Welp. I’m going to be late.
There is no way around it. And shaking my leg so hard that everyone sitting on the same bench as me feels like they’re experiencing an earthquake or pacing back and forth as if I’m prepping for a marathon within a mere 10 ft. space, or any other combination of cold sweats, swear words, or angry glares, will NOT make this bus arrive any sooner.
Yep. I’m going to be late. And I hate, hate, HATE being late. To anything. Ever. Some people are said to arrive late to their own funerals, but me? If there’s a way to avoid a premature death but still arrive early to my own funeral—trust me, I WILL find it.
Where is this bus?! Where is this bus?!?! Where is this bus??! Have I mentioned that I HATE being late?!
There are very few things in this world that I truly HATE. But being utterly and helplessly without any control is one of those few things.
I sat across a table from a sweet soul yesterday and discussed how I could teach middle and high schoolers about just 2 of the Lord’s 10 commandments. I’m going to be honest…although on paper my plans may seem thorough and well thought out, I feel SO incapable of teaching these young souls about idols and worshiping false Gods. I feel as though I am probably the LEAST qualified out of everyone in the room. Look at my life….look at the destruction that has come from my own need for control – making idols out of illness and worshiping the opinions and input of others. I have fallen off the bandwagon more times that I even have fingers (and toes) to count. How on earth could I be the one to adequately and accurately teach these beautiful young people?!
Just last week I sat with 4 amazingly wonderful ladies. One was curled up on the couch with me and the other 3 were perched in chairs crowded around my coffee table. We were armed with homemade pie, ice cream, and popcorn! We each went around the circle and we shared our testimonies. My heart went out to these ladies who, up until that point, I hadn’t realized were so very much like me. One thing I realized throughout our discussions is that we have all been broken—in different ways and in different places, but the cracks remain. Despite the similarities we share, one thing that amazed me was the vast array of different strengths we all possessed. It is our strengths have helped us heal and grow in different ways and they’ve helped us get back up after a fall…or, in my own case, after many falls.
I don’t even know where I’m really going with this (as I’m still waiting on this darn bus!!!)
I DO know that I feel very inadequate and unworthy of being a part of thee beautiful young people’s lives. I feel so honored to be watching them grow this summer and (to the best of my abilities) do life alongside them. I guess what I’m getting at is that we all have different strengths. We have all been broken. At some point, we all struggle with SOMETHING. We weren’t made to do life alone. One thing I’ve already learned from my few short weeks being surrounded by these people is that, where compassion runs rampant forgiveness will flow steadily and grace will reign supreme – that is what God has intended for ALL of us, regardless of our past and regardless of our current realities.
My strengths vary drastically from your strengths just as my weaknesses vary from your weaknesses. But if we all contain different strength within us, think how amazingly strong we would be if we leaned on each other through our very different storms. We may have different weaknesses and different faults but we also have different strengths and different perspectives.
So, I’m going into my weekend and into this teaching opportunity armed with both my own story as well as the truth of God’s grace and love. It won’t be perfect, there will likely be a lot of “uhms” and “welllllll….” but that we’re all learning and we’re all getting through our journeys side by side. After all, just like my sweet small group of ladies have already taught me, when we embrace each other we become stronger in the places where we are individually weak – when we speak up and share our fears, our weaknesses, our sins, we give others the opportunity to be in prayer for us which makes both us and them stronger in our relationships with God.
We weren’t made to walk through life alone. This summer has already taught me so, SO much – Love. Love the people around you. Ask how you can pray for them. Seek Jesus in the little everyday moments. Spread Joy like the fourth of July fireworks. Reach out, despite your own fears and insecurities. You are not the only one to experience the trial you have been through or are currently going through. And if you walk out on that limb and offer up jut a tiny bit of trust and vulnerability, you just might find that you’re surrounded by an abundant supply of people who will love you and embrace you – brokenness and all. I know I have discovered that!
I am thankful for my tribe, for the ones who love me despite my insecurities, inadequacies, failures, fears, and doubts. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn, to study, to receive, to grow, and to teach. I am thankful for the chance to watch these young people grow into disciples for Christ and to go out into the world stronger in their faith and their identity in the Lord. I am thankful for friends near and far and for all the opportunities this summer has already presented me with.
To say that God is good would be a gross understatement. But you get the idea, right? Our God is a magnificent, all encompassing, forgiving, merciful, grace-giving, abounding in love, Savior who accepts us, loves us, and places other people with varying strengths and weaknesses in our own lives to help us grow in way we can’t even realize and imagine.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
“Everybody has a home team: It’s the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people who, near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking when they’re at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.”
― Shauna Niequist
When you finally begin to accept and realize that who you are, right now, in this very moment in time, is more than enough – your world will change. I’m opening myself up to that change, to the unknown, to the scary realization that life won’t always look like MY plan in MY time and it won’t always be done MY way. Praise the Lord for this summer – these experiences, these people, this place. My heart is happy. My laughter is growing louder. My smile is growing wider and becoming more and more authentic.
And you? You are enough. As you are. Right here. Right now. Always. And you are loved – by the people surrounding you, of course, but even more than that – you are loved by a heavenly, all powerful KING who created YOU in His image with a purpose and a plan that can’t even be fathomed or comprehended by our small human minds.
1 Peter 2:9
“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”
P.s. For anyone who was wondering – I DID catch that bus and I arrived a mere 10 minutes late to my appointment. All was well because my doctor was running behind anyways. 🙂