Bob Goff started Love Does with a drum line.
I’m not kidding. There were 6-8 kids in uniform with drums and one kid blowing a whistle. They walked through the aisles and performed in front of the stage. Bob Goff opened Love Does with a drum line. It was awesome.
I’m going to sidetrack myself for a second and reflect on the fact that, though I love being out here and meeting new people; I think Chris McCandless was right when he said “happiness is only real when shared.” Not to say I’m not happy here or that being out here alone isn’t fun – I think we all know by now that I’m a pretty independent person and if no one will go with me, I’ll go by myself. That’s not a problem for me. But while walking around in a room full of balloons, talking to Bob after his session and telling people at lunch how my friends saw my suffering and introduced me to Jesus – I realized how much I wish I could’ve shared this event with the two of you. Or anyone for that matter.
When Donald Miller spoke, he said
“People reach out to us not because they see us for who we are, but because they see who we are becoming. And so they reach out.”
Naturally, I thought about the two of you and how you’ve helped guide my faith and build my relationship with Jesus. I thought about Easter morning when Chris texted me and asked if I wanted to go to Church. I never told you this, but that week had been an exhausting week for me. I worked well over 40 hours and woke up every morning to bike into work. I slept in on Saturday and all I wanted to do on Sunday was sleep. I played around with the idea of asking Chris to take me to church, but, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go. Or if it was okay for me to just show up to Easter mass randomly. But at 9:00AM that morning, I naturally woke up. I wasn’t tired and oddly enough, I felt well rested. So when Chris asked me if I wanted to go to Church with him, I didn’t even hesitate. I wasn’t tired; I wasn’t questioning anything at all – I just knew God expected me to me at Church and so I as going to be there.
My point is: I am so in love with the two of you. You saw my suffering and you could’ve easily just ignored me and marked me off as another “non-Christian who just doesn’t get it;” but you didn’t. Because I think you guys saw that God was trying to do something in my life; that he was trying to get my attention. And you helped him do just that. So, I thank Donald Miller for sharing his story and writing an honest book; but I thank you even more for putting it in my hands.
Being here so far has felt incredibly right. I think of all the places I could’ve been right after graduation, this is exactly it. Which makes me smile inside because I had that same thought a few weeks ago when I was in Florida with To Write Love On Her Arms – being there made the most sense for me when I felt lonely and sad that I couldn’t be in Boston while the city was falling apart. God is up to something; I’m not entirely sure what it is yet, but he’s directing me to these places for something bigger and better.
And so I was sitting in this room today surrounded by Christians. Listening to Donald Miller, Bob Goff and Ryan O’Neal from Sleeping At Last played my favorite song, “Noble Aim.” There were moments where I felt really out of place. I felt like a faker when people quoted the bible and I had no idea what they meant or if they referenced a chapter and I didn’t know what it was, I felt stupid. But this guy who performed in the beginning, Brandon Heath, he said: “What I don’t get; I trust. And that’s what faith is.” He was really cool and he made beautiful music. He went on to say ask: “What are we waiting for? What’s keeping us from loving people? What is keeping us from loving God?”
That stuck with me. I thought about all the surroundings in my life that I often tried to replace with God. But what I also thought about was how recently, I haven’t wanted any of those things. I met a really great guy who has been nothing but nice to me. In a perfect world, he’s my ideal guy. But he’s not because what I couldn’t – and didn’t want to – explain was my newfound faith. Not that I was embarrassed by it, but because I don’t understand it yet. But it’s this new relationship that I have but I feel like I can only talk about it with few people. People who won’t say I can find that same thing in a drug or through sex. Because people do say that. I’ve felt a little lost because I don’t know what to say sometimes; but nowadays I’m writing and thinking more because I’ve found it. I found what I lost and what I lost was myself.
Don says “when we lose that, we lose our way. and when we can’t be ourselves, we end up isolating ourselves.”
The first few months after I finished school in December were met with so much darkness. So much confusion and so many questions. When I get depressed, it’s very hard for me because I don’t want to show it since people know me as a happy and put together girl. So in order to hide it, I hide myself. So I stayed in for awhile and did my own thing. I didn’t want people to know that I didn’t have it figured out. Just as for awhile there, I didn’t want people to know I was thinking about Jesus.
Don said some more things that shaped me literally throughout his speech.
He said not to be careful.
He said we are careful because we don’t want tp be wrong. Or to be judged.
He said God lets us get in touch with the passion within us because maybe – just maybe – he is letting us decide what we want to do. He wants to light us up.
That God wants to do stuff with you so he can bond with you.
There’s a lyric from that song “Noble Aim” by Sleeping At Last that sings:
Every broken branch and loosened leaf
That we’ve grown to ignore,
Is now a part of something greater than before.
Every nest that rests upon our limbs,
Seeking shelter from the storms,
Is a purpose worth being broken for.
I think that’s why He brought me here. This is us bonding. This is Him asking me: Who are you? What do you want? And what is the first step?
I think He’s telling me stop looking for jobs because he knows I’ve applied to so many. And I think He’s telling me to stop listening to everyone who tells me to get a job because He knows many have told me that. I think He’s telling me to continue with Hold On Another Day. To follow my passion. I think He wants me to go to India. And to write more.
So you know what I’m going to do?
I know you know what I’m going to do.
I’m stick with Hold On Another Day.
I am going to spend my summer working, but I am going to spend my Fall traveling.
And I’m going to write about all of it.
Because “we tend to put ourselves into categories to be safe. We spend more time preparing rather than actually doing.”
Thank you both for all you have done for me. I hope you are well. I hope I see you soon.