On Finding Space for All of Me

A few weeks ago, as the girls and I were helping at the church work day, one of the trustees casually mentioned to me that one of the offices in the new staff area would be mine if I wanted it, since I am currently the art director at our church.

I burst into tears, and smiled through my ugly cry and told him that yes I would like that very much. I am not quite sure why the Lord led me to a Methodist church. The methodists are not exactly known for their emoting, but there I am crying, and laughing, and shouting, and they love me. My church loves me, all of me, and I do not have words for what a gift that is.

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this is what a preacher looks like

I have been praying, mostly without words, for enough space for me, so when a trustee casually mentions that one of the newly painted rooms is for the art director, I start crying. And it isn’t just the room. This very methodical man gave my two tiny and wild ladies paint brushes and permission to prime the inside of a cabinet because they wanted to help. When they dripped he quietly wiped up the primer and didn’t admonish us at all. He told them they were a big help. He meant it.

As a mother, space for me means space for my girls and there it was, just waiting for us on a Saturday.

And then… I got the text to ask if I wanted to preach on Sunday. Did I want to preach on Sunday? Have I been quietly hoping someone would let me preach since I was 28? Have I been longing to be called, called? Um. YES! yes! I would be happy to.

I couldn’t really talk about it, because I would start crying, I just….it really is a dream come true.

On the way to celebration brunch (y’all, I have the most amazing friends) my sister Jill got all choked up, mostly because she sees the same thing I do. “I am just so glad that you found a church where there is enough space for you. There really is so much space for you there.”

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I have spent a long time, trying to make myself fit places. Where is there room for a loud, opinionated, passionate, mother of two rowdy girls who wants to paint and preach and cry with abandon? Who wants to write and shout and tell the truth when it is hard? Why couldn’t I just be less of a dreamer, or a fighter? Why couldn’t I birth books and then babies? Why did this happen all at once?

I still wonder about that last one sometimes. But this I can certainly testify to: If there is not space enough for you, it isn’t you that needs changed. Go somewhere else, find another table, lean into to the whole person you are being called to be. It won’t be easy, but boy will it be worth it. It might take a few tries, and you will get tired. You may show up scared and bruised and it may take a whole year to spread out the ways you were meant to. Keep looking, keep dreaming keep growing. If God made you a certain shape and size, I promise, God made enough room for you somewhere. Keep looking. There is space for you.

You can find my sermon here. 

 

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8 thoughts on “On Finding Space for All of Me

  1. I am new to the city I live in and lost my teaching job I’ve had for two years. It is tough for me because I have been an educator for 20+ years. However, I am holding on to what you said, “if there is no space for me, it isn’t me that has to change.” I will go somewhere else, maybe another city or state. I will definitely do something else. I will spread out in all the ways I am meant to be. I will not shrink to fit in.

  2. Abby, When God shows you who you are and where you are supposed to be crying is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Feel the call. Where can I listen to your sermon?

  3. I love this and I love your sermon. Believing in space for me… it’s so scary. Good, but scary. I need you to preach to me every week. I’m so happy for you. ❤

  4. First of all, I’m so happy for you!
    I must confess as I read this I found myself thinking of how I long for a space like this for me so thank you so much for the last paragraph!

  5. Pingback: What I’m Into: June | Don't Stop Believing

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