It’s amazing how much your perspective, mood and basically entire day can be affected when you are rested.
This morning, I slept in until 10 and didn’t get out of bed until 10:30. To say that this was necessary is an understatement. In the past two weeks I have worked all three of my jobs, performed at a conference and ran two workshops, performed again and wrote and recorded a voiceover for a video. Now I am up rehearsing for another conference tomorrow.
This hotel bed is much more comfortable than my twin bed at home and Karen is next to me because I realize I’m not ready to travel to conferences alone. Also—HOLY CRAP I’M TRAVELING. I’m traveling to do poetry. I’m traveling to speak and this morning as I was packing my bags and cleaning our Dandelion Den (that’s the name my housemates and I gave to our abode) I was overwhelmed with the reality that I am tangibly living my dreams. It snuck up on me. God just slowly (well honestly pretty rapidly) placed me on this path and I remember the first time I ever did poetry and I left the stage in tears and found myself praying Lord, if it be your will. I would do this for the rest of my life if I could.
I say this a lot because I’m continually baffled at what my “reality” is now. I ran from this. oh I ran so hard from creating, from poetry, from being on stage. How could I be creative and still christian? How could I write poetry that wasn’t plastered with a message that turned people away from the one who loves them the most? I believe that the Gospel is sneaky. It slips itself in at the moments you least expects it AND BLOWS YOUR MIND. I didn’t want to be a “Christian” poet. Yes, I wanted to exude the gospel in both actions and words. Yes, I wanted to convey messages that wasn’t always the easiest pill for people to swallow. No, I’m not doing this to be “liked” or to receive “fame.” I’m doing this because 1. this is not my gift to have, so any chance I’m given to be able to give it back, I’m going to take it 2. People need to hear that they’re loved. They need to hear about the man who decided that He would rather die than stop loving them 3. Words are important, they are beautiful and they have a depth to them that I believe surpasses our human understanding because they connect us to something, someone beyond us.
I write poetry because I want to leave love letters to the world,
letters that you find underneath the rubble when this place falls apart before our very eyes. Letters tucked into the places you used to frequent because they felt like home.
I write poetry because it’s healing and every spill of a poem is every bit of safe haven and sanctuary.
I write poetry because I believe open mics are the churches people don’t feel as if they have be anyone other than who they were created to be.
Tomorrow, the conference I am attending is Anchored in Love and in my second piece of the day I recite Romans 8:38-39.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We don’t give Jesus the credit that he deserves. sometimes the extent of our doubts is so much greater than the extent of our faith and when that happens we limit ourselves from seeing what he is capable of doing. HE LOVES YOU. The. end. And no mistake, no sin, no one or anything can keep you from that. Tomorrow, I get to share that with a group of young women.
Conferences are one of my favorite spaces because I essentially get the chance to write a love letter poem to girls I don’t know and maybe won’t know when I leave that place. As I sit and rehearse my poems, I am somehow emotionally connected to every single one of the ladies at the conference tomorrow. I am a big feeler, I carry a lot of emotions that aren’t mine, I feel deeply and without any apology— this allows me to somehow connect to strangers in the deepest way. This is exhausting most times but it’s also extremely rewarding. How cool is it to be a part of something awesome? When the work is good and the results are awe-inspiring it is mind blowing to think — wait, you want to use ME?! And we’ll come back with every excuse in the book why we wouldn’t be the best option, why we don’t “fit the part.” He says, screw the part! I CREATED YOU FOR THIS. I built you, shaped you, lead you to this moment right here.
I’m using a lot of capital letters in this post because of how stinkin pumped I am when I think about all this. He doesn’t want to type-cast you. He could care less if you think you’re “right” for this. Right and wrong are subjective when the God of this universe says hey, I would like you to be a part of this. You say YES, where do I sign up? In fact, just put my name down. Where do I go? What do I do? Who do you need me to love and how?
He told me to take the pages, take the numerous journals that I had, let him breathe life into them and give them to people. If you were to tell me this about three years ago I would have laughed in your face. I would have given you all my logical and reasonable answers and left it there. I’m so glad he didn’t let me have my way.
I am blessed to be in this moment right now.
I needed to be reminded of how blessed this is, how blessed I am.
I love when people tell me that my story is encouraging to watch because I am living out my purpose. It is a humbling reminder that it is hard to get to this place and even when you do “get to this place”, it’s still freaking hard! “When you’re on your path, the universe will conspire to help you.” That’s an excerpt from Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong, referencing the Alchemist. I would go even further and say that when you’re on your path— nothing can stop you and God will continue to open doors left and right because AH, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
what’s that thing that scares the mess out of you?
You know that dream that keeps you up at night. The one that distracts you while you try to drown it out with other tasks you think you’re supposed to be doing. It’s terrifying but just try it out, truly sit with what it would take to make it happen and do it. If it backfires, you won’t be stuck with the weight of never having done it, only with the fuel to to go even further and try something new.