I am in love with the tough times,
inspired by challenges,
by the battles life calls us into,
by the strength to keep stepping,
and the courage to admit
you just don’t know how anymore.
I am inspired by those moments
where what looked like weakness
is suddenly transformed into strength.
I am inspired by the love
that rushes with open arms
to provide a safe place
for those confessions to land.
The love that speaks the truths
you are enough and you are worth it.
The kinds that bolsters our courage,
lends us the battle gear we’ve been missing,
and connects us with the rest of humanity.
Those sacred moments
where vulnerability encounters
pure love and grace
is where God becomes tangible.
It’s where though nothing
in this crazy life makes sense,
somehow, it all makes sense.
The things that matter come into focus
and the rest seems to fall away.
The secret is: the things that matter are hard things.
They ask for a lot of attention to survive,
requiring us to fight for them.
But the beauty of the fight
is that it reminds us just how much heart
and tenacity we each have.
The strength we have,
the courage we have,
the depth of hardships we’re capable of surviving.
And without being asked,
compassion rushes in.
It doesn’t fight the fight for you,
it doesn’t try to rescue you from the pain.
But it puts on a pair of boxing gloves of its own,
wipes the blood off your face,
hands you a bottle of water,
reminds you who you are and what you’re fighting for,
and says,“I’m with you, you can do this.”
And even for the strongest of us,
there is comfort in being reminded
we’re not in the ring alone.
Three different events in three different cities. October, I will reach your end exhausted. I can guarantee it. Over the last couple of years, you & September have been a marathon – one that requires several sprints to get to the finish line.
Yet, I repeat the same marathon every year. I say yes to the same projects knowing when they take place. And I say yes because, in the end, the exhaustion is sweet. It’s an “I’ve poured out absolutely everything I’ve got & I got to do it alongside some of my favorite people on the planet” kind of exhaustion. And so, the memory is always sweet no matter how painful the road is as I’m running, some days unsure I can take another step.
I want to fast forward & slow motion your weeks all at the same time. This year that is particularly true. I am exhausted already & my heart feels pulled in one too many directions.
But, I am resolving to savor you, dear October. Savor the long lasting relationships that are woven through your days. Savor the new relationships waiting to be birthed. Savor the fact that I have a job that takes me traveling this beautiful country. Savor the opportunity to have a small part in creating experiences that will forever mark someone else’s story just as they have mine.
I sometimes wonder how I possibly have the passion to pour so much care into so many different visions. And on some levels I still wonder that. But on other levels I see they’re different missions but a common vision of a world where people are inspired to live fully alive to their life, to their calling, to their own passion and story. And that’s a vision I can support all day long…even when I’m doubled over in pain at mile 23.
On the 24th it will all be over & I’ll be wishing I could relive some of the next 24 days. For now, welcome, October. Let’s do this.
Real life is where you live it. Wherever you’re living this weekend – LIVE!
But my pastor also pointed out something else that hit hard: Jesus let Lazarus die before he raised him. He could have healed from his sickness before he died. But He didn’t. You see, while God is the ultimate healer He is also in the business of restoration. And oftentimes that means death before new life. Resurrection simply cannot occur without death. It’s impossible. (full post here)
Even though the whole idea of death before life is still hard to swallow at times it also still gives me comfort. Comfort in the death knowing that new life is on the other side.
All of the places I wrote about in this post still make me happy. I’d add these to the list…these places inspire me, each in different ways…
walking bridge overlooking downtown Nashville
behind a computer running visuals during worship
high above the clouds
Last Sunday at church we were in John chapter 10 studying the story of the death and eventual resurrection of Lazarus. It’s a story I’ve heard many times…probably too many to count since I was a kid.
But, this time the whole idea of resurrection struck me like never before. My pastor pointed out that Jesus is in the business of bringing dead people to life. And that isn’t restricted to physical death. It clicked for me that over the last year Jesus has raised me from death. From the death of religion & legalism resurrecting me into a life-giving relationship with Him.
I am alive. I feel alive like never before. The grace in that overwhelms me & the joy is often inexpressible.
But my pastor also pointed out something else that hit hard: Jesus let Lazarus die before he raised him. He could have healed from his sickness before he died. But He didn’t. You see, while God is the ultimate healer He is also in the business of restoration. And oftentimes that means death before new life. Resurrection simply cannot occur without death. It’s impossible.
I think oftentimes we want to overlook that fact because we don’t want the pain…we just want the beauty on the other side. But the truth is the beauty is nothing without the pain. I found that realization comforting. Hard to swallow at times, yes. But, a comfort in knowing that after death comes new life and that new life isn’t possible without death.
How have you experienced resurrection lately?