for me, the traveling has finally come to a halt. four months on the field and then eight weeks of traveling to san francisco to missouri to georgia to ohio back to georgia on to hawaii back to georgia and then seventeen hours to south africa and back to georgia again. i was tired. after south africa i kind of crashed. i was sick and jetlagged and just needed to rest for a minute. i’ve only been home a week and a half, but already feel much more alive and recuperated.
in my resting this last week i’ve been sitting at home. a lot. it’s nice to be back in a place that feels familiar and cozy and safe. sleeping in my own bed again. sitting on my own couch. sipping coffee and letting candles burn. my house is empty during the day as my roommates go off to their jobs. i need myself one of those jobs, so i’ve spent a lot of time searching, filling out applications, re-doing my resume (over and over and over), sending emails, waiting for emails. i wait a lot these days. and push refresh on my inbox incessantly.
waiting. hoping. praying.
in my waiting and hoping and praying i’ve had my itunes keeping me company. some of my favorites are about to release a new album. i pre-ordered it because i’ve got enough things to wait on these days. it’s seriously been on repeat for six days. one song in particular is settling on me.
“you’re faithful. you’re faithful. you’re faithful.
and i’m thankful.
goodbye desert. hello promised land.
i’m shaking off the dust of hopelessness.
and i’m starting to believe again.”
one more time, these are the things i’m choosing to say yes to. today, the declarations don’t have me standing on furniture and screaming (although i’m never opposed). instead it’s in the quiet, peaceful, resting place that i can feel the “yes” becoming more and more a part of who i am.
as soon as she walked in she reminded me of my eight year old self.
i was skinny, awkward, unsure and shy. i remember begging my mom to take me to church because in my head somehow it computed that if we went the things at home would somehow calm down. i knew there was peace to be found in such a place, even at such a young age. i was too scared to go off with the other kids and so i would sit with my mom and i would just cry. every week i would sit in the pews at that baptist church with tears streaming down my face.
seventeen years later it was all i could do not to cry during worship two weeks ago. there was much pain in her eyes. a lack of trust that has been built through disappointment and abandonment. there was such a nervous energy and a desperate longing for someone to notice it. i could see the tears welling up in her eyes. she didn’t know it, but the lord was working and moving and tenderizing her little heart. just as he had done to mine. for all of the hard things in her eyes, i mostly saw hope. hope that she doesn’t even know she needs.
for almost an hour all i could hear the lord say was “there is purpose in the in between.” we’re constantly moving from beginnings to endings. and so much of our lives are the in between of something. for me, two saturdays ago, an ending came to something and i saw purpose in such a long in between. there has been purpose in seventeen years of crying in churches. seventeen years of becoming softer, more trusting and less walled up. moving from someone who could barely speak to someone who has had to learn the art of just keeping my mouth shut.
the purpose often looks like a process. in this case, it has looked very long and messy as much of my processes do. but if it got me to the point of seeing her, hugging her, knowing in my spirit that “i get it” then that’s enough. not because it has to be enough but because, for the first time, it really is.
as per usual, there are lots of in betweens happening in my life. i’m in between jobs. in between seasons of my life. in between relationships looking certain ways. i’m somewhere in between being a complete mess and being completely put together. i’m in between having no answers and having it all figured out. in jesus name, i’m somewhere in between being single forever and having found the perfect one.
there’s always an in between of something. probably lots of somethings. but there is purpose in it. and today, that reminder is enough.
how about you? what’s the in between you’re in today?
so, here’s the thing. seven weeks ago i left a group of twenty three people. i’d basically fallen for all of them and was devastated when i had to say goodbye. since returning stateside i’ve been keeping myself busy; traipsing all about. sleeping on couches, in other people’s beds, hotel rooms, and plenty of naps on plenty of planes. tomorrow i’m starting my last big trip (at least a trip that’s planned) to south africa to see my people.
i’m basically beside myself excited.
i’ve been packing and prepping all week long and here’s what i’ve noticed. i think that the lord feels similarly about me as i feel about them.
i was writing notes to them and over and over and over again i just kept writing “i’m proud of you.” and i am. incredibly. so proud of who they are becoming, the ways they are saying “yes” to whatever the lord puts in front of them. i’m proud of how they have fun, how they celebrate each other, how they earnestly pursue the voice of the father.
and because i love them i’ve been running around like a crazy person to get them the stuff they want. starbursts. check. chapstick. done. new underwear because, let’s be honest, six months of hand washing them suckers….. but it doesn’t feel like a hassle to bless them. i’ll spend all of the time and money i have because they’re worth it.
and, i don’t know. maybe my sentiments are just extra strong these days. but its been such a good picture this week of how the lord thinks of me. he’s proud. even in the mess and the brokenness and the having nothing figured out…he’s delighted. and he’s happy to give me the things i ask for, just because i ask. i don’t do anything to earn them. i’m just worth it because he says so. he’s happy to bless me.
so, that’s it. nothing incredibly profound for you today. just a simple reminder. he sees. he knows. he’s proud of you. he’s happy to bless you.
with that, i’m hopping back across the pond.