Coffee and Jesus again.
Sometimes I just laugh with delight at what my Father places in my hands. It’s clear that He knows my love language like the back of His hand.
I feel known and loved as I receive these devotionals that leads me straight to Him and what He’s up to in my life.
It’s in the details that kind of blows my mind, the way He whispers close enough that I’m able to read His lips and say “Yea, I get it, Jesus, I get it!”
This morning I was handed this from my devotional, Back Roads to Belonging by Kristen Strong,”By the
power of Jesus, God is making us more into who we are as he takes us to the people and places we belong.
Have the patience and faith to go in the crazy, it-doesn’t-make-sense direction if God is the one calling you that way. Your place of belonging is coming. In the words of Oswald Chambers, “Every vision will be made real if we have patience.”
Well, damn straight! Almost ten years ago- May will be my tenth anniversary- I went out in faith on a limb and opened Rockwall Body and Soul Massage.
I had been feeling trapped for months and would watch the cars whiz by on Ridge road, longing to get away,too.
It was time and God began opening doors for me in ways that I know was all part of His plan.
I’ll admit I slammed some doors shut because I was standing on the ragged edge, teetering with all aspects of spiritually and my own crazy ideas of what was good for my soul.
I look back and I see how God protected me from so much- including myself- because I was walking so close to the edge of falling into the wrong hands.
It didn’t make sense- not on paper anyway- for me to open my business.
I didn’t have money saved and set aside, I didn’t have a business plan, I didn’t have a fall back system.
I just believed I could, Greg Mead believed I could and God placed other people along the way that made it possible.
So I jumped in with both feet- literally- days after completing Ashiatsu training and rented one room at a bungalow on Fannin.
Two months later, I had the whole house to manage and God sent the right people to share space with me.
Along the way, though, I begin to lose bits and pieces of myself and my reasons for going out on my own.
In the beginning, I would sit outside surrounded by the trees and create handwritten cards, write in leather-bound journals, and have long, intimate conversations with clients and friends.
I would stroll the square and listen to music, grabbing food to bring back to the studio.
I was very in touch with my body and my soul but I was also longing for more…..
I thought that more meant more success, more therapists, more space, more recognition and applause.
I wanted to prove that I could do it all- as a hard of hearing woman that had people actually try to discourage me from going solo because “It’s hard enough for a hearing person to make it, it’ll be almost impossible for a deaf person”.
So I begin attending networking functions, chamber functions, and putting myself into situations that didn’t align with my spirit but that got me attention and recognition and then recommendations.
My business grew and I relocated to a much bigger space and from the outside looking in, all looked good- really good.
Except it wasn’t.
I was too busy to do what I longed to do- I couldn’t sit outside and create cards, and handwritten letters gave way to quick texts and emails to everyone. I didn’t have time to linger with clients on the porch because I had another one walking in right away. I attended events and functions for all the wrong reasons with people that were only using me just as I was using them.
I had drama- constant soul draining drama- from the women that worked with me. Instead of making things easier, they made it harder and I spent so much time and energy trying to create harmony and peace and frankly, walk on eggshells half the time.
Until the day came that I pulled on my boots and decided that I would be damned if I walked on eggshells in my own place!
Sometimes God just pulls you aside to let you catch your breath and reminds you of who you are and what your supposed to be doing.
It sure wasn’t walking in eggshells!
To make sure I learned that lesson well, about a month later, I caught Covid and it hit me like a two ton truck.
I fell down and I fell apart and all the things I had chased after didn’t matter near as much.
This was what it took to get my attention, and to make me take a good, hard look at who I was becoming and what the tarnation I was doing.
And you know what?
I didn’t exactly like it.
I realized I was becoming selfish and self-centered. I was trying so hard to fit in and belong that I was forgetting that I was set apart for a damn good reason.
My deafness was what set me apart and it’s what made my relationships with others intimate and special but I had lost that.
I had become what I didn’t want to be- another woman putting her family on the backburner.
That’s one of the many lessons I learned while knocked flat on my back with a swollen knee and no sense of balance whatever.
God made sure He got my attention-the hard way.
My Mema used to always say I was too hard headed and stubborn as a bull so it took a lot to get me to pay attention.
She was right.
Of course, she was.
Now, it’s been a long, hard journey but you know what?
I needed this.
I ain’t gonna lie and say I wanted this. I sure didn’t and some days when my legs give out and I fall down again, I get all riled up and aggravated.
But I get riled up and aggravated at myself not anyone else.
Not at God, that’s for sure.
He’s shown me that these things happened for a reason .
I needed to get off my high horse merry-go-around and take a good, hard look at myself and who I was becoming and just as importantly, who I wasn’t being.
I wasn’t being present and in awe of the blessings in my life. I was taking those that mattered the most to me for granted while filling my schedule with those that made me walk really close to the ragged edge.
That’s why I laughed and cried just a little when I read this part in that devotional once again.
“ By the power of Jesus, God is making us more into who we are as He takes us to the people and places we belong.”
For me, that means coming back to what I love to do- creating handwritten cards, writing in leather- bound journals, lingering with people in intimate settings and really listening to the stories they share.
It means gathering things to sit outside surrounded by trees and feeling the peace that comes from being in the presence of the Creator.
Several months ago, Jesus placed this scripture into my hands and carved it into my heart.
““For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:19 NLT “
A way in the wilderness.
Sweet Jesus, speaking my love language to me.
Right before that verse is another that He’s made sure I get,too.
I’m not cherry picking, it’s being handed to me clear as day.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
Isaiah 43:18 NIV
I gotta forgive myself for my mistakes and hope like the dickens that those I’ve hurt, will forgive me, too.
I’m not going to beat myself up about it because He sure isn’t. I’m gonna let go and let God do a new thing, make a way in that wilderness and I’m going to sit and let that river water wash over my toes.
Kinda sounds pretty good to my soul and it’s gonna feel pretty good to my body.
More into who I am created to be and more about the people and the places He’s put into my life.
For a damn good reason.
He knows what’s He’s been doing all along.
That’s why I’m laughing with delight and anticipation of what He’s going to be doing next.
Hold on to your horses, I got a real good feeling about this!