March 13, 2017 is the last snowy day that I remember.
After a busy afternoon and early evening of working with 6th and 7th graders, I donned my knee-length, chocolate coat in anticipation for rest. As I walked without certainty to my car (for some reason, I always forget where I park it), I noticed an incredible act of kindness. My co-worker, who also had a full day, was diligently cleaning and scraping the icy snow off of another staff member’s car. Soon, everyone on my team that hadn’t yet departed all pitched in to wipe vehicles. One considerate act illuminated a literal grey day. Everyone’s wintry journey home was made far more bearable.
Maybe, you’re from Michigan, or even more specifically from Detroit like me (it’s so cold in the D, haha). If so, you have likely experienced winters that seem eternal. December until arguably April are abundant with the romanticizing of fairer seasons, the constant hunger for warmth, days depleted of sunshine, and seemingly unapparent growth. In those times, discouragement might feel more tangible than hope.
I have been there, and sometimes, I still cope with this struggle. In tough seasons, I often criticize myself for still battling certain insecurities. I forget to embrace myself with grace, and remember the power of my story.
These past few days, I have tried to refocus on “blooming where I am planted”. All the desires of my heart are not fulfilled. My prayers are still echoing, tears are shed behind closed doors, and everyday is another attempt at faith. Yet, I am comforted that neither my anxieties nor insecurities can keep me from being Loved.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:38, New Living Translation of the Bible)
For me, blooming where I am planted resembles a journey toward:
- seeking wisdom from God, Scripture, and trusted people
- sincerely taking interest in the lives of those around me – celebrating the gift of every story
- savoring the joy of small things
- laughing without shame
- sometimes crying, tasting my tears, and remembering that I am human
- getting up and showing up even when I feel anxious
- doing the best that I can, and trying again when I fail
Your life, beneath the surface, may not seem Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat “worthy” right now. Maybe, your #squadgoals or #relationshipgoals feel unsettled or underachieved. Perhaps, your body image, financial situation, or daily routine fail to match your ideals.
Even still, you are loved. This expansive world with billions of souls would not be the same without your imprint. Along the obstacle course of life, you may not feel like you’re growing, but every single day that you wake up and show up means something. You are going to make it, you are going to thrive, and without realizing it, you will inspire someone else to keep going.
Your life is enduring, vulnerable, and imperfect–how puzzling and altogether beautiful?