So, I have been chewing on this post for a week and a half and saw this picture posted today on Facebook…. I find these pictures a bit cheesy but I took it as a sign or omen…..or me projecting. Regardless, I was suddenly struck with guilt over procrastinating my writing. (I blame part of it on working on a term paper for a week. I’m sick of the written word.)
And I am excited to share my list. These are the things I have done for the first time in the past month:
1. Ran a 5K– in 34 minutes I might add!
2. Wept openly without embarrassment in front of strangers.
3. Served communion. …. this one was a biggie for me.
4. Visited a new church alone. I also talked to people, introduced myself and explained why I was there (versus coming in as the service started and hiding in the back….).
5. Counseled a fellow friend biblically and with confidence. (not that I haven’t done this before, but it’s never gone hand in hand….I either leave out Jesus or have no confidence. I know, I know….it’s horrid.)
6. Applied for a Campus Ministry Job. Yes. I APPLIED!!!!! Not, casually mentioned, “Hey man, this is what I would theoretically like to do with my life, you know, if you are willing to let me….” Which has been my behavior for the past two years. I cannot say that I have a chance in Hell at getting the job, BUT I do have a chance in HEAVEN…. (please laugh at my funny)…
7. Prayed aloud with Nathan. Shocker! I mean, I spend A LOT of time in prayer, but my shyness makes praying aloud
a no no scary. I’ll pray over food, but if I know it’s serious enough for me to cry out to God I will wait till he is gone or go hide in the closet. (He has come asked me who I was yelling at talking to more than once.) Suddenly, I got over it. I was experiencing a serious anxiety attack and I could feel that my children were overcome by fear as well, and I…. I called it what it was, rebuked and called in Jesus. ….. and sleep came.
8. Deliberately ordered and drank a beer and…..ENJOYED IT! I should probably admit that it was a fruity ale of some stripe, but I was proud of myself. (My sister can drink dark frothy ales like a dude so I’ve got a lot to live up to..)
9. Entered into a Covenant Group. Four women, answering God’s call on our lives, committed to keeping each other accountable and living life together. This is important because, not only did I make these friends ON MY OWN, I know I’m not going to flake on this….
So what is the point of my list? Well, truthfully, the term paper used up all my church language…..but more seriously: things are changing….. in a big way. I am changing, I have no control over it and strangely….I’m not the slightest bit scared. There is a song lyric that says, “whatever you’re doing inside of me, it feels like chaos but somehow there’s peace….” That is the best way I can describe it.
A few months ago, I got baptized. I didn’t make a big deal out it because it was spontaneous…. and technically I was baptized at age seven by my dad…..in a pond. Apparently, ( I just learned this) repeating baptism is kind of a theological faux pas…. but I had been reading Acts and felt God strongly impressing that I needed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit . The same way the disciples– men and women experienced Pentecost. And since I do not attend a charismatic church… I got dunked, again. I was baptized to receive the Holy Spirit and specifically a spirit of boldness empowerment in my calling.
In the weeks that followed….life went on. Business as usual and now…..well, things are different and I am excited. It’s like all those social quirks, painful anxiety and fear of interpersonal interaction has finally taken the back burner. I am overcome by a sense of peace regarding my purpose.
I have some ideas (I have stopped calling them plans because that seems to equate with sending them to their death…) of what this year will hold: things coming the horizon. So, as I prepare for the quickly impending school year, I am eager to see what comes
2 Timothy 1: 6-14 ESV
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.