(This post was written in thanksgiving for the creative writers at my favorite Christian website, (in)courage. They have uplifted me in immeasurable ways. Please consider visiting the site if you are in need of grace, guidance, or just feeling like someone else "gets it.")
The new (in)courage website with Lisa-Jo’s invitation to share what the community means to its readers truly gave me pause. I can’t recall when I stumbled upon the beach house. I only know it was Providential. At the time, I was rudderless, complications from my son’s Type I diabetes threatening the whole family through anxiety and sleep-deprivation. I, a career singer and voice teacher, lost my voice. And then I lost my way.
Somehow, you found me.
Your words of grace and inspiration lifted me out of the pit. I grew to depend on my morning coffee and “conversation.” God was working a miracle through you.There was Annie, laughing tongue-in-cheek through her posts until, “Zing!” I got hit with depth and lesson.
Then, Deidre, her straight-shooting way of expressing thoughts resonating profoundly in my heart.
Lysa, soothing those childhood insecurities I still carry;
Holley, exuding comfort and calm and Robin, free-spiritedness;
Amber, speaking the language of this Alabama-raised city transplant;
Emily, becoming my neighbor-next-door.
The list goes on and on.
Still I must mention Ann whose blog first introduced me to this glorious community. Who, unbeknownst to her, but with words and heart in hand, sent a post into the world to comfort me the morning of my father’s funeral last May. The first line? “Father of the Broken-hearted Daughter…” I was covered in His grace through her words.
Oh, how can anyone doubt His presence?
Today I’m surrounded by you. Lisa’s bracelet, “Dream God-sized dreams,” adorns my wrist. Holley’s books sit on my coffee table. Your individual blog posts clog up my inbox (but not for long!). What would I do without you?
So, because of your words, I’ve taken my own leap of faith. You said I could do it after all, right? I ignored the doubt and the insecurities, following His call to foster community through my big, bold, God-sized dream. Branching Out in Faith is being born. I don’t know when. I don’t know how. I’m in the 11th hour, and I HAVE NO IDEA HOW IT WILL HAPPEN. Three years ago, this would have sent me into the fetal position. Today, miraculously, I’m not anxious.Because it’s Him, you know?
He’s got it. He’s got me. He’s got the future.
So I can just settle down and walk in faith.
(Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits!)
So thank you.Thank you each one of you.
You have walked beside me…understood me…cheered me on…helped me discover blessings born of brokenness.
This love letter embraces only a small portion of the appreciation I feel.
But for today I want you to know…
In awe and in gratitude I write this.
In grace and encouraged I follow His dream.
In community and (in)courage you’ve helped me bloom.
I’ll be forever grateful.
Photo credit: Christine Walding, snapping a heart message from our Daddy while at the Gulf of Mexico