Thursday, September 10, 2015

you'll see me tomorrow.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. The incredible organization To Write Love on Her Arms encouraged people to fight suicide with a message of "We'll see you tomorrow." They invited people to share why you'll see them tomorrow, to share hope, to spur each other on, to encourage those battling struggles. I gave a short answer this morning, but it didn't seem to do the question justice. Life is full of reasons to keep going. I hope you can find some encouragement in mine.

You'll see me tomorrow because...

Because being auntie to my niece, nephew, godchildren, and other adopted little ones in my life is one of my most important and favorite jobs.

Because cuddles, giggles, stories, tickles, and roars are the love language of toddlers and fill my heart to bursting, and watching little people learn gives me hope that I still can too.
Because texts from my people remind me I am an important piece of their lives and they are pieces in mine that aren’t scared off by my mess.

Because college is awesome and hard and I know it’s my calling to listen, laugh, dance, binge on late night apps, and love students through that season.
Because young people need someone to tell them the truth and set boundaries. And someone who will welcome them when they learn those lessons the hard way.
Because students, and all of us, need someone to be so okay with being embarrassingly silly and unashamedly themselves, and by doing so, gives permission to those around to do the same.
Because my students are awesome and I often find they make incredible teachers.

Because there are always good books that need to be read and songs that need to be written.
Because there are so many amazing restaurants, coffee shops, and adventure spots in the Twin Cities that need to be shared with good company.
Because it's awesome to watch someone else delight in something you love.

Because life is a gift and one that is lost by some too soon. We must live fully while we are able.
Because I told people I’d see them next year in Nicaragua and one of my sweet friends isn’t able to return like we thought he would.
Because I’m cool if I think I’m cool. And there are so many cool people who teach me cool things like that.

Because I am unique and am the only time the world will have this specific glimpse of God’s image put in me.

Because you can always “dance it out.” And because I never want dance parties to end.
Because the world is full of amazing puns and those opportunities should not be missed.
Because there are new funny youtube videos being created every day and I should probably watch them.
Because singing what I’m doing was my thing way before Marshall on HIMYM or Jess from The New Girl and it always gets a giggle when someone catches me and I totally didn't realize I was doing it.

Because I really like food.
Because eating outside makes food taste better and bonfires turn strangers into friends and friends into your people.
Because my kitchen is a place where mouths and souls are fed and my dinner table needs to hear more stories and collect more spills.

Because my parents, teachers, mentors, and friends have lavishly poured themselves into me and that gold is not meant to be thrown out, but used fully.
Because there are moments I am blown away with how well people know me and how exciting it is to discover new layers of people I know well.
Because there are way too many people across the country and around the world that I love and want to share laughter, stories, and how we see Jesus in each other, with one another again and again.

Because my world is full of brilliant people doing incredible things in their stories to love people, create things, and change the world through day to day love and I have a front row seat to watch in awe and applaud when they just keep getting better season after season. 

Because DMB is still making new music and the Gorge beckons me to come away again and bring my friends.
Because antiques and old things are my jam. They teach me that old, rusty things are awesome and to be treasured and restored, and that’s the way God sees us, too.
Because Jesus shows up at Nina’s CafĂ© in the fall, and on faces wrapped in hijabs, and in lightning bolts that streak the sky, and in sweet songs sung on street corners, in late night convos over pints, and in his Word day after day and I don’t want to miss an opportunity to rendezvous.

Because I was made in the image of the Creator, made to create and not to destroy.
Because I will never run out of creative projects to capture and reflect life, beauty, and hope.

Because people need to be reminded that they matter and I can do that.
Because God sees me, and you. My way is not hidden from him. He’s not shocked or scared of who or where I am and is going before and at my side.
Because hard days and seasons happen and I am so affected at times, but the love of God is unaffected and constant—a sure and steady anchor for our souls.
Because Jesus is the lifter of heads. That's good news.

Because summer is for beach days and Conny’s Creamy Cone. Fall is for football, apples, bonfires, and leaves. Winter is for sledding, skiing, and being cozy. And spring is for watching living proof of resurrection. And these four remind us that no season, whether excruciating or wonderful, is forever.
Because there’s cool stuff still to be done that matters; stuff to be done with people; stuff that will change the world and how we live in it.

Because it’s never too late to try again, to make a new choice, or to have a new adventure.
Because trails are meant to be hiked. Lakes are meant be swam. And rivers are meant to be rafted.
Because I’ve still not been to Duluth, or to a game in the new Busch stadium, or to Schwalmstadt, Germany to see the Schwalm River.
Because I have dreams. Of conquering the Grand Canyon. Of recording an album. Of caring for the fatherless. Of falling in love. Of choosing the same man every day for the rest of my story and accepting him choosing me. And those are worthy pursuits.
Because I have friends that invite me on adventures and that feels a lot like Jesus.

Because there’s lots of accusing, black and white viewpoints on politics, values, brand names, and salsa preference. Division abounds and I believe God has gifted me for gray areas and has called me to peacemaking.
Because days aren’t perfect, but lots are really good. And the bad ones draw us closer to Jesus and each other.

Because the devil and the world are a loud, constant buzz of lies and discouragement and I am a voice that can speak truth, both for me and you.
Because we both need to be reminded who we are and that we are okay and that we can overcome and thrive. Even when it seems everyone is a critic, I have to be reminded that I have a cheering section and I choose to be a cheerleader in yours.

Because I’ve known how hard ministry can be and want to be a safe, loving place for others who are there. And because I know there’s light on the other side of it and want to be proof for them that God's faithfulness can bring them through.
Because I believe the enemy wants to cripple my gifts and contributions, and yours, with fear and I literally say to hell with that.

Because there are always options; there is always hope. God is bigger. God is deeper.
Because I believe Jesus when he said he has life to the full for us and I look for it expectantly.
Because I have been through hard stuff and I believe getting bitter or better is my choice. And when I’ve walked a hard road, I better know the way to walk with someone else down it.

Because Jesus wasn’t content with dealing with us at a distance, but couldn’t help but come close. Close enough to get messy. And asked us to do likewise.
Because I believe love is worth fighting for. It’s worth the struggle and the mess and the risk.
Because there’s no wound too deep to be healed, no fear too big to be overcome, no heartbreak too large for restoration, no brokenness too intense to be restored, no hardship or hurt too dark not to be used to shine the light of life and redemption through Christ.

Because redeeming stories is God’s jam. And I’m a sucker for a good comeback story.
Because I delight in the creative power of Jesus and the fact that he can make a masterpiece out of my muck every time. That is a sight to behold and a gift to relish in its unfolding.
Because I have no idea what tomorrow, next week, next month, year, or decade holds and that is beginning to excite me again more than it scares me.

Because I know the plans God has for me, plans to prosper and not to harm; plans for hope and a future. And I know there are still lots of people who need to hear about the hope he has for them. I have work to do and so do you.
Because if I am still breathing, God has a purpose for me and he knows better than I do.
Because I could sing a new song every moment for the blessings God has slathered me with, even when there are moments I forget that’s true.

Because I believe Sonny from “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” when he says that “everything will be alright in the end and if it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.” That sounds like something Jesus would say, so I like it.
Because even the meantime is so beautiful. So worth it. The waiting is worthy all on its own.
Because I believe all that’s been dead reblooms in the light of Him.

Because I want to see you tomorrow and that means I’ll be there too. It’ll be fun. We can drink coffee.

But really, you’ll see me tomorrow because there are chats to be had with my mom and, even though they got trampled tonight, the Cardinals play again and my dad and I need to watch it.