Have you ever watched a struggling team, clearly the underdog, win a championship game? Have you ever known someone, who despite enormous opposition, now living a colorful, dynamic life? What is it inside of us human beings that is always cheering for the less favored, the less talented?
There's something fascinating about the thrill of seeing someone who seems to have no strength left reach deep down, tap into a supernatural courage and overcome all odds, and expectation. It's the sweet taste of redemption. Redeeming time of hardship and long hours of training or struggle.
In efforts not to over dramatize, let me put this in perspective. I can't say that I have recently broken any world records, or found a miracle solution for providing clean water for the whole world. However I have experienced something extraordinary these past months. I have witnessed first hand, for the first time, God's redemptive power in my life. It all started with losing control. The striving ceased. Anxiety lessened. Trust (faith) increased as I sat back and walked through open doors instead of trying to bust 'em down myself.
It's like my life has shifted from a first person, to third person perspective. I am not writing my own story. The pen is not in my hand anymore. Instead, the pen is in God's hand, and I am able to sit back and read. What I've noticed is that my life has been marked with a strange peace, unending joy, and giddy excitement. I savor every sentence, yet I can't wait to "turn the page" to see what the next chapter holds.
This summer has been the best thus far, by far! I am thankful for my family. I will never be able to repay them for their loyal support and loyal love. I am thankful for my friends. I have connected with some of the most passionate people this summer, specifically at Substance Church and been continually challenged and encouraged. I wish I could thank EACH of you in this note for your friendship and the unique joy you bring. If you're reading this, you are precious to me. Know that.
This summer has been marked with random excursions, blissful conversations, summer night shenanigans, great food, and beautiful people. Literally too good to be true. But it is true!
Let me take a moment to say this as well: I know that this hasn't been every one's experience these past months. May I have the privilege of empathizing with you? Because that underdog, the "least likely to succeed"...that was me. The past 3 years especially, has been an up and down internal struggle that manifested in several different ways. I thought the dreams I had were simply too extravagant, the odds were stacked WAY against me. I know me. I know what I do...what I've done. The thought of being someone great, or rather used by someone GREAT, seemed impossible. But the tears, the depression, the sweat, and ultimately God's faithfulness has granted me the "win".
I am the weakest link that has become the strongest. I am the loser that has just won the greatest prize. I wear the championship ring proudly and loudly. That ring holds a purpose and meaning for life. The hope of things to come, the strength, the Grace TO DO. Who knows that God loves when the odds are stacked highly against us in order that He may take them and show off His magnificent power??
The ironic thing is, this is all spurred by allowing myself to read my story verses trying to write it. Life is no longer a "strive-fest" but a "rest-fest". A rest in the One who gives me and leads me each step which has been planned out perfectly beginning to end. I know I will "side step" the plan occasionally, but no matter how many steps I get from the Path, it's always just one step to get back on track.
So it's far well for now from my home in Minnesota, for the final year in my home in Alabama. It seems like it'd be hard to leave in spite of such a wonderful time. But there is much to learn, much to do, much yet to be revealed. I am so excited to continue to share this journey with you Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. I pray that your time of redemption comes soon, because if you're not already wearing it, there is a championship for you to wear. I guarantee it's a big, blingy, and perfectly sized ring just for you. Also, that you would take heart during the process.
"Let us fix our eyes of Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Live full, do good, and keep in touch.