I really enjoy where we are living in the DC Metro area. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve looked at Brock and marveled that this is our turf, our playground. It has been such a pleasure to explore DC, which brings me to the realization that we have only been living here for one year. Wow! Time flies when you drop everything and invest your blood, sweat, tears, and finances into a crazy big dream! Believe me, it has been in incredible journey on every level:
incredibly faith filled
With all that “incredible” stuff taking place I have had moments when God has shown up in the midst, speaking my language and ushering me into a place of centeredness.
Because, let’s face it, sometimes it’s really just about God showing up. Like one of those 5 year olds playing soccer, it’s not really about winning so much as the people cheering you on from the sidelines. People showing up, people you love and people you want there whether you win or lose the game. I think that has sustained me over the past year, when God just showed up and spoke to me and I knew he was there with me, win or lose. Which brings me to a couple of stories of God just showing up when I needed him.
As a part of being a healthy human being, I have taken up riding my bike across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The bridge connects Old Town Alexandria, VA with The National Harbor, where we currently live. The path itself is really cool and takes you up and over the bridge to a park area on the Maryland side where you can look down at the traffic (yuck) and the lovely water way. As you continue on the path you run parallel with the car traffic in a divided lane. This path is almost always busy, with people from both sides of the water coming and going.
This reminded me of two things: First, I can trust the leading of God’s Spirit in my life even when it doesn't fit into the nice, neat paradigms I have invented to contain and make sense of my life. Second, I can trust the Holy Spirit to work in other people’s lives even when it looks like they are a little bit, well, crazy. The Spirit might be zig zagging in their lives right now, and who am I to judge that? I have to accept the fact that I am neither the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit.
What I have discovered is that launching out and starting a new ministry has made me desperate for God - which leads me to this - our conference, The Amazing Next, is happening Sept. 23-24 in Oklahoma City. We are so excited, but as you might guess also combating fear and doubt on a daily basis. As the date looms closer, the desperate prayers for peace cry out of one’s soul. I hopped on my bike again to make that stress work for me and to center myself on a particularly windy Saturday as the tropical storm Hermine made her way up along the coast. The winds were anywhere between 15-25 mph, but I needed desperately to burn some rubber. The trip over the bridge toward Alexandria was filled with prayers that sounded something like this, “Oh Jesus! Oh Jesus! Help me Jesus!” That mixed with the tears that flowed freely down my face made me look like one crazy windblown lady on a bike. The wind at my back, I enjoyed the descent into Old Town, then turned to go up the hill and back over the bridge.
Oh. My. Word. The wind was now combative toward me, pelting me, making my ride incredibly difficult. The pent up stress that had aided my ride so far had left me and now it was a mental battle to will my self forward. As I shifted from 2nd into 1st gear, I was tempted to quit, give up, walk it. This is just too hard! I heard myself think. Whoa. Right then is when God showed up. “What’s too hard? This is not too hard. Sometimes you just have to stay the course, woman!” Stay the course. Because life is hard, but you have to stay the course. There will be payoff for your faithfulness, your perseverance even if you cannot see it now.
Our daughter had a discussion in her Psychology class last week about whether or not they would spare their children certain difficulties. For instance, would you take a pill that would eradicate all cancer from your unborn children? The teacher, obviously knowing what a thoughtful and amazing person Dancin is (a little brag there), called on her. Her response was unresolved, she said, “Having pain and difficulty is part of growing up and developing character. Why would you need God if you never suffered or had to walk through hard times? You would never learn to depend on God and I want my children to know what it is like to depend on God.” She is a witness to the life well lived, even in the hard times, and she likes the fruit of that life and where her own suffering has taken her. I love that life has become more gray for her, that it is not a pat answer which satisfies her.
And I love that God meets us where we are, responds when we call out, kicks our butts when we need it, and is palpably with us as we stay the course.