A French flag plays curtain to a Nashville street, an eyelid over the wide open picture window in this cafe where I sit tip-tapping my typing road through the pages of my book. By the 250 words per page standard I am on page 128. I took a break from my typedance routine to peruse a blog my friend Jenn introduced me to. It’s creative and Jesus-drenched. The writer is a true wordsmith and author of a New York Times bestseller list book, “One Thousand Gifts.” Her name is Ann Voskamp. She’s a mom of six, a farmer’s wife, and a hero to many for her honesty, gratitude, and wonder.
I simply had to share part of her blog,
particularly given the lately’s of my life: the sudden gift by a friend of a trip to Nashville, Tennessee for a Middle East Insight Conference; the collective encouragement of many at the conference; the moving expansion of my plans to visit Iraq this fall; the materialization of a fifteen year dream to bring hope and transformation into a war zone in the Middle East; and the happy-homey apartment I moved into July 1.
This is in stark contrast to the discouragement of a financial drought. I work part-time for an orphanage in Kenya, which I love, but it is not enough financially. I’ve applied for dozens of jobs, but I haven’t acquired any. This means I am feeling the stretch of taking what feels like every last penny and scraping it against the bottom of an empty chili pot in hopes of gathering some amount of sustenance.
I find myself not knowing how to move forward. The dichotomy of huge breakthrough paired with the waiting for the daily breakthroughs… it’s like having a photograph of a mansion in a majestic garden. The mansion is yours, but the title deed seems to have been mailed via ship on a three month journey from Timbuktu to the welcome mat of your heart.
I’m tired. I know one of my greatest attributes is hope against all odds. In fact, this is the core of the chapter I am presently writing for my book. And here we are, as often is the case, one’s fiercest passion seems to be on the other side of a veil, or perhaps a French flag in a cafe in Nashville. I couldn’t travel through that window even if I got a running start; I need to find the door. The lights are off and my flashlight’s beam has a small circumference. I am scanning every portion of the wall; sometimes I sleep and invite revelatory dreams to show me where the door is. I see hints, shadowy forms of answers. I know we are nearing each other.
I don’t know what searching looks like, only I must, in one way or another seek and search. I feel the tension of Proverbs 25:2 in my every step, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” And in my heart, in my internal compass, nothing matters more to me than knowing Jesus. In the words of Julie Meyer in the song, “Awakened to Love” “Lovers always find what others give up searching for.” Indeed. (Listen to “Awakened to Love” here: http://www.myspace.com/juliemeyermusic/music/songs/awakened-to-love-11323145)
So, like in Ann Voskamp’s blog post on getting out of bed and going through the day one step at a time, I am moving along one step at a time.
And here is her blog post:
To all of you, never ever ever give up. There is always hope, even when you don’t see it or feel you can’t get to it. Father God adores you. He has good gifts for you. His love never fails.