I have a lot to write about. Picking a topic and attempting clarity and wittiness is usually the hard part. I've had this jumble of thoughts stewing in my brain and heart for a few days now. I know this isn't the blog I promised to write next, but my heart still needs to process more before tackling that one.
Several BIG themes keep surfacing in my life. The first is I am not the same person as I was last year. This is a very good thing. None of us are really. But for myself, I've experienced more emotional, mental, psychological and spiritual growth in the last year than at any point I can remember in my life. The road trip started a journey in my heart forcing me to deal with my past regrets and all the lies I have bought into over the years about my worth and my future. One can't believe in a good future without hope. That is one reason I am becoming so passionate about rescuing children trapped in the sex trafficking trade all across the world- because if hopelessness has a face, these victims carry it. But I will speak more on that another day. I didn't have much hope last June. I had busyness, denial and depression that froze my blood and body into inaction a lot of the time. And I had really bad music. Not immorally bad, just lyrical and melodic crap. If you've ever sat through an entire Twilight Saga soundtrack, you know exactly what I mean. Except for the Muse of course. :)
The road trip taught me most of all I am brave, competent and can accomplish more than I ever imagined. It was not in the driving I learned I was brave, although driving half cross country four times in six weeks builds nettle. The details and the unexpected are what brought out my courage. I was in charge of keeping my girls and my best friend safe, fed, sheltered and going in the right direction over 100 driven hours of road, swamp, river, plain and mountain.
Last fall was the toughest part of this journey. I prayed for God to move in a situation and He did, ripping out deep, twisting roots of lies that were suffocating my heart and sucking the life out of my purpose. It was the best for me, and sharp as a razor to my heart at the same time. But it brought peace, joy and deep contentment like I've never experienced my whole life.
Each month since then has brought challenge and opportunity for growth. I could have opted out, choosing the easy path over the uncomfortable unknown. And I few times I did. But I usually stepped up to the plate. It is a wonderful and rewarding feeling to find accomplishment in the new, even falling down is more exhilarating than painful because at least you stepped out.
So where did all of this journeying and stepping up and out lead to?
Well, for the first time in my entire life I can say I like me. I like me a lot. :) I do not say that in an arrogant way, but with a healthy and grateful tenor. I no longer feel inadequate, although I will always have moments of feeling inadequate for a task. We all will. I believe THEN is the beautiful moment it becomes clear we need somthing bigger than ourselves to accomplish our destined tasks on this Earth. But I am no longer "not enough"- that lie which defined so much of my existence does not control me anymore. (Can I get an AMEN here anyone?)
Was this all about me and patting myself on the back? I hope it doesn't sound like that. The key component in all of this growth was God churning up the soil of my heart- through risk, challenge, disipline- so He could tell me who I am. Because He made me- he gave me all that is inside of me. Others may have formed my opinions and assigned me worth according to their standards, but it is God who formed all the uniqueness that is me.
When you know who you are, your purpose becomes simple. People can't take it away anymore. And though the future is a big, glorious wide open adventure with danger, pain and joy around every corner, you know the direction to walk in.
I want to encourage you in your journey today. Step out, do the hard thing, and risk your heart for something bigger than yourself. Or if you are smack in the middle of an overwhelming storm, I lift you up to the God who is bigger than the storm. I pray peace.
Thank you for reading.