Sidewalk Prophets' Keep Making Me, and it came to me this morning after my meeting as I felt my head spinning a little...not to mention my heart.
I was one of "those" Christians who thought I had it together...thought I was living a good life...thought I was keeping it between the ditches...thought I was enough. The key in all of those is "I' as I was living in the world of denial that what I did mattered. Silly girl.
I spent a lifetime in the church without a clue what I was doing there.
That sentence takes my breath. It also makes me simply weep. The tears just flow.
For all I am learning, the lessons I have yet to learn...yet to master...are endless, and I guess that is why I hear the words of this song, and I think....fill me up...empty me and fill me up...don't give up on me God....don't lose faith in me...I can do this...but you see, I can't. I. Can't.
I wouldn't take anything for the life that God has me in right now. Sure there are things I dream of, wish for, want, but the lessons....the awakening....the spiritual awakening that I am undergoing is so rich...and even on the tough days...yesterday, this morning...God ever so gently reminds me...and I smile through the exhausted tears.
Some of my #tribe is reading various book recommendations I have made this past few years...and the text messages and e-mails I get from them as they walk their own path are priceless beyond measure. It is a reminder that we are all walking this life together. That is such a sweet reminder for this girl. So tender sweet.
So for all of my #tribe that is struggling with the lessons from the books...vulnerability, radical obedience, trust, bravery, grace, mercy, empathy....keep going, push through, and know that you will survive. It does get better. The lessons matter. The healing from all of those old wounds matters. You are loved, cherished, and known by a God who knows every hair on your head, every sin, every shortcoming....and loves you immensely because he also knows your every gift, your heart, and every single hair on your head. Growth doesn't mean that you stop feeling pain or you stop making mistakes. It means your truth lies in something and someone infinitely bigger and more important than any individual in your life, any mistake, or award won.
Once upon a time I judged myself solely on how others judged me (or my perception of how they did)...today this girl sees herself more and more each day through the eyes of a grace-filled, loving, and strong God. Just him. That, my beautiful loving tribe, is progress.
So to my dear friend and partner-in-crime (so to speak), thank you for the lovely meeting this morning...I hope I didn't do any permanent damage ;)....thank you for giving me the space to be me...all of me...smart, driven, broken, vulnerable, defensive, loving, weepy. More than that, thank you for being a strong man who showed all of those same things. For a moment we achieved business nirvana...just two smart, driven individuals trying to change the world and grow in God. It doesn't get much better than that.
Growth is hard, but it is SO worth it. Let my life...my beautiful, patchwork quilt life be a testament to that.
Please say a special prayer for my two nephews who are on mission trips this week...one in Nicaragua and one in South Texas. Also, my sweet precious niece who at 20 showed such bravery in publicly acknowledging (and there was video to boot) that she wasn't sure she "got it" before, but she did now and wanted to give her life to God and be baptized. She left me breathless. So for this perceived "fearless" aunt...my babies are showing me up teaching me bravery and grace, and I could not be prouder. God has them...and I hope they walk in his truth...his love...and I ask that you pray for them and all of these young ones who are being cast out into the world this summer to learn and be changed...and hopefully to leave a little of themselves along the way too. Bless. Their. Hearts.
"Until you are my one desire, my one true love, my breath, my everything...Lord, please keep making me..."
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)