Well, my reentry process took a turn for the weirder a few nights ago as I laid, my face close to my computer screen, and began to sob via Skype.
Big, fat, childlike tears were streaming down my face, and the only intelligible words I could choke out were “I just really miss Jesus!”
I can imagine that in that moment, Jesus laughed a little bit. Not a mean laugh, but a sweet, loving laugh. The kind you laugh at a child when you really love them. That’s actually the response I got from the other end of Skype as well. A laugh of sweet understanding and then a perfectly fitting reminder of truth.
It blows my mind how easy some parts of this have been. My friends, my family, Colorado, the US, they’re all safe, squishy, homey landing places full of laughter and love and understanding.
I know that I’m in the vast minority when I say this- but I haven’t felt misunderstood once since arriving home.
I don’t feel like people are looking at me thinking “what happened to HER!?” and I don’t feel like people are saying infuriatingly insensitive things like, “Did you have a good vacation?”- completely missing the heart behind why I went.
Yet, this week I’ve been extremely uncomfortable. I’ve been itching and wiggling and whining like a little girl in ballet tights (always too tight and ALWAYS impossibly itchy).
I can’t figure out why Jesus feels so illusive and far away- I can’t figure out why life feels so flat and colorless and I can’t figure out why I, after a year to practice being perfect (yea right) can’t figure out how to fix these frustrating feelings!!
I keep forgetting that this feeling isn’t new. There were times on the race, and before it certainly, that Jesus felt close and times where I had to look a little harder and from a different vantage point to see His hand at work. But even though this is nothing new- it’s still completely disheartening.
But yesterday things changed. Maybe not completely- but they definitely shifted.
I woke up- super late and super crabby and immediately got a text.
It was from my sweet friend Chelsea who I spent the month with in Phuket, Thailand (a friend of mine from CU.)
She told me that another sweet friend of mine, Lacey (a World Race alum who was also in Thailand) was in town as well.
They drove up to see me and before I knew it, and before I had time to brush my hair really- we were sitting at a gigantic booth at Red Robin.
Lacey looked at me with sincerity and a hint of concern as she asked me an extremely pointed question.
“How are you?”
Without hesitation and without thinking- I began to word vomit all of my confusion and all of my struggles out onto those poor girls.
The running theme of the verbal explosion was “I just thought I’d do this better.”
They looked at me with total understanding- and said the words that I didn’t realize I so desperately needed to hear.
They told me that it’s ok that I’m confused- and a weight was lifted from my shoulders.
They told me that it’s ok that I feel like I should be doing this better, because that’s a pretty common feeling- another weight was lifted.
They told me that it’s ok that I’m not doing this perfectly because nobody is expecting that of me- yet another weight.
By the end of the lunch, I literally felt like the weight of the world had been taken off of my shoulders.
And then it hit me.
Jesus was right there.
This may not be a season of butterflies and goosebumps. This may not be a season of feeling his presence right in the room with me. But this certainly is a season of him HARD at work in my life- knitting it together perfectly.
And yesterday- the perfection of His loving and intimate provision in my life was in the form of Lacey and Chelsea and two words. “It’s ok.”
I walked out of that lunch feeling free and joyful and finally released to be where I need to be- not where I think I should be.
And so today- whatever you’re going through, whatever feels weird and complicated and confusing- I’m going to tell you the same thing they told me.
It’s ok to be where you are, it’s ok to allow other people into that- asking them to pray with you and talk you through it. It’s ok to not have it all together- nobody expects that of you. And it’s ok to really really need Jesus- it’s actually better that way.
And here’s the next thing- not that I want to tell you- but that I want to ask of you.
Chelsea and Lacey and I spent a long time comparing stories of the awesome ways God’s been working recently. They each have some pretty incredible and recent examples of how God’s shown up and provided in ways that they couldn’t have even predicted or thought to ask for.
And hearing those stories helped me appreciate His hand working in my life.
And so here’s what I want you to do. If you have a story of God providing something for you, giving you direction or encouragement or love in the moment that you just so desperately needed it, or any other way that He’s been working in your life lately… I’d love it if you left that story in a comment here.
I’d love it if this could be a place where we gather together to not only admit that we’re a bit of a mess- and find out that it’s perfectly to be in process- but also a place where we can come to celebrate and notice how good of a God we serve.
That’s my story today- I can’t wait to hear yours!