The last five weeks have been full of many emotions. Looking back at March 2015, when I submitted my resignation to Beautiful Gate and requested to leave Lesotho a month early, I could never have imagined the things I have been able to be a part of because of this month of furlough. Things that no one could have imagined when I gave my resignation, other than God. His timing is always the best and I am so glad I followed His footsteps in having this time in Michigan before gearing up for six months of introducing Tyler to the supporting churches, organizations and families of Beautiful Gate Lesotho in the United States and Vancouver, Canada.
The past few weeks there has been a song on the radio that has hit my heart. (For those who know me and have been reading this blog, you know that music always speaks to my soul.) The song is called "If we are Honest" by Francesca Battistelli. The first verse and chorus are...
Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
And everyone has a heart that loves to hide
I am a mess and so are you
We've built wall nobody can get through
Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do
Bring your brokenness and I'll bring mine
'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy's waiting on the other side
If we're honest
My heart has opened to what it means to live in community with other people. My heart has been shown what it means to be "adopted" into a friendship that is family. One where you lay everything out on the table and you can be honest about your fears, your doubts, your joys and those things that you hang on to when you know you should not. These open, honest relationships helped see me through some dark days in Lesotho. I know that this year I didn't blog as much as past years, but that wasn't because of a lack of things to write about. Honestly, it was because of a lack of words to describe the feelings and emotions my heart was going through because of the events that were taken place. I am grateful for the relationships in my life that were able to receive an email full of hardship and find ways to encourage me to keep my eyes on Christ, for strength and perseverance. We all need people who will hear our heart and then walk into the brokenness with us. Not everyone in your life is there to hear the hard, but those that are, are there for a reason. Open up your heart to them and learn how to be honest.
Here is the thing readers, we all have walls in our lives and if we choose to live behind those walls we are not fulling living into the truth and hope of Jesus Christ. We need to step out of those fears and embrace the adventure that the Lord has us on. The road is not easy. The road is hard and has many exits that we can choose to take or not take, but the truth is no matter what path we are on, God is there with us. Also He has placed people there to walk the journey with you. People who will encourage you to be honest with yourself and with them. This encouragement can come in a pat on the back, or an arm around the shoulder or it may come with a hard "get over yourself" conversation. Either way, you know that the conversation is one that you needed to hear.
For example, this weekend I was hanging out with my closest friends spending the day on a boat and beach enjoying the shores of Lake Michigan. Boating is something my family never did growing up, so I will be honest, I was a little nervous. The boat ride was great. I loved every minute of it. I also loved just hanging out on the beach talking with my friends. BUT then the dreaded tubing conversation came up. I did not want to tube at all. I know myself and the word graceful is one I would never use to describe myself, so the thought of being pulled on an inflatable circle behind a boat, never really sounded exciting to me. I imagined myself hitting a wave and flying through the air in very ungraceful positions before slamming into the water and coming up naked. (Yup this is where my mind went. I was literally going to be the butt of everyones jokes.) But my friends were "encouraging" me in their own special way to get over myself and do it. So two of my friends and I got on a three person tube and set off. After about 1 minute I realized that I was so dumb for not doing this before. Thankfully we had a great driver who knew he was not allowed to flip us or he would die (and quite possibly loose his job.) The ride was great! If my friends would not have pushed me, I would have spent the day only on the shore, which was nice, but not as fun as the tube. The tube was full of bumps and there were moments you had to hold on tight and other moments when you could just let go and trust. I saw the tube like my life. Yes there are moments when sitting on the shore is nice, but honestly, it is very safe and God didn't call us into the safe. He called us into the real. He called us to grab some friends and hold on because even though the adventure maybe bumpy, it will be full. Even though it may seem scary, it will contain joy!
And if you do it with friends you are 100% honest with, and they are with you, there will be jokes and you maybe the butt of them, but do not worry, they will still love your butt.