I’m sitting at my usual Starbucks location this morning, outside for a change because this Colorado spring weather is literal fresh air to my soul.
When my babysitter texted last night and offered to come this morning, I almost didn’t know what to say. What will I do with my time? Write is what I should do, but what on Earth will I say?
But I accepted her offer and here I am, fingers to keys that feel almost foreign, sitting with my coffee, my sole purpose to try and remember how to pour out some facet of my soul onto this screen.
Did I mention that leading is vulnerable? I find myself a little bit terrified these days by the number of people with an eye on my life. Don’t get me wrong – they – you all – are so very dear to me. Like, more precious than I can put into words.
But showing up and pouring myself out to Jesus before my church family Sunday morning after Sunday morning, and then showing up here and being poured out in a different way — I think the combination of those two has left me needing to hole up a little bit here.
Then there’s this: Busy ain’t the word. Y’all? I am getting to do so much. To give so much expression to my heart, to impart bits of who I am to those around me, and it’s all happening within my real life community. Within my church family.
This honestly feels a little like uncharted territory to me and while it is exhilarating, and thankful doesn’t even come close to describing the state of my heart, it’s also quite scary.
Within my role as worship pastor for our church community, I have the privilege of coaching and leading and developing our worship team members (and up-and-coming members), and that responsibility is life to my heart like I can’t even tell you. I couldn’t be more grateful. And yet, being in the place of occasionally having to say hard things to people I care about is incredibly— you guessed it—
Vulnerable. And just plain hard.
Can I tell you the other thing I get to do? 4th Fridays. I am ramping up to lead an evening, once a month, to reach out to creatives both within and outside of our church family. You guys, I SO rarely can say with relative confidence that I believe God “spoke” one thing or another to me, and if I’m honest I think I generally try and avoid saying that for reasons I’ll get into, maybe, at another time.
A good couple of months ago this whisper began to nudge my heart, and try as I might to throw logic and excuses at it, I just could not shake it. The whisper was this: “The artists need pastored. Shepherd the creatives. Cultivate a haven for them.”
Over days and weeks, the whisper has woven its way deeper into my core, has become more like a pounding on my insides. I’ve sat on it. I’ve let Stan and a couple of close friends in on it. I’ve prayed into it.
And in the quiet corners of my relationships with Jesus and with Stan, I’ve whispered my fears. Told them this feels like such a scary risk. Told them this is vul.ner.a.ble.
Heck, even writing these words to you today has me physically shaking.
But Stan’s sole response has been to cheer me on. To encourage me forward. He prays with me for 4th Fridays and gets jazzed about the ways he foresees God moving through these times together with fellow artists.
And Jesus? Well, He just reminds and reminds me that the Father chooses the weak and the foolish and the lowly, and can I just tell you? I am all of those things. But in all the upside-down, inside-out-ness of the Kingdom, those are the things God uses to shame the wise and the strong, to “nullify the things that are,” so that no one can boast (2 Cor. 1:27-29).
Our pastoral team has given me a wholehearted green light to move forward, and their trust in me is all at once healing to my heart and — yup — terrifying, because now I’ve gotta actually do the thing I’m telling them I want to do.
And gosh, if you’re still reading at this point (and bless your heart if you are), I realize I might sound a bit nuts with all this I’m so excited but I’m so afraid stuff. But I’m pretty sure this is what it’s supposed to feel like when you’ve been so long in quiet, mostly-hidden places, and then doors swing wide and you’re invited to actually step into a bit of what you were maybe made for.
Sobered and scared and incredibly excited. Aware of your need. Pressing into His strength in the midst of your weakness. In over your head, because Jesus intentionally leaves gaps between our “callings” and our strengths so that we have to depend on Him to come through.
And there’s intimacy in that dependence.
So I move forward trembling, leaning into Him, and fully alive in the midst of all this vulnerability and risk.
And you all who read my words here? I want you to know I miss you. I don’t know how long it’ll be till I have room in my life to write here again. But I still love the ways we get to walk beside one another in this space. I’m thankful for you all. For your companionship and your prayers.
And I would love — love — if you’d pray over 4th Fridays. And if you happen to be in Denver or the surrounding area, I’d love for you to consider coming. You are more than invited, and I’d be so excited to get to hug your neck.
So many blessings to you, my friends.