Super long ago. That’s when I last blogged. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about. It’s that I’ve lacked the capacity to organize it enough to write it down. That’s what I’ve told myself, anyway.
There are lots of daily details I can give you. Like how Henry
doesn’t cry hardly ever cries anymore when we leave in the morning. How we’ve gotten into a rhythm in our schedule, and life feels manageable in that regard. How Amelia is a little more needy since we’ve come here, and I feel guilty about that. How James and Sam have grown insanely independent since we’ve arrived, and that makes me somewhat nostalgic for the era of “little” that we seem to be exiting. (I know. Someone slap me, and show me a video of myself in the 6, 4, and 2, plus a colicky-newborn stage. Stat.) How I kindly suggested sort of demanded Todd figure out a way we could watch the rest of Season 3 of Downton Abbey. (He did. Woot.)
But until now, I have felt my words were inadequate to tell you what’s going on in the way deeper down places. I was right and wrong. My words probably are somewhat inadequate, but the real reason I haven’t put it down has less to do with inability, and more to do with unwillingness. To put it bluntly, I’m afraid.
A major theme among our team has been learning God’s true character and nature and considering how that plays out in our individual lives and how we serve others. It’s been a time of challenge and revelation. For me, I am working on knowing*(see below) that being created by God gives us inherent value. The intelligence or beauty or competence or personality he gives us doesn’t make us valuable. The fact that He created us does. Period.
[*In Hebrew, the concept of knowing is more than head-knowledge, it’s experiential. So knowing is something you do fully, holistically. You feel it in your bones, so to speak. That’s why I’m working on knowing. It’s a process.]
In terms of how I relate to others, this concept of value plays into how I see them and my ability to even begin to love them. I can’t love others well until I believe that no matter who they are, what they’ve done, God has made them with incredible worth. No ranking system, no “Weeeellll, God still loves you and all, but there are some limitations. I mean, look what you did.” Just immeasurable value. Every person. Bam.
In terms of how the concept of value plays out internally, I have realized my lack of understanding makes me very afraid. One of our trainers this week said, “Fear of making a mistake is the single biggest obstacle to doing big things for God.”
This is the part of the story where I would stop and choke back tears if I were telling you this in person. It rattled me. Our trainer wasn’t talking directly to me, but I knew God was. Complete illumination. I am fearful of making mistakes, because I’m not sure what my value will be to the world and the people around me if I make them.
My fear is rampant. It paralyzes me in many areas of my life. From blogging to motherhood to friendship to exercise to gritty-hard ministry, I look at the risk and think, “Nah, better to not. Wouldn’t want to mess things up.”
So I am renouncing the fear friends. And putting it in its place. Here’s what God has to say via Paul in Colossians 2:15 of the Message Bible:
“He (Christ) stripped all the “spiritual tyrants” in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.” (Emphasis mine)
Fear is my spiritual tyrant. This blog is the street through which I march it in its birthday suit. It’s sham authority has been stripped away by Christ. Amen.
With a whole new beautiful appreciation, I read the words of Isaiah 41:10 again from the Message:
“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear, for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” Even if you fail. Even if you make big, ugly mistakes. Go ahead. I’m here. Nothing changes.
This is the part of the story where you get up to grab me a box of Kleenex so you can avoid my “ugly-cry-face.” (Sorry ’bout that.)
Thanks for coming along on the journey, friends.