Saturday, March 25, 2017

For The Love of A Savior

Israel 2016
 
I had this amazing dinner last night with a new friend who I met through a mutual friend that recommended my blog to them....that last fact alone gives me grateful pause. I could not have EVER imagined people reading this thing....much less recommending it to others. So humbled.
 
We had been trying to find a mutual time to meet for coffee or dinner since New Year's Day. So #finally was flashing in our heads last night as we finally fell into our chairs at the restaurant. Nothing to see here - just two busy professional women fighting for ourselves in a world of BUSY.
 
I had just come off another week of ridiculous highs and lows with one low happening 30 minutes before our dinner, and she was headed into storms (literally) post-dinner so we were just a brewing hot mess from the word go. I had to fight all of the things I had just experienced and be fully present at a dinner I had been looking forward to for months. I thought my head was going to explode as all that was running through my head were flashes of me in the ER over the weekend with chest pains. Ridiculous, yet every woman reading this right now is relating to that feeling of let me be present right where I am while also fighting the good fight in your head of what you just walked through and/or what you are about to walk into. Women's minds are INSANE.
 
Our dinner was a lot of Q&A about my journey, parts of our stories, how and why I had made some of my past choices, and what had (and was continuing to) shape me.
 
It was intense.
 
I loved it.
 
I would have loved it better if I had not just had to reprimand two wayward employees which was a mere 30 minutes after learning that I had permanently lost one of my longest and dearest employees. All one day after learning about the dangerous antics of yet another (now former) employee. Entrepreneurship is heartbreaking. I don't know what else to tell you.
 
I digress.
 
I am working on a piece right now entitled "Two Paths Diverged In The Woods....and you took the wrong one. Now What?" - don't judge; it is a working title. LOL
 
The funny thing is....how many of us feel that way TODAY, or have before, or will (again) someday? I would lay odds all of us. Choices are hard. Truly. AND...in a world that tells us that we need to find our passion(s), calling, or simply choose the "right" path, well now we have crossed over to the land of insanity.
 
Speaking of which, this morning I posted that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing again and again expecting different results, and that I was tired of being insane. #word 
 
So...who is with me????
 
It is time to be brave and step forward.
 
So before I dive back into some planning that I have been too busy to do, let me inject some raw honesty into the discussion around paths and callings and thoughts of "is it too late for me"............
 
The road to find your way back to you....to the relationship with God you crave....to old dreams or new dreams.....
 
It takes work.
 
It takes time.
 
You cannot look at my story and be impressed (I would be shocked if you were...first of all) without acknowledging the intense time and work that has occurred over five years. Five! I didn't fall into this place. I clawed my way here. With God. From the initial position of my body flat on the floor with my face pressed up against his feet. All of this...THIS....is the story, the journey, of someone that God is helping to rise up IN HIM. He is able to do that because I am committed to letting go....of every last bit of me - the old agreements with the enemy, the old shame, the mistakes, the sin, the angst (read that as anxiety)...and even more, I am committed that when I fall backwards, I will not wallow, but once again fall at his feet and drink from the fountain of restoration. A fountain only he fills. Only. God.
 
I'm not perfect. I am simply restored in something way bigger than my simple life - Jesus.
 
I can offer a roadmap to you - one that I only see through the rearview mirror because while living it, I surely was oblivious to what was forming. I can share guidelines, books, speakers, conferences, ideas, and the like that have helped me grow this past five years. Of all of it though, nothing has mattered more than the sheer fact that at some point over the last five years, I stopped being mad at God (which was somewhat a lot of blustering due to my intense shame), forgave him, and I fell in love with him. Madly. Deeply. Truly.
 
I don't know what the days and weeks and months and years look like for me...exactly, but what I do know is that if it is not of God, I don't want it. I am also not going to take anymore crap about my convictions, my brain, my dreams, or my emotional intuition. What makes me ME is not happenstance, God did that. He designed me, he gifted me with certain talents and skills, and I can either acknowledge and cultivate them OR deny them. You can be sure there will be no more of the latter. {Side Note: if you see me deny them, slap me silly.}
 
So here is what I have to offer you today. You drowning in the busy. You drowning in unfilled dreams. You drowning in an office full of mean boys/girls trying to create a do-over of their high school years gone wrong. You with the broken heart from the love you knew would never end.
 
Give up.
 
Get on your knees.
 
Lay. It. ALL. Down.
 
Sometimes you have to give up in order to get up.
 
Open your Bible.
 
Open your palms.
 
Enter. In.
 
The only well worth drinking from is the one Jesus made for you. All others will leave you thirsty. I know. I nearly died from thirst.
 
Kim Walker Smith has a new album coming out. There is a song entitled "Throne Room" on it that you can download immediately if you pre-order the album. Let me be clear, download the album. The words will take you out - in the best of ways.
 
I run to the throne room.
I run to the throne room.
 
Next month, I head back to the 2012 catalyst for me, Captivating. God has mapped out a beautiful pit-stop on the way followed by four days of me and him in one of the most beautiful places in the United States. I am trying to not have expectations for the trip and time there, but God keeps opening things up like flowers in the spring so that with each passing day I get a little more giddy about it all. I believe in going back, but not like I once did that was so unhealthy. Touchstones. It is all about the touchstones. In 2012, I landed at Captivating a broken, hot mess unsure of everything. Next month, I return healthier, restored, grateful, dare I say whole......and with deeply rooted anticipation for his promises. His promises. Not mine, not others....His.
 
He goes before me.
 
He stands behind me.
 
The Well.
 
It is time to drink up.

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