“The world is so big it could break your heart, and you just wanna help but not sure where to start. So you close your eyes and send up a prayer into the dark.The smallest thing can make all the difference. Love is alive, don’t listen to them when they say you’re just a fool to believe you can change the world.”
I’ve started this post probably ten times and each time I get a few sentences typed out, I’ve erased it and started over. I don’t know how to start. I don’t know what words to say. I don’t know how to properly convey the way that I feel tonight. Each time I’ve started this, I’ve censured my words and filtered out the raw emotion and hurt that I feel and replaced it with what I feel like most of you would want to read instead. I’m sorry, though. I just can’t do that. I’ve got to be real with you guys tonight.
All day long, my heart has been heavy. My mind has been twisted all over the place. I haven’t been settled at all. If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that in moments like this, it usually means one thing. It usually means that there is deep conviction within my soul and that I need to stop being so busy in my life and take time to listen to what God may be trying to say to me. I’m really good at filling my time up with things that aren’t important and subconsciously pushing God’s plan for my life to the furthest corner of my mind. I do this out of fear. A deep, dark fear of falling flat on my face if I choose to live with no inhibitions. I’m afraid to hand the reins over. But this unbridled way of living, this sense of being uncontrolled, plays a large role in why I struggle on days like I have today.
I’m a nurturing person. I have a “mother mentality.” I was born to take care of people and to love those that have been deemed unlovable. If you and I are meeting for the first time, don’t be alarmed when I hug your neck. I’m affectionate and empathetic. God gave me a heart that genuinely cares and one that breaks for those that are hurting. I know that it’s a calling that God has put on my life and I was given this heart for a very specific reason. I know that God gave me this personality of loving people so that He could love people through me.
I was talking to a couple this evening that is so dear to my heart. Heath and Kensey Mooneyham (http://www.ignitechurch.tv/) are pastors at Ignite in Joplin, MO, and I have to say that I’ve never really seen two people that love their community as much as they do. I’ve known Heath and Kensey for ten or eleven years. We’ve been through so much together. Through ups and downs, one thing has remained, their love is unwavering. They have one goal and that is to change the world. In a world that is full of hurt and destruction, these two have put their head to the ground and they fun full force into the battlefield. When Joplin was hit with a tornado two years ago, they worked together with their church and for weeks, months even, they were devoted to helping rebuild our community. They went nonstop and their efforts played a huge role in watching this community come back even stronger. As most of you know, Moore, OK was hit with a tornado one week ago. Within hours, Heath and his staff were on the ground in Moore helping them devise a plan of action and letting them know that they would be there as long as they needed. The rest of the church has been working all hours of the day and night getting supplies together and volunteer teams to send to Moore. Like I said before, Heath and Kensey are die hards when it comes to helping others. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Isn’t that what we are called to do? To love others? Tonight as I sat in their garage talking to them, we talked about how incredible it is that God would choose to use people like us. Heath, Kensey, and I all have a past that would make any person scratch their head and ask how on earth God would choose us. But He did. He chose Rahab, a prostitute for crying out loud, to help in the taking down of Jericho in the book of Joshua. If He can use a prostitute, he can use me. He looks past all the terrible mistakes that I’ve made in my life and the ones that I continue to make on a daily basis, and He says that He wants to use me. Me.
I want to help change this world. I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I don’t want to be known for the mistakes I’ve made but for the example of God’s gracious love that He shows to me every single day. There are so many people that would argue that I’m just a fool to think that I could change the world. The smallest thing can all the difference. If my smile can brighten someone’s day, if a hug around the neck of one of my students shows them that I love them, I pray that I am reminded of that daily. I pray that when I think of the grace that has been given to me, I choose to be gracious with others and to love them with the passion of Christ.
I’m thankful for people like Heath and Kensey who remind me of my dreams. My heart was so heavy today and as we sat in their garage tonight, these two reminded me of the dreams that I shared with them when I was just a 16 year old teenager who crashed on their couch every night. When Heath decided to take the plunge and start Ignite Church in Joplin, MO, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. I don’t have a clue what or where God is leading me into, but I know it’s something beyond what my finite mind can even begin to dream up. And I’m thankful for friends like Heath and Kensey who I know will hold my hand and partner up and walk this entire road with me. Together we can change the world.