On showing up…

So, I have been working on this blog for about six months. Through this process, I’ve tried to find words to wrap around my little corner of the world. I am so grateful for your encouragement and support as I try to find my way forward …

This blog began when a friend asked, “how did you grow?” My simple response was time and steady attention to a few things. For me, that meant on Tuesday mornings for two decades I showed up to open my Bible and my life to other women. These women, some many decades older, spoke words of love and hope into my life.They prayed for me, pushed me forward, and caught me when I fell. Together we studied God’s Word, line upon line, verse upon verse until the ideas took hold of my heart and began to push through my hands, and feet, and mouth.

On Thursday nights for those same decades my little family gathered with others to break bread and isolation, and build community. We showed up and learned that we were loved just as we were. Together we learned to love others in all the ways they come. Weekly, we grew up and leaned into community as we dealt with loss, change, conflict, and life together. In the crucible of a small group (actually many small groups) we learned to value honesty even when it hurts. We found the courage to share our weak places, and the strength to offer covering to others. Week after week, month after month, year after year, we simply showed up… together.

These two things, showing up to the Word of God and showing up to community changed my life. It wasn’t a rapid transformation but a long slow turn in the right direction. It wasn’t a single event or bit of knowledge or experience that changed me, but the process of living in relation to both the Word and people. I didn’t know when I began that these things were the process that would transform me.

I wanted to be “fixed” but instead found that I was loved broken.
I wanted to master it all, and instead found a place of safety and rest.
I wanted life to bend to my will, and instead found joy in the chaos.

Now I know that these things are vital to the life I long to live. In order to live fully, give generously, and risk well I need the Word of God and people who love me enough to show up again and again. I need people who open their lives to me, and I need to open my life to them. I need to practice the art of submission as I voluntarily invite trusted others in to my home, my family, my hopes, my fears, my wounds, and my victories. This act of vulnerability builds great strength and resilience in my heart and in my life. I need to know that I am not alone and so do you.

My friend’s desire for a place of caring, where we could come together in the midst of busy lives and competing priorities, actually prompted me to begin this project. I know that it was a privilege to share life in such important ways for so many years, and that many people don’t have the same opportunities I’ve enjoyed. I realize now that others are hungry for a safe place to learn, share, and grow. My desire has been to try and create a place like that for the people I love, to try and set a table and share life in this virtual forum. Although it is not yet what I hope it will be, I have begun… and that’s not nothing.

This month, I want to apply the principal of showing up to my writing. One of the challenges I’ve faced as I have gone about this project is that I don’t really have a focus. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to write about. I don’t know how often, or how much. I have just been stumbling around in the dark. My friend tells me not to worry about this, “it’s just noise!” and to simply write. So, I am going to write every day. I’m going to see what happens if I just commit to showing up for one month. I can’t promise it will be pretty, but I think that the commitment to just show up makes sense for me.

Where do you need to make a commitment to simply show up?

31daysThis is part of a 31 day writing challenge. If you are interested in following along, you can find the rest of the series here. Thank you for stopping by!

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