Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on my life. In particular, the season of life I am in. I’ve always seemed to know exactly where I’m supposed to be in life, what I’m supposed to be doing, and what direction I’m heading. Now I’ve come to a crossroads. And although I’m not scared of the what’s next, I’m very cautious when I begin a new journey in my life.
I like to have it all planned out. I like life to be very scheduled. I didn’t used to be this way. I don’t know exactly when I became such a planner/scheduler, but it’s now very hard for me to let go of plans and just let the spontaneous happen. I start to get anxiety just thinking about times when my plans for changed at the drop of a hat. And even in this moment, I am now just giving and letting go. Giving the reigns to my Pilot. And I’m not worried at all.
In 2003 I gave up my professional teaching career to stay home with my sweet baby girl. I didn't give up teaching. I just stopped being paid for it. And in that decision, it was almost like I wandered around lost, for the next 5 years– with my husband - until I stepped back into teaching, only at a different level - Preschool. During that time, we no longer had a church home. We no longer served in a ministry at all – or so we thought. Staying home with Hannah and eventually Cayden became my identity. I never took time for myself. Everything revolved around my children – they were my everything.
I found MOPS – a complete Godsend. An opportunity to connect with other moms and begin serving again. And for several years – 4 to be exact, I served other moms and their children and my God at the same time. I made lifetime friendships and my children now have lifelong friends – in their short lives – they will remain close to all because of an amazing ministry. And yet, something was still missing.
During this time, Stephen and I were both struggling internally and spiritually with what it means to be a Christian. I’ve actually decided that my identity doesn’t lie with that term. I love Jesus. I love him in a way that makes my body tremble when I think about how much I love Him. And yet the term Christian, unfortunately, has so many negative connotations that come along with it. I’ve been there. I’ve heard it. “Christians are hypocrites. Christians are judgmental.” And to be honest, I am a hypocrite. I’m a liar, and even at times, I’m judgmental. I don’t mean to be, but I know it happens.
I also know that I’m covered by His grace. And forgiven. And made clean. And I strive every day to show that same grace and love to those around me. It doesn’t matter where they are in their life. I love them. Believer. Unbeliever. Confused. Lost. I don’t’ care. I love them. And I pray for them. If you’re reading this, I pray for you. Daily. My prayer is that everyone sees and experiences Christ and His love like I experience it. I don’t deserve Christ’s love. But He gives it to me. I don’t deserve His forgiveness, and yet it’s there. And I am so thankful for it. I am who I am because of His grace. And the grace the people in my life give to me. And during this time, the Lord led us to worship with an incredible body, The Well. He allowed me to reconnect with a special friend and so our new journey began.
No matter how hard I try to be, I’m not perfect. I take on too much. I am forgetful. I strive to be perfect in everything and beat myself up when I don’t. I need those reminders that say to give myself some grace.
I’ve been reading several books and spending lots of time in prayer. And I’m ready for whatever the Lord gives me. I want to give Him everything. I am willing to leave it all behind – give it all away – to follow Him. My identity is in Him. I am His child.
And what’s amazing, is that after the worship gathering at The Well today, I finally opened up about my internal struggle with Stephen. And he admitted to me that he’s being convicted in the exact same areas. What is that for both of us? Confirmation. It’s time. We don’t know exactly what that means for either of us 100%, but we do know that we are both right there – ready to glorify Him – together. It feels amazing. It’s so peaceful.