A few months ago, I wrote that God and I are on an adventure. And it was going to be epic. And it is. Oh it is.
I’ve been trying to figure out where to start with this story today. Do I start with my first purchase of TOMS? Or the summer of 2011 with my story of my roommate, of church, and The Book of Eli? Or do I share the visions I’ve seen? Any which way, I go I won’t look normal. But that’s good. Because I keep hearing people I admire speaking truth of how normal isn’t working. So I’ll just keep being weird, thank you very much.
The story is unfolding and I don’t want to miss a stitch of detail.
I’ll begin here in July of 2012. Sunday I walked into church. The warmth and comfort of worshiping freely in surrounding darkness is my favorite. I can be alone in my prayers unaware of how others are worshiping. I felt the inextricable pull to be there. I don’t like doing church alone, but today I knew I needed to be there by myself. And I am positive that nothing – excuses, laziness, no one thing – would have prevented me from being in service on that day.
The sermon was centered around the film We Bought a Zoo. I won’t ever forget that morning. My preacher shared his heart and encouraged us to move past fear, to have insane courage and answer the question of why not?
Those two words had been pin-balling around my head forever. For. Ever.
And I knew the answer to why not? I had known it for a while but with the addition of 20 seconds of insane courage I wrote down snippets of my why not.
There is something beautiful in letting go of my expectations. Something freeing in not considering that poisoning people pleasing side of myself. Something greater than I could ever hope or imagine. The shroud of lies was lifted. The shadows of lights became whole and tangible. And I saw God’s leading. The possibility of what life is to be if only I would choose Him.
That afternoon I sat next to the swimming pool of my childhood home and spoke quietly with my best friend. I shared my why not question and my answer. For months I had known the answers to this question, but I had not verbalized them to anyone. And do you know how my best friend responded? She said, “What can I do to help?”. No questions about a timeline or specifics or whys. That is love doing.
I shared three things.
These three things are what I know and I have to trust the process, trust God and change as needed.
1) School – I finished up my first semester of grad school. I hope to take more classes (of course, we’ll see once final grades are released – fingers crossed, people!). My heart is pulled toward English – always English and literature – and to working on a community college campus.
2) Uganda – Africa is my heart. I didn’t know that for a long, long time. I will be going there – I just don’t know when or how or any of the details – BUT I will travel there and help at one of the mission-minded schools.
3) Rational minimalism and dumping debt like a mofo – Yep, the girl with a library in her house, DVDs and music everywhere is saying yes to less. I have put my house on the market. I am selling out. All these things are weighing me down. I am choosing a different way for myself.
I love the freedom I am experiencing already. Honestly, I am enjoying experiencing the loosening of my heart’s greed toward material possessions. This does not mean I do not buy stuff or deny myself. But I am choosing better. And nicer. And am learning to wait. (Which is so hard to do with a beautiful new apple iMac on the market and I really, really want it.)
All of this – school, Uganda, minimalism – are teaching me more about the process of waiting and preparing than I ever wanted to know.
I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know what the landscape will look like. And for the most part, I love it. I love this adventure. I love not knowing. I am learning the freedom of not being in control – control is just a false sense of security anyway. And I love the fact that in a few years, I will be living debt free and traveling and teaching. I think. But in the end, really all that matters is this is between God and I. He asked and I said yes to this adventure.
Finish Year is a community of people online encouraging one another in January and throughout the year to stay resolved and determined to see our goals lived out. Check it out and join in. Don’t allow past failures, lost opportunities define today as ruined. Make a better choice – one choice at a time. Better choices, better decisions will thrust us forward into 2012 and into our beautiful Stories.