25: Bright, Bubbles & Gold
July 2, 2019
Birthdays are beautiful and significant things. My friend Joy once told me, “if you don’t celebrate things here on earth, in the end life will just be one big gray blur. Celebration puts splashes of color and light between seasons.”
25 felt a bit like a slap in the face for some reason. Perhaps it’s because looking back the year felt messy, broken, unfinished and looking forward felt unknown and terrifying. This year I wanted to run away and hide. It’s as if I was working on this beautiful life-puzzle with God and figuring out a few missing pieces when suddenly 3 more different puzzles were dumped on the ground and I couldn’t figure out what pieces went where. Going through the maze of the French visa office, starting grad school at La Sorbonne, shifting roles with work, beginning counseling, an administrative mess of finances and not knowing how I’d stay in Paris, a wave saying goodbye to dear friends, and looking for new housing pushed me beyond my capacity. I sat alone on my couch with salty tear stained cheeks 2 months ago after a phone call with my mom explaining the weight I was carrying. “Hope! You can’t carry these things: have you given these things to God??” I pulled out a used envelope and scrap paper and wrote a letter to God with Psalm 55 scribbled on the front
“Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.”
Taped to my wall until I heard all of those prayers answered, I would look at that messy envelope in the morning when anxiety would rise and remember: I don’t have the capacity or control, just wait, believe. A few weeks ago I got my tax-return back, it happened to be the exact amount I needed to pay bills that month. There have been hundreds of faithful friends and supporters that have made everyday a miracle of provision. Last week I stood in line for two hours and finally received my french Student visa, it sparkled! On my 25 birthday I received a phone call from an unknown number. It was an incredible housing option letting me know that I had been accepted to live in their artist studios for the coming year! They kindly offered me a bigger studio to pursue my project of home and have SPACE to create within the context of community. I laughed as I hung up, knowing the envelope could be opened on this 25th birthday… Hopeful for the year to come.
I want to share to share the letter I wrote 2 months ago with the world as a testimony of grace and hope. I don’t have the capacity nor creativity to do life on my own. This year shall be a leap of faith further, deeper, beyond. Thanks for being on this journey. May these words bring you HOPE today as life here on earth is not simple, you are not alone.
April 28 2019
I give it all to you God, trusting that you’ll make something BEAUTIFUL out of me
Lord, I stand here with tear stained sleeves:
I haven’t brought these heavy things to you in a long time- I’ve been leaning on my own understanding and the pressure and weight has pushed me too tight today.
The weight of not knowing about my visa. I give you the administrative mess that is both life as an adult, life abroad and life as a student/artist/minister of your love.
I give you my heart and desire for romance and love. You know what I need, you know my desire for community.
“Do not worry” you say (Matt 5).
I give you my tomorrow. I give you my bank account, staff account, messy receipts and unfinished reimbursements. I give you my almost debt and broken car and health insurance. You are my accountant.
I give you my body. I fatigue and sickness, fainting days and full days. I give you the weight of my being and body.
I give you the burdens of space. My apartment, home and urban fatigue. I give you my home and future keys don’t yet hold.
« Jesus, won’t you hold my hand? »
I don’t walk alone in Paris. I give you the burden of relationships and community, of satisfying other’s needs: only you can satisfy and save.
I give you the burden of work: of transition and teams, goodbyes and unknowns. You have given me an identity and role to live out a vocation.
I give you the forgotten things, the little worries of everyday. I give you this semester’s grades and next year’s projects, plans and programs.
Come to me all you who are weary and get away with me
I give you the small things and big things. I give you my community desire yet craving to be alone. I give you my prayers, poems and dusty dreams. I give you the rollercoaster that is my emotions. I give you my anxiety- the form of control I try to have over time that leads to heavy shoulders. I give you sadness that is tainted with depression.
I long for R E S T O R A T I O N.
I humble myself here to say
I NEED YOU.
Come clean out me heart and make space here in this tired heart to listen and learn.
thank you to the family, friends, strangers and leaders that have made this year BRIGHT, BUBBLY & GOLD