To the many I was unable to tell in person, I apologize…call me when you’re done reading!
<written 01.30.12, published later>
Four years ago, I experienced love at first sight. Not the same kind of love at first sight that one so commonly knows, not the kind that brings me a man with a house and a picket fence and four kids, and Sasha + one more dog (which is okay…one adventure at a time). This love was from and by the Spirit. It was the day I walked into CPC. A sunny November day (I was recovering from a terrible case of sinus infection/tonsilitus–go figure)
FROM A JOURNAL-NOVEMBER 11, 2007:
THIS MORNING I WENT TO WORSHIP (AT CPC). THIS IS IT! GOD’S GOING TO CHANGE MY LIFE HERE. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW BUT I KNEW IT AS SOON AS I WALKED IN. I CAN’T EXPLAIN IT. HIS SPIRIT OVERWHLEMED ME!
MY INTERVIEW IS TOMORROW. I’M SO SCARED THAT I WON’T GET HIRED, ESPECIALLY AFTER HEARING FROM THE SPIRIT SO STRONGLY. ALL I CAN DO IS PRAY I’M WHAT THE KIDS NEED…
…WHO KNOWS IF I’LL EVEN GET HIRED HERE, BUT I CAN’T THANK GOD ENOUGH FOR FINALLY GIVING ME PEACE; FOR GIVING ME A FEELING OF BEING FOUND.
I remember the day vividly. I remember the voice within me speaking the moment I stepped into the foyer, “This is it my dear child, I will change your life here.” That moment, standing in that foyer I was overwhelmed with trust of His love, overwhelmed with peace, with a need to be honest and real with many people who have since become so near and dear to my heart!
Nearly every day of the last four years I’ve stood in that foyer with many feelings. Feelings of contentment. Feelings of joy, of thankfulness, of love, of excitment, of sorrow. In that foyer I’ve experienced tears, frustration, growth, and now forward motion.
In 29 days I will begin my new adventure, no longer as the Director of Middle School Ministry at CPC. For the last seven months I’ve felt God’s calling and leading into the next phase of my life (which I’ll write more about in the days and weeks to follow). The process of which has not been easy, nor has it been one that I was so ready and willing to answer. In the process I’ve disappointed myself but worse, I’ve disappointed people that have trusted and depended on me. I’ve stopped being honest and real. I’ve been struggling with an inexplicable guilt, and that guilt has overtaken me. It’s caused me to stop and think of the detriment my ministry can and will become if I keep living in denial.
This denial has taken me to places that I truly feel one cannot enter unless you are prepared to wrestle with your faith and the voice of God. The anger with the church (aka Christ’s followers, me included) that continually break God’s heart, the impatience with dissatisfaction of those around me, the bitterness that overwhelms me, the realization that I’ve literaly given my life to the church; those feelings were about to win. DISCLAIMER: there is no blame with what I am about to say. These are things that I’ve brought on upon myself. It was thatlast condescending comment by a parent at a meeting, it was the email that was asking for something else, it was the extra responsibility that fell to my plate, another email that no longer contained kind requests but now demanded immediate results in an already “busy” week (busy meaning 3, 12-hr days, back to back). What it really was, was Satan stealing my joy, literally blowing out a flame that had been so fully ignited by passion and love for 12-year-olds for 7 and a half years.
But I woke up last week, and felt God fighting for me harder than He has been over the last few months. I went through today feeling more and more of His peace spoken through the words of my mentors. I heard His wisdom through their lips, and I listened. I took a stand, I was bold, I was brave, and I gave NOTICE! And once again felt His voice within me speaking, “This is it my dear child, I have changed your life here…” only this time He added “and you’ve changed lives here too.”
It was a humbling moment. So humbling that as Rob asked “why the tears, love?” the only words I could get out to respond with were, “because I love you and everyone here, SO MUCH.”
My life has changed here. I’ve fallen in love fifty thousand times over in this place and in the places that CPC has continued to take me to. But then I fell in love one more time as I left the “notice” meeting. I stood in this foyer, the one that prepares me for those next steps. The fearful unknowns, the tearful goodbyes, the excited eagerness, they all await me. And as I stood there, I felt yet another overwhelming sense of the Spirit.
It was His victory in me that took away those feelings of discontentment, of bitterness, but ultimately it was His victory that reignited a flame that allows me to trust the next steps for my kids too; to fully respond to His next call. Tonight, I walked away completely humbled, completly overwhelmed only this time with peace, and a patience to get through the demands of the next four weeks. For once again, I’ve to be found.
I had drinks tonight with one of the most supportive friends, ever. I’m so grateful to have him in my life, to have so strongly felt his prayers as I went through today. And as we texted earlier I couldn’t help but think of this saying “drink to celebrate that you had a good day, not to make a bad one better.” I was a complete, emotional, trainwreck today. I couldn’t help but look forward to my martini to make what was so seeming like a bad day just a little bit better by his company, chocolate creme brulee, and a little hypnotic. But as I drove away from Bonefish, I smiled, hearing his words, “I’m so excited for you, Nic!” because it indeed IS a celebration. I have SO much support, so MUCH love, so many well wishing friends, and a beautiful God that has called me and is guiding me through these next steps that are nothing more than a leap of faith onto a road that no doubt will lead to glory.
OH JESUS, ALIVE IN ME! BREATHE IN ME YOUR LIFE, I CAN FEEL YOU ARE CLOSE NOW. I COULD NEVER HIDE,YOU ARE HERE AND YOU KNOW ME. ALL I NEED IS YOU AND I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU. BREATHE IN MY A LIFE ‘TIL YOUR LOVE OVERTAKES ME. OPEN UP MY EYES, LET ME SEE YOU MORE CLEARLY. FALLING ON MY KNEES TIL I LOVE LIKE YOU LOVE ME, I LOVE YOU! OH, JESUS,ALIVE IN ME!
BONES, HILLSON UNITED