So Lent started last week, one week ago today to be exact.
And it started with a bang.
"Bang," said my phone, as it slammed against the floor of the Steak and Shake dining room. Funny enough, Ray had just joked that it would be broken. Lo and behold, it actually was. Not completely devastated as I had been when I shattered my screen earlier in my internship, I resolved that we’d simply stop by the AT&T store in the neighboring shopping complex before our lunch break was over.
I tested out the two buttons on the phone to see if I could get it to give me anything more than a quickly fizzling white screen. “Bee-beep,” Siri started listening, and I gasped aloud in joy.
"CALL DAD!" I shouted. Moments passed.
"Calling Dad… mobile."
As the phone rang my eyes lit up, only to moments later dim in disgust as my own father laughed hysterically at my predicament. Ray, too, found my drastic mood swing hilarious, which left me glaring out of the glass wall-length window waiting for the two hyenas to stop cackling at my misfortune.
Soon we’d concluded that I would go to the AT&T Store and make sure not to mess up my unlimited data plan by making some drastic change to my cell phone type. But I had already settled on the idea that I would get a ‘fake phone’ as I’ve been calling it for the last 7 days.
I purchased a ‘blackberry-esque’ not-so-smart-phone for 19.99 plus tax and made my way back to work with two phone in one hand and a milkshake in the other. At least I got something sweet out of the deal.
Later that day, seeing as that we had no luck in transferring my phone contacts into my dummy phone, I received a text from an old friend whom was in town. This friend and I have a brief history of the romantic sort, and a much longer history of the dramatic sort that ensued thereafter. He contacted me inquiring about I letter I’d sent regarding our past. Without having his number stored in my phone, after just one message I knew whom it was almost instantaneously. Oddly enough, I actually had some downtime this particular Wacky Wednesday. Thus we spent a good 15 minutes catching up over the phone, ending on a note that I would text him what the letter he never received was about and why I wrote it.
Much later that evening, after all my programming was over, he texted me again. He was back near the neighborhood, and I was done with work. I invited him the the Ash Wednesday service at church. We had a lot more mutual friends and acquaintances there than I’d anticipated. I introduced him to a few people. It wasn’t as weird as it could have been. I was fine.
And then I got home… I went to the Lighthouse for a bit and played some awesome music on the jimbe. Then I got got back home…
Only to have received a response to a message I sent another old friend of mine earlier in the day about my whole phone fiasco. Not only had he responded, but he was still online.
Now this friend is abroad. So my contact with him is far and few between at best. But then, he mentions Skype. Soon. How soon? As soon as right then.
Hesitant but very interested, I agreed to Skype with him with an hour.
IT was great. He was doing well. And I was able to be encouraging and engaging despite my long, very strange day.
And this my friends was Lent day one.
The day before that, my house mom, Allison, had asked me if I’d like to fast with her on Ash Wednesday. I very quickly said no with having to teach a dance class be my excuse…
I felt convicted, subconsciously, because I ended up doing a three day Daniel fast (my first) the next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, in preparation for hearing back from Teach For America.
Yet before all this, I was asked to dance by my pastor at the end of service during our church’s version of alter call. It was spontaneous worship. Amazingly, that entire weekend prior Sunday, starting Friday, I’d been in an extremely “dancy” mood, wanted to push my limits and determine just how far I could stretch, how high I could leap and kick, how hard I could throw myself to the ground without hurting myself. A very rare mood for me.
All those calculated risks I’d taken Friday in my living room, and Saturday in the studio really paid off on Sunday. I felt prepared, both mentally and physically, to usher in the Spirit of the Lord. And I felt a freedom… a release. And others in the room felt it too. I was so happy to be able to worship God in my own way, but corporately in a sense.
I’m still wondering all of the motivations behind why Pastor Don asked me to dance. He trusted me that much. He felt he knew my abilities and my faith that well that he could ask. I feel honored, and I truly appreciate the opportunity to have God use me as a broken vessel to usher in His holy Holy Spirit. Something so amazing and so set apart.
I heard a woman praying aloud in tongues while I was dancing. Others that weren’t used to that type of thing told me afterwards that they’d heard it too. We’ve been mentioning tongues a lot lately in service. I wonder how this is going to go from here on out. The dancing and the speaking in tongues alike.
I’m truly amazed and feel so blessed to see this vision I’ve mentioned before come to fruition. It’s almost prophetic I feel.
TODAY is the last day of the life that I lived before finding out where Teach For America will be placing me, or if they’ll be passing on the opportunity to hire me.
TOMORROW there will be so much different. So many decisions, and so many plans to be made. Either to stay here next year. Or to move to Memphis… New York.. or DC. Where will I go?
Am I ready? What will my parents say?
What will that e-mail I get say?
Will I get it at community group? Before? Before 6pm, even?
I’m getting anxious just thinking about it!
There are so many possibilities.
Richmond is my number one choice.
If I get it, I will know it was God sanctioned.
If I get Memphis, I will feel as if it is the new place in which God is calling me to minister. New York or DC, I will consider only because of Katie and Lena.
This summer will be crazy. Institute or CHAT?
Will TFA even offer me a job?
What will I say? When will I answer?
What about Richmond? Megan said it’s happening.
My interviewer said she didn’t know - and that they were $2 million short.
God is a God of financial breakthroughs!
I’ve prayed. I know my mom has prayed. Maybe even my dad has.
Shaleetta may have even prayed.
God - Richmond…
What’s your plan?
What ever it is I know it is good… and for my good.
Help me to see what is of you and what is of man… and choose in godly wisdom. Help me not to get cocky in my competence but help me to be humble, discerning and ever-prayerful.
Help me not be too quick jump the gun.
Help me, Father. Guide me.
Calm me… give me peace that surpasses all human understanding.
Let this fast, having been honoring to you, mean something for this decision. Both TFA’s and mine. Help me, Lord God, in understanding what your will is and separate my desires for selfish gain get in the way.
Let me hear your soft whisper more loudly than any other tomorrow when I get that email or those phone calls.
Be there with me in the midst, Father.
I want it to just be me and you.
Help me to remember you.
Help me remember to pray.
Help me not get wrapped up in myself and my accomplishments or my failures.
Give me your light. Give me your rest.
Thank you Father. For all these things I ask, I thank you in advance for whatever it is that you have for me. Thank you for your strength and freedom! Thank you Lord that you are my strength and my shield!
My flesh may flitter and falter. But Lord you are the solid rock on which I stand. You never change. Thank you for your faithfulness.