Jordan and I took a trip to Clearwater, Florida tonight. We're here through Saturday - more on that later.
On the plane, though, I got to finally sink my teeth into Jen Hatmaker's "For The Love," which I got for Christmas but haven't yet been able to read. (It also served to distract me from the completely out-of-nowhere anxiety about flying I've developed. ...what? Where did that come from?)
I used to say that God lived in the "Shuffle" setting on my iPod (#throwback), because somehow the right song would always play, time after time, song after song. But now I think God lives in moments like cracking open this book on a day when I tried something major.
When I posted this blog to Facebook this morning, I can't tell you how fast my heart was beating. Not because I thought that anything big would happen - I'm not self-important enough to believe that. But because, as my friend Erin White put it, blogs can often appear to be "an exercise in vanity." I was so worried that people would think, "WE-heh-helllll, someone thinks a lot of themselves, don't they??"
And then I started to get the nicest text messages. And comments on the Facebook post. And people shared the link. (Okay, I made my mom share it, but there were others who did it unprompted, I swear.)
This is not because I am a big deal. This is not because I am an accomplished writer. I am neither of those things.
This is because, when you have cultivated a circle of people who love you even when you are undeserving, they cheer you on when they know you are on the right track.
Jen says it better than I could in "Run Your Race:"
"Maybe you need to invest in your gifts. Take a class. Go to a conference. Sign up for a seminar. ... Say yes to that thing. Stop minimizing what you are good at and throw yourself into it with no apologies. Do you know who will do this for you? No one. You are it. Don't bury that talent, because the only thing that fear yields is one dormant gift in a shallow grave. ...You are good at something for a reason. This isn't fake or a fluke or small."
My initial reaction to writing that into this blog post is, "Yikes, if I include that paragraph, will people think, 'Wow, she sure is tooting her own horn. 'Don't bury that talent?' Okay, diva. Psh. She has a blog. Big deal. Everyone has a blog."
And then, heavyweight Brené Brown brings the "two" in this one-two punch of REALNESS:
"Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It's about courage. In a world where scarcity and shame dominate and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It's even a little dangerous at times. ...But nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, or hurtful as believing that I'm standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen."
More than anything, this blog is an exercise in not in vanity, but in vulnerability. In saying, "I don't think I'm the best, but this is something I have to offer." I think I'm pretty good at writing and I think I'm a pretty good encourager, and those two things combined could provide a moment of not-aloneness for someone else. A moment of community, maybe.
I don't know if that counts as "the world's deep hunger." Maybe only one person's. Maybe only my mom's. But this is my deep gladness, and because of all the people in my corner, I finally had the gumption to share it. I'm not curing cancer - I certainly don't mean this to be overblown - but today, for me, this was a step toward something that scares me and thrills me, all at the same time.