I began writing The Lipstick Gospel for a bunch of reasons, one of them being the fact that I love coffee.
It’s not just the beverage itself, although I’m convinced that they need to add that as the sixth Love Language, but it’s the ritual altogether. I love coffee shops and the art that hangs on the walls. I love coffee mugs and the fact that there’s a unique mug perfectly fit for every taste and each set of hands. I love the little tables and having a stack of books next to me as creativity pours onto my page.
But mostly I love the conversations that happen over coffee.
Two years ago, going to coffee was my job. I would sit over steaming mugs with the most beautiful women the world has ever seen, sorority girls from the University of Colorado. I loved it.
We would talk about everything, life, love, careers, calling, school, things that we loved, things that we hated and how to get from one day to the next. The conversations were redemptive and deeply healing, the best kind of community. I hope that they meant as much to those girls as they did to me.
I don’t get to spend nearly as much time in coffee shops these days as I’d like to. It’s some combination of working 9-5 and having only two coffee shops to choose from, but coffee dates are few and far between in this season of my life.
Today, however, was another story.
I got an email from a Lipstick Gospel reader, a student at the University of Georgia, asking me to meet for coffee. We tried to set up a coffee date and failed for several months before running into each other in a restroom at a concert. We tried again for several months to set up a coffee date and then finally made it happen.
I sat at a little round table today, over steaming cups of coffee, with two of the most fantastic girls, and it warmed the deepest places in my heart.
We talked about everything we could think of and offered wisdom to each other, laughing and saying ‘me too’ at the funny and ridiculous things that happen inside our minds these days.
I am honored and humbled to know that women of that caliber, of that wisdom and strength and beauty are reading my words. It reminded me in the loveliest of ways, why I write.
As we were finishing our last drops, I got to share them the reason and the story behind The Lipstick Gospel. It’s one of my favorite stories and has been etched onto my heart in a wild array of colors – a story that continues to develop to this day.
I want to share my story with you. I want to share my experiences, the path that got me to this place, both the intentional parts and the accidental ones.
I believe in the profundity of looking back, of taking the time to see the miracles that have been woven together to make our lives. I believe in the revisiting of altars that we’ve made – marks in the earth and scars on our skin that remind us of where we’ve been and what God’s done. We need to look back to remind ourselves of his faithfulness, what he was capable then and what he’s capable of now.
So over the next few weeks, or maybe the next few months I’m going to be sharing with you pieces of my story. I want you to know me. I want you to know me as I was because what God did between then and now is nothing short of a miracle. I want to give him the credit he’s due.
And I hope that as you hear pieces of my story, that you’ll begin to see God for the miraculous artist that he is, understanding in a new way, through new eyes, what he’s capable of doing in your life too.
To Meg and Shelby – thank you for the fantastic coffee date!