First of all, I must give you something immediately, because a thing this good cannot be hoarded. Plus, you can click on it, and enjoy it while you read, and make all your co-workers wonder how you got this awesome.
You’re so welcome. (Thank you Lindsay Littrell for this gem.)
Speaking of my friend Lindsay, this one time, she called me and asked how I was doing at a really horrible time in my life. So, of course, I lied, “Fine! How are you?” all extra cheery and obviously fake and so she showed up at my apartment in Hollywood, knocked on my door, and I fell down sobbing because I couldn’t believe someone cared that much. And she just laid down in the floor with me and cried too. And listened, and shared, and opened my heart up to a deeper relationship. And then we probably ate Little Caesar’s $5 pizza and drank some Two Buck Chuck, because that is all we could afford at the time.
Presence is powerful.
Presence provides comfort, care, and a sense of security. It’s choosing to sit down with someone in the middle of his or her journey, and say, “I’m here. I am not trying to fix you, heal you, save you or correct you.” There’s humility in presence. We usually don’t have the answer to life’s problems, and we don’t have to act like we do, we can just show up and be with people, and them with us, as we process life. We look to God for His help, because there is only one Savior, and we are not Him.
We’re all just walking each other home to Jesus.
Sometimes I’m great at being present; other times, I’m like, “Sister, can you repeat that?” because A) My brain is on my toddler who potentially is on the edge of hurting himself in the 5 seconds I was listening to you B) I was thinking of myself C) I was thinking of how to respond D) I have no idea what to say and that just feels so inadequate E) I only have one more hour left in nap time F) Please see A, B or E.
Still, the strongest commitment I’ve made to God, myself and others, is to be present, focused on the moment I’m in, giving myself, not to the past or to the future, but to the present. It requires all of me; instead of compartments and pieces, I enter a space with my whole self, no masking and no pretending. For me, that mostly means giving up my anxiety, that self-inflicted, internal pressure on the soul that fills me with tension, that robs me of sharing in the moment. I used to self-harm, and while I’ve been free of that for over a decade, I wonder if the torment I tolerate is a more subtle way to repeat that old habit. Worry is quite addicting, and I want to lean towards a no tolerance policy.
This week, I’ve really struggled. (Yes, I know it’s only Tuesday.) We’re in the middle of a move; we’ve sold our home; we’re processing goodbye; we’re embracing the new. It’s all a bit wonderful and overwhelming and terrifying.
I no longer have a desk, since I work from home, so picture me in the bathroom, hiding from my toddler, from life, actually. My friends keep bailing me out, thank God.
I’ll share more about our move next time, but for now, know that I am thinking of you, of the load you might be carrying, of the relationships in your life that might be transitioning, of the pain in your heart, of the joy that exists simultaneously. I’m thinking of our processes and friend, I want to remind you that you’re significant, and what you’ve gone through matters, and you’re basically the hottest walking miracle anyone’s ever seen. Ever. And I suggest a 90’s dance party immediately to reinforce this truth. (With or without others. You go girl.) You can do this moment. There’s grace on you, love around you, and purpose in you.
I pray peace pour out like rain in every area of your life. I pray you will have the courage to resist the mental anguish that comes when we resist fully living where we are right now. I pray we wake each day, and show up for ourselves, and for others. And I pray that love will continue to defeat fear, as we do so.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:6-9 NIV
One more gift: https://youtu.be/Rzn2inZ3URE