A little more freedom...

Well, it’s here. The morning of Summer Conference. One of the biggest events of the year for me. For my job it’s a lot to coordinate the nursery for 30+ babies. We’ll have over a thousand people in the building for over 3 days. I used to coordinate cleaning AND childcare. It’s nice to only have to manage one now.

For me personally, it can be a bit overwhelming. So many people in a confined space. Lots of noise and faces and things going on. There are times I enjoy it. Getting to see friends from states away that I really only get to see this time of year. There are also times where it’s hard. It’s kind of a lot for a girl who can slip into anxiety.

This year though, I feel like I’ve been a little better equipped. I have a little more freedom and vision. I know a little more about what’s important. About Who I’m supposed to seek. There’s a little less pressure I’ve placed on myself.

On Monday, I slipped away to the woods for a bit. My intention was to pray and seek Jesus before the craziness of the upcoming 3 days. There would be lots of activity and noise and ways to get distracted. So I went where I usually go.

The time wasn’t how I was originally hoping it would go. It was a hot day, but I found a corner in the shade. Down by the water close to the rocks. A place that I’ve come to pretty frequently to pray over the years. I found a cozy spot.

I looked at the water and couldn’t help but notice the water bugs. I’ve enjoyed these little guys since I was a kid.

They are just so fun. The way they skid and scoot across the water. Simple little bugs, but they could do something that I couldn’t. So much miraculousness in such a tiny little package.

I settled on a rock and tried to pray. My mind was foggy and I felt sleepy. I was uncomfortable. I laid back on a rock and looked up at the sky. It was so beautiful seeing the blue between the leaves. Seeing the clouds float past. Feeling the coolness of the rock under me. Hearing the small little creek rippling next to me.

About 10 minutes later I woke up. Apparently I had fallen asleep.

Oh goodness. Sometimes my self-discipline just isn’t what I’d like it to be.

But I’m learning to take it easy on myself. I get it wrong a lot, but I get it right sometimes too. Things may not have went the way I planned, but it is what it is. I left not feeling disappointed. I had sought peace and I found it. I got a few quiet moments.

Yesterday I had a meeting that to be honest, I was dreading. It was 6 hours of being in a room with people I mostly didn’t know. I was in an environment I didn’t know doing something I didn’t know what to expect. I was worried about feeling out of place. About not knowing what to do.

I woke up in the morning and joked with my husband about how I didn’t want to go. Luckily I have a man who appreciates and can match my dramatic side with humor. It works well.

As I drove the 45 minutes, I prayed pretty intently for guidance and protection. And things just started to fall away.

I remembered why I do the things I do. How in the grand scheme of things, all of this doesn’t matter much. It was one day. And really my only responsibility was to seek Jesus. My main desire is to worship and draw near to Him. I am here because He called me. I can be faithful by going. That was it. What happened after that wouldn’t change a thing. It could go great. Or it could be a disaster. Either way I’d be fine. Either way, I would honor the One I love and serve.

And honestly it was a good day. A lot of the content felt like it didn’t apply to me as much. There were times the thoughts that sabotage me would creep it. But thankfully I had the grace to put my focus back on what I knew. I was there to seek Jesus. I was there for Him. I was there to be faithful in whatever way I could.

Anxiety wasn’t a problem. I got the opportunity to pray for two women. And that made it more than worth it. Both women were those that I’d never really had a conversation with. Women who live hours away from me. But women that I felt a closeness within my heart. I felt a love for them. They felt more like sisters than strangers.

And that to me is just wonderful. It just blows me away. It’s one of my favorite parts of following Jesus. Of doing the things that He did. He allows us to have an intimacy with people we’ve never met. He allows me to see into their lives and pray healing and encouragement into their souls. It allows me to offer bits of the love that I’ve been shown.

So most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing. I have bits of dread and fear for today, tomorrow and Friday. But I know it’s just 3 days. My responsibility is to seek Jesus. To draw near Him. To worship Him because He’s worth it. And to love in whatever capacity I can. Because that’s what brings me life. Snuggling babies and loving the little ones. And talking with the grown ups too. Praying for and with them. Listening for what Jesus might do. What He might want to do in and through me. And being gentle and kind with myself. This life is so much bigger than 3 days.

But Jesus I want to find a bit of joy and peace. I want to be able to do a bit of what You did. I want to love your people. I want to make a difference. So much has happened. I have much to be thankful for. I want to share it. I want to live this life in a way that’s more about you and less about me.

So we’ll see. We’ll see what the next few days bring. I feel bits of excitement, which is pretty refreshing. I’m so glad it’s not all up to me. I’m in control of so little. And I’m gaining so much more freedom.


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