Reams of paper line my office floor, information that needs to be transformed into a book.
A hopeful life change that looked promising is not happening.
I'm still hoping to find a regular spot to serve in ministry.
We are still in the same house we've been in since we married six years ago, though we've always said we would move.
And instead of filling the house with children, we've filled it with books. (Which kind of are my children, but that's for another post.)
I can no longer say that we're in transition and believe myself because—you guys—we are still in this same space. Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, it feels like we're staring at the same four walls. And so these emotions just spilled out the other day as my husband and I were talking. "I get so tired of trying sometimes," I said, in a moment of brutal honesty. To which he quipped: "In the words of Yoda: Don't try. Do!"
Seriously?!? It was at this point that I wished I had watched Star Wars with my nephew.
I am so glad that God didn't create us to be successful, however you might define the word. He created me to be a reflection of him, to represent his interests of love and justice, to spread the news that Jesus is King and that he has love enough for all of us, every one. And his definition of success doesn't involve large-scale numbers and a bigger house; it doesn't require me to have children (even if I do desire them); it doesn't at all depend on whether I am leading or teaching publicly, using my gifts in a way that is noticed by others.
It hinges only on faithfulness. Showing up. Not trying, but actually doing something.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. -Matthew 25:34-36
As I look back over disappointments even in the last few weeks, the times that shine brightest are these:
- Moving a friend experiencing homelessness into an apartment and witnessing her gratitude for shelter, bologna in the fridge, and a pillow and a blanket so she might sleep on the floor. Hearing that she slept soundly because she finally felt safe. And even more joy: I get to bring an old television with DVD player to her tonight and let her borrow some movies.
- My husband and I visiting someone in the hospital, sharing, caring, and praying over him, for God's help and blessing in his life.
- Sharing an in-depth conversation with a Brazilian student with whom we are trying to teach English. Answering his questions from a place of honesty and generosity, talking with him about the reality of racism and that I long to experience and model reconciliation.
In each and every situation, it felt like we were just showing up. Offering grace. Listening. Being present. Bearing witness to the love of Jesus in us and for us. It is likely the days will come when I will be ministering, writing, speaking and teaching in different ways. But just for today, I'm called to show up where I can and start doing something, anything I can, to inhabit this space. I want to swap trying for trusting and start doing.
Do you feel the same? What would it look like if you stopped trying and started doing something for the Kingdom today? (And...what is your favorite Yoda quote?)