Coffee is roasting. Theological thoughts are whispering around. The owner shouts loudly above the steamer, “ this isn’t no Starbucks!” No it is not, sir.
There have been sweet and tender moments in my life where I have felt the hand of the Father come down and present me with a bouquet. Sweet moments where my soul is left smiling. Is that cheesy? I don’t care. My soul is smiling, right now. Two of my greatest loves, coffee and theology have married and birthed a theological coffee shop. ( I’ll give you a moment to laugh. Everyone from this point on it is serious soul business.)
For the first time, in a long time I can breathe. I can write.
The past year has been one of the hardest years to date in my twenty three years of life. I’ve tried to write. I’ve tried to talk about it. I’ve tried to sing songs. I’ve tried to pray. Honestly, all have seemed to fall short. Around November I found myself lonely, surrounded in a crowd. A weird paradox that I had heard of, but had not fully experience until that moment. Gungor sang, “I am mountain I am dust..”. I listened in the back of the room and left crying. I couldn’t even hear the song. The critics’ voices in my life grew louder than the Lord’s. In fact, I felt like I couldn’t hear the Lord’s voice at all.
Late one night, through more tears, I asked the Lord what he thought he was doing with my life. These were not my plans. This is not what a call was supposed to look like. I watched as my friends made career decisions on where they felt their giftedness would be most effective. And that in itself is good. I get it. I wanted it. I was jealous of it.
However, my path has looked different.
I had to lay down expectations. I had lay down what I thought would be best for me. Shoot, I had to lay down what everyone and their mother thought would be best for me.
I have found my walking partner on this journey to be Jonah. “God I will go, don’t make me go!” I’ve cried. I’ve found myself angry and God leaving me with a one-liner. (Check out Jonah 4:9-10) I’ve stood beside Moses seeing the excitement of a future filled with freedom, but terrified because, well, I have no freakin’ clue where I am going. There is nothing sexy about this call. And there is nothing pretty about the self-pity it purged from deep within my heart.
Yet as much as my broken heart doesn’t want to admit it to you, there has been deep beauty and joy found in this season. I’ve found out a call is first demonstrated in obedience. Period. Fulfillment may come. It may not. Success may come it may not. Happiness may come, it may not.
Fulfillment in the Lord, though? Promised. Joy? A beautiful gift from the Father. Oh, restless is my heart when it is not resting in the Lord. St. Augustine said something along those lines. I am learning that what is brave, for me, is staying. What’s brave is looking community right in the eyes even when I would rather run and hide. To be brave is to sometimes, stay.
And so I’ve stayed. I’ve fallen hard for a people that bless me with their gray haired wisdom. I’ve shed tears with the broken. I’ve been broken myself. I’ve lost a friend. I’ve see life come from death. I’ve been learning the art of eucharisto. I’ve been understanding a solitude that brings peace. I’ve found out my truest friends are a motley crue of people who love, well, me. Broken, eccentric, passionate, me.
If you were looking for a killer one liner at the end of this blog post well you won’t find one.
I don’t have the answers, really. Not now. However, I have a journey. And maybe together, we will figure it out.
Thanks for the flowers today Father.
You know what I need.