I've always been envious when I hear someone say, "My passion is..." Seriously, they may say horses, painting, running, dancing, theatre, decorating, drawing or cooking. It's not the actual activity that I envy; it's the fact that they know what makes their heart beat.
Having a passion has always been a dream. I think I've always known what my passion was, sort of. Like knowing you could be a good cartoonist yet all you've ever drawn until now is landscapes. Does that make sense?
I've been encouraged to write my whole life. Teachers, parents, friends have all told me about writing contests, torn out conference information and even entered my work for me. I have filled up many, many notebooks with words. Yet, somewhere in my heart of hearts, I know although I love to write, I really love speaking publicly.
All through school, I ran for offices, always tried out for narrator and jumped at opportunities to receive training. No matter where I traveled, I seemed to always end up in front of an audience. In college, I spoke to many different audiences including an Aggie muster, an incredible opportunity.
Working with a couple different youth groups while in college, I realized that my dream job would be traveling and sharing my story. This dream was something so deeply rooted in my soul, it became hidden. I never spoke this desire aloud for fear nobody else would think it possible. What if I put myself out there risking humiliation, rejection and failure and flopped? I just could not take that.
After college, I not only ignored the burning desire in my soul, I walked away from it. Instead of taking the narrow path God was calling me to travel, I took the path expected and took to waiting for an opportunity that would birth destiny.
Many, many years passed. The opportunity never came. My destiny became predictable and depressing. Fear, hopelessness and unfulfillment became my constant companions.
Summer camps and retreat experiences have been a part of my life since first grade. Even as a child, I always wanted to be the ones doing the skits, telling the Bible stories and leading the camps. As I got older and youth camps turned into ladies retreats, I began to grow a secret passion for women and speaking to women.
Last year at the Calvary Ladies Retreat, Karen Chaffin shared about walking toward our destiny. I decided that I would not spend another year walking away from mine. I told the Lord I would do whatever it took to move towards it. My prayer was that by the time I turned 40 I would have the character to back my calling. The journey has been rough but so incredibly rewarding.
Speaking on Sunday was a culmination of a year of wrestling with the Lord. He never let go of me even though I tried to wiggle away and settle with so much less. His rugged pursuit of me this past year has left me more vulnerable and more brave than ever. In January, I finally stopped fighting, listened to His voice and responded. It was then I realized all He was asking me to do was to speak aloud what He's been whispering to my heart for many, many years.
I want to speak. I want to share.
Only a few short months later, I am speaking. I am sharing.
I have a passion.
My passion is sharing my story publicly.
"Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:3b
PS I will begin posting my message in several parts tomorrow. Right now, I am still processing all the prayers that were answered in one weekend. Even now, as I looked up Psalm 40 in Young's Literal Translation (Thanks, Beth Moore) I was blown away again...the name of the Lord used here is Jehovah...I am that I am.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12