On dreaded questions and intimacy…

I have taken the week to focus on writing. Do you know how hard it is to 1. Get my schedule cleared for just five days? I couldn’t do it. 2. Keep myself focused on just one thing? I’ve always known that I’m a multiple hat person. There has never really been a time that I’ve only been involved in one or even just two things. I’m always in this small group and that club and this program. I’m a multi-tasker. I’m a people person. In recent months, my heart has ached for simplicity. There are many levels to it. One level is that doing and being in everything is exhausting. You see, I used to do and be in everything because I felt the need to prove myself. I was trying to win the affections of a “good” hungry God. I was trying to gain the approval of my parents or family. Then I had a come to Jesus season. That was great. I experienced the love of God and realized that He loves me just as I am, where I am. He loves me because I’m me. That’s scandalous, beautiful, amazing grace.

Even so, who I am is still a person who wants her hand in everything. My heart was changed and the reason I want to do and be in everything is different but the same is still true. I come alive when my schedule is packed, when I’m meeting and talking to a different person every day. I’m on the borderline of introversion/extroversion and that is becoming more and more evident as I get older. I used to find myself in my car more than in my room. I was headed to the next worship service, the next small group, the next coffee date. That kind of life, gave me life. People provided my electrical charge and kept me going. As I learn more abut myself and my relationship with God grows, I find myself just wanting Him. I think more than anything, it’s that He knows me and He loves me. I’m in a transitional season in my life. I’m about to graduate college (finally) and I am not exactly sure what’s next. There are a couple pots in the fire and I’m just waiting for one to be done. I know that HE knows and I’m resting in that. Resting in the confidence of God is something I’ve been practicing a lot in the past couple of months. I know that He has it under control, and while I’m doing what I know is my part, what needs to be done for things to get lined up, I’m mostly trusting in Him. Some people may not understand that but I don’t understand flailing around trying to make something happen on my own. I want what He has for me. He’s never failed me before, so I know He won’t start now.

All that to say, from this place of resting, relationship can be exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I love community. It’s, like, what my heart beats for. Family and community is my life and my future. But it never fails, when you meet someone new, one of the first things they ask is, “What do you do?” Do you know how complicated that question is for me right now? Talk about loaded. I work like four different completely random, part-time jobs, none of which are jobs I want to identify myself with. It’s not that I don’t love them or love doing the things I do, but I don’t like to be defined by my behavior. That is why when I get asked that dreaded question, which is also dreaded because it also brings to mind the very real truth that I don’t really know what I do, my heart wants to simply respond, “I am.” Why isn’t my existence enough?

I believe that it is. I propose we begin asking people, “Who are you?” Not in a snarky way but with a genuine desire to get to know someone. I’m not just asking you what you do so that I can see how you can help me or what I can get from you. I’m not just asking you who you know so I can gain connections and use you to network. I’m getting below the surface, being intentional, wanting to learn what makes you come alive. Maybe that’s a little too intimate for some people. I don’t have time for anything less than intimate. Years ago, I made an intentional decision to not do shallow anymore. When I meet someone new, I want to know them. I think that’s what we are all starving for. We walk around in our tiny little worlds, dying to be a part of something bigger. What if the first step to something bigger is opening up to something bigger? We walk around with our little boxes, keeping everything inside and not letting anyone see. What if we lived with the belief that people are in our lives for a reason, there’s something for us to learn from them, just by learning about them and vice versa.

I believe that we are all a reflection of the Father. We are little representations of our infinite Creator. Everyone has something to show us about who God is. When we get to know someone new, we get to learn a little more about who God is. When we share the scary big things that set our hearts on fire, they become a little more real. When we share in our fears and insecurities, we become vulnerable, and that’s becoming a part of something bigger. Saying to the next person we meet, I don’t have it all together and I don’t expect you to either, connects us. Real connections create real community. That’s beyond us.

I long to be in a world that lives beyond ourselves. I want to be a part of something bigger. I want to connect, to impact, to grow. I want to love and learn. I long to know and be known. Don’t you?

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