My heart is still racing as I write this at my work computer, I just have to get this out. If you've been reading the blog, or following my instagram lately, you know how wrecked I've been feeling lately, and totally interrupted. Wrecked as in, everything I've been doing, and planning and thinking of has collided with new things, scary things, things I can't wrap my brain around. I used to wonder what people meant when they said things like, God is really wrecking my life right now, or, God has just torn me apart, or, my heart is a disaster and God's at work...those were statements I heard often, church speak if you will, but never fully understood. That is until, now.
Jen Hatmaker, I'm blaming you. Well you, and you're
littleenormously popular friend, Beth- yes you ,Beth Moore. And Journey Church? Yeah, you're to blame too.
Is it normal to feel like I should just bust into tears right now? That's what I want to do, cry and cry and let the tears just fall. But are they happy tears? Are they tears of joy? Or are they tears because I've missed so many opportunities like this one and it really wasn't that hard, I mean yes it was hard but all it took was obedience.
I can still see her, she walked up to the walk-up Starbucks window with her husband. I peered over the pages of my book at her,yes the book was Interrupted. Her husband walked around the corner, and when I looked up again she was looking in my direction. I quickly assembled that polite sort of smile and went back to reading, my heart pounding. I felt Him say it the moment they walked up, here's your opportunity Veronica, you asked and here it is, I'm giving it to you. Are you ready to obey?
No, no Lord, see You don't understand...You see this is just an idea that popped into my head, like the idea I had a few weeks ago when I thought about asking the cash register lady how I could pray for her...I get these silly ideas all the time Lord, and they're just me inventing things...you know, just me...not you. Oh Veronica, you think that's you?, God thinks He's the only creative one...
In reality, I really did think that all those times before, including this one, were just me being silly and creating imaginary moments...daydreams. As I sit here now, I realize that's so far from the truth. It's always been God. He's been giving me opportunities to make His kingdom known for longer than I can even remember. And I? I've been too scared, and talked myself out it. The way you do when you're looking at that dress,you know the one, and you're telling yourself all the great events you'd wear it to, and then other economical side of you comes out, probably the one that has your husband's thoughts, and tells you, no you don't need that dress, you won't wear it that often. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about...that, that is what happens in my mind when God presents an opportunity that makes me want to pee my pants right then and there rather than take His gift, because, you realize, it is a gift., the opportunity, it's a gift because He's trusting you with his treasure, one of His children.
I finished the chapter in a hurry, it was time to get back to work after all, ( sorry Jen but I'm not sure what that last page and half said), and packed up my things as I stared at her shoes and listened to her order. Grande please, and that sandwich, yeah that one...hun what coffee did you want? I heard her talking to the barista,see that sister, I'm using correct terminology- you get hounded for things like this when your sister works at a Starbucks, and calling back to her husband for his order. Well if she can order a large coffee and a sandwich she doesn't need my gift card. No no, I think I'll just keep it, I thought. I mean I've never hard a Starbucks gift card with that much on it before! And gosh darn it, it was a gift! I can't give away my gift! OH! Maybe I'll just pay for her order...hhmm that could work. The thoughts ran wild through my head like they were in a marathon, only the route was in circles and intertwined itself.
What time is it? My coworker, and friend, shook my thoughts, I peeled my eyes from her worn out Reebok shoes to look at my friend and tell her the time after glancing at my phone. It was time to leave. We shuffled our things together. I swept the table and watched every crumb fall to the garden below, my mind still wrestling with itself. My friend stood up and so did I, I stole another glance at the lady and turned toward the car.
My heart was beating so hard then that I couldn't talk, my body was shaking, literally, I was shaky when I reached the car, opening the back door to put my purse and lunch bag inside. I nearly shut the door when I realized my hands had found my purse and were on a search out for the gift card. Before I thought about it another moment, I mumbled, sorry but I have to do this real quick, to my friend and ran back up to the Starbucks, looking just ridiculous I'm sure.
Hi, uh, umm have you already paid? I blurted out. No, she said. She looked confused. What is this work lady in her heels doing standing in front of me? I'm sure she thought I was insane. Well uh, I just felt the Lord tell me to give you this gift card. I shoved it into her hands so fast you'd thought I was passing off something dangerous. She took it and smiled.
You are a blessing, she said.
I smiled. I told her I just had to give it to her, and it had $40 on it. I gave her that Christian side hug, and told her to have a good day, and trotted back to my car, jumped in the driver's seat and spatted out, awkwardly I'm sure, what I did and why to my friend. It's a beautiful thing to have coworkers that are friends and more than that are believers. I pray you, reader, have that same joy and privilege.
That morning, after my quiet time with Beth and Jesus from earlier sat in my mind, on my way to work I prayed for God to give me an opportunity to be obedient to Him and that the Holy Spirit would give me the courage to follow through. I tweeted when I got back to the office after my lunch hour, If you pray for an opportunity to trust & obey God in the morning...you better believe He will give it to you that same day.
On the way back to work my friend and I shared stories of similar situations and the ways we convince ourselves not to obey. I wonder if it ever gets easier, the more you do it... I wondered aloud to her. Her answer? I've asked a pastor that once, he said in a way it does but it's always hard because in those moments you're fighting the devil. Oh friends, the clarity in the answer.
And maybe that's why I want to cry. Cry with joy because I've overcome the devil in a very real way. I defeated him, I proved him insignificant and unimportant because I chose to stand with my Jesus and be strong in Him. Victory is mine because I chose the ultimate winner!
You know what's funny about it all? What I remember most are her shoes. Not her smile, her sweet embrace or her husband, no. I remember her shoes. White, and worn, her ankles red and somewhat swollen. I pray those shoes never leave my memory.
And that's my review of Interrupted. I'm still a couple chapters of finishing the book but I'm sharing today because I can't wait any longer. You see reading that book isn't going to change your life, but reading it, thinking about it, considering Jen's words as you read Jesus's words, the Bible, and being intentional about watching for God to work in you, and intentional about listening to His voice...that will change your life (you English majors our there, just ignore that awful run on sentence). Read this book my friends! Go buy it, read it, change and then give it away so there's one more of us on the streets changing in big ways so God's kingdom is expanded!
I know I'll be passing mine along to a friend the minute I'm done with it.
So, what about you? Are you ready for your life to be interrupted?