I sat in the front row at my college ministry last night, looking at the pastor, and thinking that he must be an idiot.
I looked at him, and looked around the room, and looked at all the students who came to that ministry to hear about Jesus and to get to know him a little bit better, and I cringed.
What the HECK was he doing hiring someone like me two years ago to be a part of something so important.
He must be an idiot!
Seriously, when I was hired on at my college ministry, I was about to graduate college and had been a Christian for about 45 minutes. Ok… maybe four months.
I had read some of the Bible, I had been to church a handful of times and I was absolutely sold out on the idea of giving my life to Jesus. But I certainly wasn’t qualified.
But that didn’t matter to my pastor. I mean- I bet he thought about it- but it wasn’t my experience that prompted him to hire me.
For some reason, by the grace of God (literally), when he looked at me, he didn’t see the drunken mess that I had just been, he didn’t see me for the mistakes that I was still currently making and he didn’t see me as someone who needed babysitting by an older and wiser and more mature Christian (guidance certainly- but not babysitting.)
He saw something in me, something that was buried, but something that was there, and gave that little something a place to grow.
He dusted off the doubt and the total lack of direction that was sitting on top of whatever that little something was, and gave it the nourishment and encouragement it needed to grow up and become something more.
In hiring me, he called me something that I never expected to be called by someone in a church. He called me a leader.
And over the course of that next year… that’s what I became.
I sat there in the audience tonight amazed and grateful as I remembered all that had happened since that day. So absolutely stunned that I was given a chance when I hadn’t earned it and so thankful that I was.
But this, right now, isn’t about him actually.
It’s about you!
I left for the race with a teeny tiny, secret dream of being a writer.
It was something that was so tender that the slightest breeze was enough to convince me to give it up and run for the hills.
I doubted every post, I scrutinized every word and I felt like a total imposter… embarrassed to actually say out loud that I wanted to be a writer, for fear that someone would laugh.
But you, all of you, did the same thing that my pastor did when he hired me on as an intern.
You gave me a chance.
You saw something in me that was tiny and fragile and something that I didn’t really even see yet.
You saw me as a writer and so that’s what you called me.
And slowly but surely, over the last year, that’s what I’ve become.
And I want to take a moment, or a lifetime, to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for allowing your inbox to be full of emails with notifications from me.
Thank you for commenting and for letting me know that you’re reading and connecting to what I’m writing. I literally have saved every single one.
Thank you to those of you who have sent me emails- just to encourage me, tell me that you’re praying for me, or tell me how my life and my writing has intersected perfectly with yours. God is so cool like that. (I’ve saved those too!)
Thank you to all of you who have liked and shared and tweeted and emailed my blog to your family and friends.
Thank you to my family and friends and teammates and squadmates that listened as I read each blog out loud- making sure it made sense and encouraging me in all the right ways.
Thank you to the one who chased me down the street in Cambodia just to tell me that you love my blog. You can’t believe how much that meant to me.
Thank you to the one who stopped me in the bathroom last night, to tell me that you’ve been reading too. It made my day.
Thank you to old friends and new friends and people I hope can soon be friends- for reading.
Thank you so much to everyone who financially supported my trip- your generosity taught me so much about the beautiful body of Christ and about how we really do get to be a part of his miracles. Seriously- being able to go on this trip and raise that kind of money was a flat out miracle, and it was all because of you.
Thank you to those of you who are still supporting me. You are the reason I’m able to move to Georgia and take a job that I’m so excited about. It financially wouldn’t be feasible without your continued support.
It is because of all of you- and God’s encouragement through you- that I’m living out my life’s greatest dream.
It is because of you that while on the occasional bad day I still feel like an imposter, that most days I can actually call myself a writer.
You all saw something in me that was tiny and mostly covered up and dusted it off and gave it room to grow, and because of that, you’ve changed my life.
So thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so, so much.