I thought about starting an entirely new blog to blog about all of my new life happenings and whatnot, but then I realized quickly that this blog has been my outlet for so long, so it’s going to stay, at least for a little while longer.
I humbly apologize for not writing sooner, it’s been far too long. Occasionally I have an “ah-ha” moment and I’ll start a draft, but then it never gets published because I usually second guess myself. I’ll keep the number of drafts in my post log to myself haha.
That said, wow. It’s October and life is just really flying by (no pun intended). I’m sitting in the Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle in their main terminal. If you’ve been here, you know what I’m talking about. The huge glass windows that make you feel like you’re in a Disneyland ride as you watch the planes take off right before your eyes, and the rows of rocking chairs that are all aligned perfectly with slightly worn coffee tables as a partner. As I watch every plane back out of its terminal and another take its place, I’m reminded that God doesn’t expect us to live life stagnant. He doesn’t call us to be in one place, waiting for Him to simply take your hand and take you somewhere. Some of you might read that and be like, “Wow she’s a real kook.” But I mean it! God calls us to knock down doors sometimes. He’ll lead and His will be done, but sometimes you have to be bold and take that huge leap WAAAAAY out of your comfort zone in order to fully saturate yourself with the truth that God can’t use you if you’re not willing.
So, some of you might be wondering what I’m doing sitting in one of those cracked oak (I’m not an expert with lumber but it looks like it) rocking chairs. And truth be told, I have three folded boarding passes all signifying a one way ticket to a place I’ve never been. Not heaven. (I mean, that’ll come soon though too). With a one way ticket to San Luis Obispo, California, I take a huge deep breath (full of nerves I might add), and KNOW with my whole heart that I’m jumping into a path unknown to me. Mike Larson and his wife Rachel have completely blessed me with the total honor of living with them.
I never really fully knew (and still don’t know) what this year would hold. I’ve really taken it as it has come and totally lifted my hands to God and said, “use me however you will.” Every single day, in my doubts and anxiety and worry and fear of the unknown, I whisper the words, “Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.” Life’s not about living in the safety of our own personal nets and bubbles. IF we did that, we would be totally MISSING out on the greatest adventure of all time, letting God lead! I say that out of a fear of the unknown, but God calls us out upon the water.
Since I’ve sat down with my brown fuzzy blanket that I take EVERYWHERE with me and my jack-o-lantern orange carry on bag (I’m all about visibility), lines of more and more planes, Delta, Korean Air Cargo, Virgin America have lined up along the runway waiting their turn to take off.
You and I are just like those planes. Sometimes God calls us to wait a little while before He leads us to the runway to take off to where He calls us to next. That time of waiting is so unnerving. Of not knowing what’s next. And then when our little single engine two seater plane hits the empty runway, powered up to lift upward into the lingering early morning fog, we know. We know the unknown. And the unknown can be weary, it can be lonely, it can be scary, and we can waste minute after minute worrying about it. The other day, in between my unpacking and repacking and worry and doubts, I read a simple quote, “Anxiety doesn’t drain tomorrow of its troubles…but rather, drains today of its strengths.”
Sometimes, ok, all the time, I’m an over analyzer and spend more time over thinking than I do praying. And lifting off from my little comfort zone, small town soul, I’m absolutely free. Yesterday, spending my last day in Washington for awhile, I did just that. My most favorite way to “clear my head” and get away is to be on top of the world. I love to be up above the world and watch life whistle by below me. I went to the tippy top of a mountain so I could stand on a rickety picnic table made of giant logs and outstretch my arms to breathe in the crystal clear, crisp air and say, “Let’s fly.” All too soon that moment washed away and now here I am, watching plans fly before my eyes and I sit waiting, waiting for my turn.
Life’s an adventure. And every day I pray that I would ingest the present before looking forward to the next course. That I would enjoy the here and now before wondering what tomorrow brings. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” What a gift. Before our very first breath, He knew this moment right here, would come. He prepared me for this place. He prepared you for the conversations you’ll have today, for the encounters and adventures today holds, He has been preparing you.
Earlier this year, I received the news that a very dear friend and teacher of mine who first believed in me and my photography and design before I even knew I loved it, had brain cancer. It was the most devastating, head shaking, heart doubting news I’ve had to swallow. To know that a man who invested time, sweet, precious time in ME, was dying, just wasn’t fair. It just wasn’t. I could swallow the idea of God taking someone from this life who was SO influential and so effective for the Kingdom. I just simple didn’t understand and couldn’t. And the days wore on and I attended class and it was another day he wasn’t there. I sat and waited for Mr. Z to walk back through the doors with his prized jar of Almond Roca and tell us stories of how many times he had watched the Matrix and could quote every scene. But that day never came. And this summer, I got the call that He had RUN into the Kingdom with open arms. The tears flowed for so long and even still I don’t think I’ve really accepted that he’s not walking here on earth every day. I just haven’t seen him in awhile, so I just have it in my mind he’s still driving his navy blue Volvo around town with his earbuds in listening to Florence and the Machine. But he’s not. He’s totally dancing with Jesus. About two weeks before I got the news he was sick, he called me into his small but neatly organized office and sat us down. First he described to me why Almond Roca was his favorite and he never shared it with anyone, and then I remember him looking out his window and saying, “No matter what happens in life, keep your eyes fixed on the great Artist and whatever you do, worship Him.” And then without batting an eye, he pulled out an Olympus film camera in a fitted leather case with a worn manual and said, “I want you to make this camera sing.” And in the moment, I didn’t know he was sick, but that was the very last day I saw him. And that was the sweetest gift I could have ever received. To know he believed in me, he encouraged me, he told me to always look to Jesus. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think about him and the incredible gift he was.
Every day we were with him he reminded me that I was chosen. And on the day of his service, his favorite verse appeared on the screen, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may DECLARE the praises of him who CALLED you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” // 1 peter 2:9-10
That verse holds the greatest truth, that we have not only been CHOSEN by God, but we are ROYAL with Him. And not only that, Christ declares us SPECIAL, and then he CALLS us to step out of darkness and embrace His marvelous light.
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be one of the toughest steps you make. Once you do it, and fully surrender to knowing there isn’t a step you will make in your worn tennis shoes where He won’t be holding your hand. There won’t be a blink of an eye where He’s not watching over you. There won’t be a swallow of food where He won’t continue to nourish you with the greatest enrichment. There won’t be a breath you take where He’s not refilling your lungs with truth.
As you step into today, this crisp Tuesday morning, a balmy, foggy 37 degrees, I encourage you to jump. And not just jump, but outstretch you arms and fly. You never know until you try. (That rhymed, unintentional.)
Let him lead you completely into the unknown, so you can get above the fog and see that crystal clear picture of who God is, the every-morning-new-mercy sunrise. He doesn’t promise a turbulent free flight, but He does promise a perfect landing in His holy presence.
the writer who used to live in a box. ;)