amen. keep coming.

Yesterday marked the 4th anniversary of finishing the World Race. This kind of blows my mind. Some parts still feel really fresh, most seems like it was a dream in someone else’s mind. I spent the bulk of today re-reading ALL my blogs from the World Race (yes, ALL 100-something)… This week has been a bit of a struggle bus and it seemed to me to be lots of issues that I thought I had dealt with, and yet they keep popping up.

I think I know there is purpose in this. The hardest won victories are the ones we give away best. If we have not struggled in something, if success has always come easily, it can be hard to empathize with those still in it. The battles that required struggle and sacrifice, that we have to choose victory in again and again, are the ones we own the best. Where we meet God the most in those struggles equips us to lead others into their own victories in a way that honors their story and the person God is shaping them to be—the person God already sees in them and that we get to walk alongside of and call it out of them.

For me, these things I carry best and give away are also the ones hat I sometimes struggle with. This week, it’s been a lot of worthiness issues. Feeling like a burden, not feeling like enough. Feeling like I am too much for God to handle, and definitely way too much for my friends or family.

But I KNOW that isn’t true. I know who I am. I KNOW I am precious and bought at a great price. I know it is always about relationship and that God wants to draw close—it is me who tries to stay away.

Re-reading all these blogs, where I constantly had to choose my identity and my freedom, where God kept showing up and speaking and asking me to trust. To come close and not be scared. To delight in the intimacy instead of run from it. It’s this mountain I keep trying to climb when He would rather I just take the chairlift to His throne room. He keeps telling me, ‘Come on up. This is Mount Zion, not Mount Sinai. “It is the city where God is Judge, with judgments that make us just. You’ve come to Jesus, who presents us with a new covenant, a fresh charter from God. He is the Mediator of this covenant.” (Hebrews 12:23 in the Message).’

Even in re-reading these blogs, I found that a lot of the truth was still tinged by a needing to earn it, by a needing to protect God from myself, a needing to prove myself worthy of love. And he just keeps saying, “Receive it, beloved. Receive. I already see you. I’ve seen you and I see you. You don’t have to hide from me. Come to me. Let yourself be loved.”

This is so radically different from the God I thought I knew 5 years ago before setting out on the Race. He’s so much better than I thought I knew coming home four years ago. He’s so much more patient than I thought I knew 3 years ago in Guatemala. He’s so much more generous than I thought I knew 2 years ago. He’s so much more present than I thought I knew last year in the Philippines. Yesterday, I realized that in this last year of living as basically a Christian atheist (believing God was out there somewhere, but not letting Him in and not letting myself believe He was good), God missed me. He wanted to spend time with me. He never left the table but I kept my head down and my eyes down on the ground, and all He wanted was for me to lift up my eyes and see Him there with all His love and joy and presence.

I desire intimacy. I desire wholeness. And he just keeps saying, Yes. Amen. Keep coming, baby girl. Keep on coming. It’s a process. And it is good. And it is worth celebrating. So that is what I am doing today. I am celebrating how far I have come and thanking God He is not done yet.

Amen.

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today.

Today I woke up and I wasn’t all alone in a green room in the middle of the tropics. I didn’t weep my way through breakfast, get wrecked by a kind note from a friend, or feel the earth shake beneath me for 34 seconds at a 7.2 magnitude. I didn’t run outside and feel cajoled by my landlady to hold onto a palm tree while the ground moved. I didn’t cry and wander the neighborhood feeling queasy and unsettled. I didn’t feel aftershocks every 20 minutes.

Nope. Today I woke up in my cozy little room in Memphis. I did wake from a somewhat scary dream, but I woke up in a house filled with life and joy and peace, with friends and hope and Presence. I woke up to coffee brewed in a machine, and cereal with cold milk for breakfast, and electricity. I woke up chilly (without the air conditioner), snuggled under a duvet.

I woke up full of HOPE, which was a much different emotion than I felt last October 15.

It’s been a year since everything changed. Well, maybe not everything, but everything in my life was shaken. Foundations were challenged. Hope dissolved for a long time.

That earthquake and its 4000 aftershocks scared me. It triggered severe anxiety and depression. The combination of that natural disaster combined with everything else led me down a really dark, really hard, really lonely path for far too long.

But then I look at life today. It’s only been 12 days in Memphis. But I really like it. I am really thankful I am here. Today I told someone I am really thankful for the convoluted year I had that broke me enough to let me choose this, because it is real and it is good and it has that REAL GOOD Father/Son/Spirit in it all. And I meant it.

This summer in Spain, one of my teachers asked, “What question is God asking you?” And I knew instantly: He’s asking if I will trust Him enough to try again. To risk again.

Today I am really glad I do and I did.