I’m In Love…

…with people!

This past Thursday I was wiping down my kitchen walls, doing laundry, and vacuuming the cobwebs above my cupboards that seemed to appear overnight, etc, etc, etc…  As I danced around my washing machine and climbed to the top corners of my ceiling, I felt hope rise to the point that I began to smile and sing the praise chorus that echoed through my mind.  “You make, All things work together for my good…”  Nothing has changed.  Nothing new is in view.  No “Aha” moment has been had, yet hope and joy walked beside me.  I believe their presence had something to do with my conversation I had with God during my run on Tuesday morning.

While soaking in the brisk air and the sun’s rays I found myself reminiscing over this past weekend.  I had traveled to Illinois to share my testimony at a church just 12 miles east of St. Louis, MO.  On my way home I made a stop in Marion, IL to tape a TV spot at the TCT Network.  It’s not the spotlight that I enjoy, I’m ok without that, but through my weekend travels I discovered a deeper love I now have for people.  Since childhood I’ve been one who befriended the friendless.  I attribute this soft spot in my heart to my own understanding of being the unpopular, or the invisible one myself, but something is different inside of me now.

So many people, of all ages, began to share their stories with me after I spoke on Sunday night.  As each person handed me their heart, both the joys and the sorrows, I was captivated by them.  What a precious honor it was to have my elders ask my opinion regarding the thoughts and feelings some experience during grief.  No doubt they could teach me a wealth of knowledge from their own experiences of loss, yet they chose to trust one some 40 years younger than themselves.  Wow!  I also chatted with some who were probably 15-20 years younger than I am.  I loved each one individually yet the same.  So on Tuesday morning as I began my run, with one foot coming down in front of the other and my hands open and turned toward the sky, my prayer went something like this;

“Lord, Thank You for continuing to transform my heart – it’s all You.  I feel change is in the air.  I’m not sure what You are doing and I’m not going to try to figure it out this time.  I’m done guessing, and I’m done trying to pick up what everyone else tells me I should or should not be.  I will allow You to unfold Your purpose and reason for each step You lead me to take.  I realize there are areas in my life that I have picked up a false sense of control, for this I am sorry.  I can do nothing without You giving me the ability.  I cannot walk, run, breathe, or get my countertops clean enough*, without You enabling me to do so.  So, I am choosing to let go of all my preconceived ideas.  It will take me some time to learn how to let go and I will need reminded often, but I am releasing all the restrictions I’ve set in order for You to bless me.  I have been wrong far too often and You are never wrong.  I trust You.  Lord, please show me clearly where, when, how, and who.”

I must admit that I’m just a little nervous after this prayer, but why not put words of faith into an adventurous action?  I believe that the dreams of my heart are far better off being molded in God’s hands than dictated by my minds logic.

If you become willing to open up and sincerely share your life’s story with others, you will find you are not as alone as you might think.  Everyone has a story!  Whether it be an internal struggle or an outward battle, we all have a story to tell and we all need each other to tell it.  Why not open up yourself to love others and let others love you back?  It doesn’t take a huge platform to be open with your heart, but it does take courage.

If you choose to be brave, just maybe you too will find hope and joy walking with you!  Better yet, maybe you will find yourself “In Love”!

~Shannan

Uncompromisingly Walking With Him In 2012.

“Still Keeping It Real!”

*some of you out there will understand my countertop statement in my prayer.  For those who do not, that’s for another blog 😉