I feel, and I feel deeply. I imagine that’s why I was so worried about going on this trip to begin with. You see, I am a shy, introverted person who not only feels deeply but hurts deeply too. I knew that my crazy busy life kept me from being involved in all things Facebook, GroupMe, Text, email and what have you, so the anxiety surrounding this weekend was already high enough. The number of times that I nearly cancelled the trip easily climbed into the double digits but yet I kept moving forward.
In March when I was selected (at random) to be a part of the launch team for a book that you all know I have talked about until I am blue in the face, I never imagined that it would turn into this. We were all invited to join other launch team members at the authors house! To make things even crazier I ended up getting invited to stay in the planning house (although I think I did more praying over things than planning) with 19 other women from all over the country. If you know me, you know that’s an almost paralyzing situation for me to be in.
Thursday morning came, 3am to be exact and I made the trek from Washington state to Austin, TX. Finally getting to the house and walking in the door quietly saying “hello?” were words and actions that took far more effort than I ever expected it to. 2 precious ladies were already there and so it was beginning. I tried to be far more involved than was comfortable and throw myself into as much as possible. You see, I am one who will want to be involved but it’s just not one of my strengths so when I am not, it results in continuing to hide deeper inside of myself.
Throughout the weekend conversations I found myself sitting along the sideline just listening and watching. I realize that I put myself there but the beautiful result was, I was just able to sit and watch The Lord move through the weekend. Tiny prayers that I whispered quietly to God like “please send someone to room with me” turned into being given the precious gifts of 2 amazing women. One evening as I was amongst over 200 women but found myself walking across the yard alone I spoke a prayer in my heart “God I really don’t want to eat alone” and within seconds a friend walks up and says “I was just praying that God would give me a dinner buddy” Answered prayer.
Over these 3 days I listened to stories, tears, prayers, hopes and dreams. I sat along the side of the room, watching & listening. At times I felt very alone but what happened at the end of the weekend made be finally comfortable being me.
With every story that was told, while I rarely said anything, every word that was spoken sank into my heart. I recall countless times thinking to myself “you’re not even making a contribution”. I had moment after moment where I thought “what am I doing here” but it was on my way to the airport on Sunday morning that it hit me.
It wasn’t about me being there so that I could be in the middle of the conversations, heck I missed SO many I don’t even know half the inside jokes and stories that were told but I was just me and perhaps that was totally why I was there. I may not have been in more than 5 or 6 photos from the entire weekend. Most people may never know I was there but I had a purpose. For the 1 hour drive to the airport that morning I prayed over every single woman in that house and recalled story after story that they shared about their lives. There was a peace that came over me.
We all have something to contribute. No matter how large or how small. We just need to be us. If I would have gone into that weekend trying to be someone that I wasn’t then maybe I wouldn’t have been in the situation to take all these precious prayers before the Lord. I think society tries to make us feel like we have to “fit in” or “be like everyone else.” As one of my dearest friends likes to remind me. STOP IT! So I say – Be you!
I don’t know what the future holds for me and each of those women but I know that they have all impacted me in a way that I never saw coming. I know that I can just be me. Quiet, sit in the corner, on the bottom step, chin on my knees me. I can carry the burdens of others deep in my soul and lift their wants and needs up to God in prayer and yet never speak a word. I love them dearly.
Please never stop being you. The moment that we stop being who we are created to be the world wins and we rob others and ourselves the joy that comes with being comfortable in our own skin. Be You.