i spent this past weekend in the allegheny mountains in central pa alongside the other leaders at my church. it was a really refreshing time to get away and disconnect from our cell phones, internet and pretty much every other distraction we have here in the city where we live. my heart literally overflowed all weekend as we learned from each other and reaffirmed each others gifts and callings. i truly feel like i've entered into this new season in my life and i'm beginning to get excited about the future again.
one of the most special things we did this past weekend was give each person a turn in the "hot seat." they sat in the center of the room and everyone gave them a word of encouragement, or a verse they felt led to share... anything to speak life to the person and remind them of who they are. when it was my turn i found myself sitting there just ready to soak it in. normally i'd retreat inside myself because of the attention or because i didn't believe the things they were saying about me were true. not this time though... which really is HUGE for me. it just shows what a work God has been doing in my heart and for that i rejoice.
so many wonderful things were spoken over me. one in particular really stood out. one of our pastors read proverbs 31 to me. if you're unfamiliar with that passage it's a series of verses that describe a wife of noble character. it probably accurately depicts the kind of woman most of us desire to be. so as he's reading this the tears just start streaming down my face. he proceeds to tell me that although i am not married yet, i already am a wife of noble character. that just hit me like a ton of bricks. it was like God was redeeming those verses for me... honestly i haven't been able to read them or think about them since my engagement ended... mostly because he used to refer to me as his "proverbs 31 girl" and he had this song about it that he would play/sing to me and i loved that. so yeah, i think God knew exactly what he was doing when he had one of my pastors share that passage with me. i needed to be reminded of that and i think i was in a place where i was ready to hear it again.
i might not be married yet, but i can still exemplify those characteristics in my relationships with others and more importantly, my relationship with the Lord. i'm finally starting to realize what a treasure i am... i am valuable... i do have a lot to offer to people... i am worth loving! and i don't say that in a prideful or arrogant way, but it's rooted in a confidence in who God has created me to be and the unique gifting and calling that he has on my life.
life is full of unexpected twists and turns and boy do i know that firsthand. i like to compare it to a roller coaster ride. i don't know about you but my first reaction on a coaster is to hold on as tight as possible. as if by white-knuckling the bar somehow i will prevent myself from feeling the drops or the sharp turns. but then there are those moments... you know when you work up the nerve to let go of the bar... to raise your arms high in the air as you descend... to let yourself be tossed around like a rag doll... and those times? those times are when i smile real big. because it's freeing and exhilarating and you're not letting the fear keep you from fully experiencing all the ride has to offer. so that's what i'm trying to do. i'm letting go of the bar. and that means embracing who i am and who God has created me to be.
yes, there are still hard days. yes, i still cry and look back and wonder why. yes, i still have so many unanswered questions. but no longer are they ruling my life. they come and i give them the space they require to process and then i do my best to go about my day. by no means do i have any of this figured out completely yet and that's okay. this is the part where i throw my hands up, tilt my head back and do my best to just enjoy the ride. who wants to sit next to me? :)