Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Ongoing Journey ~ Am I Enough?

 
I just spent three days in Atlanta at my first Catalyst event. My mind/body/soul are somewhere between physically spent, soul on fire, and mind blown...and not necessarily in that order. It is all blurry now what I saw on Catalyst that made me click on their website, but I said yes. The truth is that I couldn't figure out why in the world that God would want me to go to Catalyst. I say God because I don't make big decisions without God these days, and I always give him the credit when they cross my blind path (as this one had). I am working on looking to him for the small ones too, but that is another blog post....probably.

The truth is that if you look at my calendar NOW for the next eight weeks...the why that God would want me to attend a conference like this is glaringly obvious. What I am reminded of today is that none of this was on my calendar when I said yes back in May/June. None. Of. It. Not co-leading a Haiti trip, not speaking at Captivating Arkansas, not leading a young women's retreat...None. Of. It.

The lesson...and the reminder...God. Knew.

I heard God urge me to ask my friend Sherri (#C7) to go with me. I had no idea if she could, would, if he were calling her too...but I asked, she prayed, and she heard go too. Wow!

Sherri was the perfect, and I do mean perfect...partner for this journey which found me with audible gasps, tears, pulling my hair, rejoicing, praising, singing, skipping, introducing myself to those I admire, watching her do the same, and filling up yet another Moleskine with pages and pages of words I needed to hear...and that I need to share. It was a three day adventure for our souls. It was perfect.

I am sitting here in the Atlanta airport waiting on my flight...delayed, and I am struck by the humanity all around me. The man I ended up at a table with while I grabbed some dinner. He sells refrigeration equipment and solar panels all over Central America including Haiti. We had a fascinating conversation about energy and kwh and nerdy stuff that some days I wish I could forget, but it is all up there now...and it matters. Haitians pay on average over 36 cents/kwh for electricity. By comparison take a look at your electric bill...you pay 6-12 cents/kwh on average. Think. About. It. He was telling me of some other neighboring countries that pay over 40 cents/kwh. I felt ill. He has only been to Haiti once...he sends others on his team....once was enough. My jaw on the table...once! Go back! They need you! I actually said a little of that out loud, but hopefully not with the pleading and urgency that resonated in my heart. I love Haiti. I can't imagine my life not full of going back again and again.

I digress....

One of the final questions asked of the attendees of Catalyst was one they wanted us to ask God, "What do I need to change/give up/do/release in my life in order to be a change agent in my life..in my community?" {No sweat there huh?!?! *Sigh*}

I am sitting here thinking of all I have had taken away from me, given away, walked away from, run away from, changed, corrected, asked for forgiveness for, repented of, lost, changed, done...and yet I sit here knowing it is not enough...it is NOT even the tip of the iceberg of what is going to be asked of me. What is being asked of me. I hear him. I hear HIM. I simply have been ignoring some of the urgings. I was afraid. I am afraid.

What would you do if you were not afraid?
  • Just 15 months ago I would have said no to Haiti, and now Haiti is one of the richest aspects of my life.
  • Speak to a group of girls/women about my three year journey; now I am about to do that for the third and fourth time this calendar year....WHAT?!?!
  • Start a business/be an entrepreneur; now I am about to enter year three and I need stronger seat belts for the rollercoaster.
  • Lead a small group; now I am way beyond that, and it is still terrifying, but one of the best parts of my week...EVERY week.
  • Blog about the journey...here...for anyone to see and read. Yup. *Sigh*
When I write just those out, I am humbled and in tears....partly because each of those listed still scary me nearly Every. Day. I still fight the feelings of inadequacy, skill, knowledge, etc. Am I enough? Am. I. Enough.?

Can I help make the world better? Change the world?

Can I help lead others through some of the same mistakes, failings, pitfalls, sin that I found myself falling prey too and in some case marching into boldly because I was too broken to have the sense God gave a goat? Can I be brave and share those journeys?


Stasi Eldredge posted this photo after I wrote all of the above...and I thought back to two years ago and Captivating in Colorado that first time. Has it really been just two years? It feels like ten. The broken, hot mess, that sped to that mountain top two years ago....I don't even know her anymore....at least not most of her. Thank you Jesus for that.  If someone had told me then that I would someday go to Haiti, or Catalyst, or lead a small group, or downsize my career, my life, or any of the big and small things that God has done in my small life in two years...I would have laughed...OUT. LOUD.
 
Tonight my IF:Local group spoke a whole lot of truth into me that I am struggling both to believe and digest. Somewhere on the back roads of Haiti later this week...their words are going to fully sink in...that I know now.
 
What if what breaks my heart is part of a divine design?
 
What scares me to death? I used to say my life not mattering...now what scares me is going through life knowing that my life ABSOLUTELY DOES MATTER and not doing anything with it. My heart is burdened, yet what am I doing about it? What are any of us doing about the things that break our heart?
 
In Nehemiah, he said, "I am just a cup bearer to a king." Ahhh..."just"....
 
We are all called to do things in our life....change something....in some cases a lot of somethings. I spent a lot of years like a caged animal imprisoned behind walls I helped build to keep everyone at a safe distance from anything going on even a millimeter beneath the surface. I was lonely, unsure, angry, and terrified. What can God do with all of that mess? A. Lot. This afternoon I was reminded that he can do A LOT with all that He has healed, restored, and that he continues to work with me to heal. I am not where I was two/three years ago, but there is still work to do. There will always be work to do.
 
Yesterday I had an encounter with a homeless man...and when I say homeless man, I mean Jesus. He walked up to my rolled-down window stating he did not mean to hurt me that he was hungry. I was never scared or nervous and grateful that I had cash (which I never do) in my coin purse from Catalyst trip. I handed him a twenty. He seemed genuinely stunned, reached in, grabbed both of my dimpled-cheeks in his hands and said, "I love you SO much." eyes twinkling and then walked away. I was sitting in the drive-thru lane at Popeye's mouth wide open.
 
Christine Caine spoke at Catalyst (and by spoke, I mean #killedit) and said sometimes our hearts are right, but our soul is damaged; we lock God out of the places He needs to go in us - the dark, infected places. We have to be willing to embrace the pain of recovery.
 
I have spent the better part of my life with clinched fists. I am done with that. My hands are open, palms up...ready to give and ready to receive...no matter the pain...no matter the risk...no matter the cost. My heart was shattered many times over many years. God has healed me; God heals me still. My soul was wadded up and tossed aside on the side of my life right where I had left it over so many years. God has restored it; God restores it still. What I helped to destroy, God is making whole. No one is more blown away by this than I am, and no one is more grateful.
 
My life has not been picture-perfect. I have not always made good decisions. I have lost more than most in human capital, and most of that I will never be able to recover. I am not meant to go back and re-claim Egypt. The promise land is ahead of me, not behind. It is time for me to face that....there will be no recovering former lands for this girl.
 
Catalyst slayed me, but it was only a precursor for what God is planning for me in just a few days. Haiti always holds fresh lessons and deeper restoration. He has something special planned this time, and I await with hands wide open. I am just a cup bearer...for the King.
 
Tacura & Me, January 2014 {I can't wait to see him!}
...take me deeper than my feet could ever wander...my faith made stronger...in the presence of my Savior. {Oceans by Hillsong United}
 
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)