Three weeks ago, I pulled out my morning pages and journals and every scrap of paper I’ve written on over the last 2 years, and I wrote down every thing I know to be true about myself, Jesus, and our life here on Avent street. The weight of life was laying heavy on my shoulders and I was staring at a calendar filled with squares filled to the margins and the invitations to good things were arriving in my email box at record speed.
And I was finding that all I wanted to do was hole up and hide out. And cry.
So I did.
I drove around downtown at all hours of the night and I let the tears fall in all manner of ugly. I drove up and down the scary streets and watched people drag themselves across gas station parking lots. I listened to the music blaring in the cars next to me and I talked to God about what He was about here and then I cried some more.
I cried for the things I miss and for the familiarity of a life that meets the approval of others.
I cried for the church I miss and for the one I’m learning to love.
I cried for the longing of someone to follow after, to cheerlead with, to run hard alongside.
I cried for the brokenness of the whole world and for the messiness of loving it.
I cried for the life we’re giving our kids and the one they’ll not have.
I cried for the good people see in me and I cried because all I see is my own depravity and lack.
I cried for being tired.
I cried because Jesus is all I have and He is supposed to be enough.
And when all the crying was over, I pulled up my big girl panties and drove myself back to Avent street and back to the life I didn’t choose.
And I got down to business with figuring out how God wanted me to live here on Avent and how He wanted me to live in this space of internet.
For days, I did the hard work of praying and digging into all the things Jesus told us before we moved here. I laid out my gifts and my passions and lined them up with what I saw Jesus doing in my place. I looked for patterns in my emotions and in my daily rhythms. I looked for God’s movement and I paid attention to the things that made me cry. I listened to my heart recall the truths about myself. I picked up my bible and looked back over piles of notes and found the things that God had been saying to me.
And I began to see a thread: People, Place, Wholehearted, Church, Jesus.
And that thread turned into the following 2 purpose statements; one for this blog and one for myself as I relate to using my gifts here.
Purpose Statement for A Street Called Avent (my blog name in my head…)
This place, my blog, exists to spur us on to love the people and the places we’ve been called to, by living authentic, wholehearted lives, committed to being the Church who makes much of Jesus.
Purpose Statement for Lori
A Street Called Avent is the place I retreat to process the things I am learning about myself, my community, my city, and Jesus. I write because writing helps me to figure out what I think and how I believe. I am also held accountable to live what I say I believe. I love the community here because I love inspiring others to take a leap of faith right out of their comfortable homes and straight into a world who is lost and dying without the Gospel. I long to see to see others give up the pretty for the gritty and live with purpose and passion, forsaking all they love and desire for the hope found only in Jesus. And I must model the way, in real life and online, for that is God’s call on my life right now.
I wrote these purpose statements out of a place of knowing that God has me right where I am, in the middle of this town, among these people, and in this chapter of His story. They stand like a covenant between me and God; one in which I acknowledge that I see His hand, I trust His plan, and I submit to His work in my life. And I see and trust and submit because I know He loves me.
I also wrote them because I’m certain that I”m supposed to write the story as it unfolds and I needed to stitch up some frayed edges of my writing. As this community has grown, so have the invitations to participate in all sorts of things in this great big world of internet space and I felt I needed a purpose statement to help me make wise decisions in what I step into and what I graciously decline.
I have no idea where you are or what you’re doing or if you’re in some car flying down the highway, crying all the way to where you’re going, but I know that God has a purpose for your life.
And my prayer for you is that you do the hard work of finding it and then do the harder work of living it.
*a quiet thank you to all you faithful people who have labored with me over the last few weeks of posts…think I’m all done with house keeping sorts of things…Back to story telling next week…