I remember two years ago this time I was caught up in the middle of one of the most exciting parts of my life. I don’t have the dates right in front of me but I think this time two years ago I would have been waiting to receive my first return letter in the mail from Lauren. Only a week or two before I had written the boldest most risky letters of my life and about now I would be waiting, checking the mail twice a day, dreaming, trying to keep my expectations realistic, and getting swept along in what became a beautiful story!
I remember my thought process and the place my heart was in a lot during that time and if I had any of my old journals here in Kansas City I would share some quotes because some little gem of a heart-movement was going on inside me. I remember sitting with John Berkshire in the front lounge at Fox’s one afternoon. I caught him up on the latest letter-writing news (any girl-related news was a big deal based on its rarity!) and started to confess “John, I am trying my hardest to not long for the future right now, but to just enjoy the present.” I went on to say how quickly I found myself jumping ahead in the story to where we were dating already (because our letter writing chapter was ambiguously labeled…aka “are we dating or what?!”) or even married! I realized though that by longing for the future I was robbing myself of joy in the present. If I’m constantly wishing for the future how am I supposed to enjoy the present?
So I took a step back in my heart and thought about the present. I was in this incredible place of adventure and risk and diving into the unknown head first. I was learning at the same time to trust God to lead me like a good Father will lead his son (THAT <—- is the key that will unlock the risk-taker inside of you, friends). I mean, seriously, what a beautiful tension-filled place to be!
A lot of time we look back on a season or time period kind of romantically and think of how great it was- which, let’s be honest is pretty generous. But I remember sitting smack dab in the middle of that season and thinking to myself, “Gosh, this is great!”
I was reminded of that old season this week as there are new things in my heart and I’m catching myself living ten steps further than I want to be. Lauren and I are married and loving it, but there are new longings, new desires, new dreams yet-unfulfilled. So I’m struggling again to live in the here and now. I don’t want to ignore the tension of my longing or push it to the side. I want to feel every ounce of it- every ounce of the sucky pressure on my tender heart- knowing that God is taking care of me and this is a beautiful part of my journey.
Here’s the exercise I encourage you all to do, and I’ll be doing it as well. I want you to look at your life first like you’re on the most zoomed in Google maps (you know, the one where you can tell which of your kids’ friends are in the pool in the backyard). This is the level we get stuck in most often, the day to day struggles and tension. Then I want you to imagine scrolling the mouse wheel back and watching the map view soar up until you see your whole neighborhood, city, country, and then the whole world view. As you do this trade out your zoomed in tunnel vision for the Father’s zoomed out reality- the way things really are- perspective. Allow yourself to see that today is just a single day in a big picture, in a longer story. Begin to see yourself in terms of a journeyman walking with the Father on a grand adventure. Maybe you’ll see a dotted line spotted through a Middle Earth-esque map with a “You Are Here” star somewhere in the middle. Whatever the case, let’s collectively take a deep breath, in one exhale say to The Father “I trust you.” and in the next breath turn to the tension-filled longing in your heart tell it how it is. “Bring it on!“
Lauren and I did end up getting married, and that’s not the point. Or maybe it is…