This week marks the beginning of another SCORRE™ Conference.
After 9 years of being a part of this incredible team, of learning and growing and serving with people who are more family than friends, this week also marks the first time I missed it.
I just wasn’t well enough. My body wasn’t yet strong enough to travel so far from home and dive back into work. My heart and mind wanted to, more than anything. My body wouldn’t have any part of it.
Y’all know I try to keep it real, give you the honest truth. That said, brace yourself while I puke my guts up for just a minute.
It would be ridiculously easy for me to feel sorry for myself right about now (understatement of the year). For almost a decade, I’ve identified myself as a communicator. It’s what I DO. It’s what I LOVE to do. It’s a role that makes me feel ALIVE and SATISFIED, like I’m contributing something valuable to the world and am worthy of my skin.
Instead, I’m stuck on the family room couch. Picture day-old yoga pants, bed-head with only half a head of hair, and yesterday’s mascara smeared down to my chin. Yep, I’m a vision. After all this time, I’m still neck-deep in healing. Still working to relearn how to talk and eat and live a relatively normal life. Still searching for the “me” I used to be, afraid she might be lost forever.
It stinks like rotten cheese.
Some of you have hinted at jealousy over my position on the couch. As if you would give anything to have such “free time” at your disposal. Let me be clear: This is not free time. My time on the couch is some of the hardest work I’ve ever done. Even so, the couch does ZERO to make me feel worthy. Sleeping and resting and “healing” do nothing to make me feel significant. On the contrary—give me a second as I readjust my atrophied self on the worn cushions—I feel frustrated, lonely, tired and … small.
AND YET. Isn’t this, in and of itself, telling?
You and I both know it isn’t what we DO that gives us value or makes us worthy. It’s who we ARE. Created and known by the One who weaved together every single cell of our beautiful bodies.
A baby newly born doesn’t lack value because she can’t contribute a worthy offering. In fact, entire families will stop what they’re doing to circle around this new life, completely caught up in adoring these 8 pounds of squawking, demanding flesh. Her entire purpose is to live. She gives nothing, expects everything. And yet, the fact that the child breathes is enough to make her mama cry. Love requires nothing more.
Huh. I’d forgotten.
How easily we ALL forget.
Yes, this week I’m once again camped out on the couch. It’s not what I hoped for, but it’s what is. Perhaps I’ll do a little writing, maybe draft a blog post or a chapter in the next book. Or maybe I’ll have no more strength than to sleep and pray for my friends at the SCORRE™ Conference from a distance. If that’s the sum total of my offering, then I will choose to savor the privilege of being alive enough to love and pray from my perch on the couch. And I will believe that life counts for what it is, not for what it does.
Now, how about you?
Are you stuck some place you don’t want to be?
Are you looking off in the distance, aching to be somewhere “better,” offer the world a more worthy contribution? Are you wrapped up in frustration over all the ways today is not what you hoped for?
If so, I get it. You can certainly spend the day feeling sorry for yourself. I’d understand.
Or you can join me in telling yourself the truth.
(1) There’s something sacred about where you currently sit. As random or wretched or “Plan B” as it may appear, you can find significance even here. You can choose to focus on all you’ve lost, OR choose to savor what you still have. Either way, don’t wish today away without taking a second look. If you need to feel sorry for yourself for a moment, go for it. But don’t forget there could be a gift hidden in the grief.
And (2) You’re valuable, exactly as you are. No effort or offering is required. Your worth is already established, at the moment of your first breath by the One who gave it to you. From the first day until this day, He circles up around you and sees evidence of the miracle of life. So take a nap, breathe deep, and rest.
Love requires nothing more.
“I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” —Jeremiah 29:11-13 (The Message)
What is the gift hidden in today for you?