This place of tangible tension between thought and action. We experience the weight and sweat and bones and blood of being human, and all that comes with loving and seeking and weeping and laughing and singing. We are spiritual creatures in a physical world, and our spiritual work is grace. We know the dirt and grime, we know the grit and flush of our earthly bounds. And we know the joy that transcends these bodies, the hope that we lie in wait for, that we move toward with anticipation. Here is where we become brave. May we walk with open hands and expectant hearts.
Last night was a holy night, under the glow of Christmas lights in an empty lounge with two women with deep souls and hearts expanding, stretching, yearning. The Holy Spirit, heavy in the room, heavy on our fingers, filled the space with a palpable tension, his presence thick as honey, clear as cut glass on white snow. My dear friends Shongi and Hanna and I talked until the night drew thin around as and the darkness glowed with a light not unlike moonlight. We cried and prayed, we held hands and my soul shook. We prayed forgiveness, we prayed redemption, we prayed freedom. I closed my eyes and felt my head go dizzy, my blood race and my skin turn electric with goosebumps — and that's what His presence will do. I felt like swimming underwater with green sunlight, I felt like running until the blood rushed to my head as white heat, I felt like singing until the reaches of my throat pulled up empty and raw.
And we prayed, thank you Jesus. You are beautiful. You are beautiful. You are beautiful.
We love you.
It was three AM before we left the white light and warmth of the lounge and retreated to our own rooms, only to meet again in the bathroom, to brush our teeth, wash off tearstained makeup, still and quiet ourselves before bed. Shongi looked at me, held me in her eyes for a moment, write your book, woman. Go. Start a blog. Get it on the internet. Write your words! What are you waiting for?
I thanked her. We hugged. We went to bed. I woke up with the clarity and peace from a deep, restful sleep. Utter replenishment, the holy spirit still singing in my heart, reminding me of Shongi's words rolling through my head. Write. I wrestle with being proud of my gifts (even writing that gives me a quick pause) without that pride becoming selfish glory, but part of agreeing with God is agreeing that what he calls good is good. He gives with purpose, and when our hearts are aligned with his, we are alive to what he is doing in us and through us. Therefore, using our gifts becomes a declaration of his good, his glory, the gospel. We get to partner with God and through who he's called us to be, use our talents for his kingdom...that's an honor and a joy, the fullness of our passions.
So here I am, writing yet again, opening a space that I pray will be holy, that I pray will be a common ground for women (and men) to come and listen and speak and love. I pray that this internet place would hold wonder, would hold hope, would hold life. I pray that this would be nothing about me, but all about what our God does in our human hearts. In my human heart. I pray that this would be about Jesus, about his beauty, about his faithfulness, about his love.
I don't have a set agenda or a timeline, a table of contents or a series plan. My plan is expectancy in all things, that he would reveal himself more and more, deeper and truer. More of you, more of you, more of you, Jesus. I'm in a unique place that I pray I will hold with two open hands, one palm crying thank you, the other saying, be blessed. Newly an adult, newly a college student, newly a Seattle transplant, I don't profess to know many things. I'm learning how little I know, how much I have yet to experience, how wild and vast and beautiful and broken are the depths of this life. But I do know God is good. I believe God is good. And I see this in my life, I've seen this evidently in this last year, in the vast reaches of pain and joy. I've seen his good in the smallest things, in the most mundane minutes, in the most unexpected places. That's what I want to say, sing, write about. That's what this place is for. Those intersections, this grace.
I believe we are deeply loved. I believe that this love is extravagant, abundant, everlasting. I believe that Jesus gives us good gifts because he loves us, because he desires fullness of joy and fullness of life for us. I believe that he sings unique songs over each of us, and that he reveals to us the songs he prays for our names. I believe that the gifts of the spirit are for today. I believe that we are called to redemption. I believe that we are meant to be warriors, lovers, bridge builders, that we are to get our hands dirty and we are to build up people, homes, communities. I believe we are meant to love well. I believe that generosity and gratitude are postures of our hearts that overflow out of genuine trust and absolute surrender, that joy comes from a place of thanksgiving for who God is and what God is doing in this instant here. I believe that God embodies beauty and opens us to his beauty, present in his people and his creation and his presence. I believe that he is continually awakening us to wonder. I believe that our Abba father is a good good good God who rejoices that we are his. I believe that because we are his, we are forgiven, we are free, we are redeemed, we are given the keys to the kingdom, we are called daughters and sons of the living God. I believe that God has given us all creative gifting and passions that we are to go out into the world with, to be fruitful and brave. I believe that if it's not good, it's not the gospel. I believe that all is grace. I believe that our truest identity is that we beloved. I believe that we are called to give and receive this love, to walk in this love, to live and believe this love.
I believe that we are known. I believe that we loved. I believe that we are his.