photo © 2006 Irina Iordachescu | more info (via: Wylio)
I don’t know what is broken inside my brain but for some reason when things are going good, I start expecting the sky to cave in. I seem to have an extra dose of worry built into my DNA.
I spent some time on Saturday night with my dear friend Martha Rollins who is the founder and executive director of a faith based non-profit called Boaz and Ruth. Over the past year I have watched Martha endure both physical challenges as well as some difficult things professionally. Yet in the midst of the storm she never let anxiety dampen her optimistic spirit. She even found the capacity to mentor me and help me to clearly see that the greatest threat to me personally and professionally is fear. I am often my own worst enemy.
Several exciting things happened over the past few weeks. I think I found a new home for Embrace Richmond’s office that is less costly, a better location and a better missional fit than where we are currently located. It also offers huge long-term opportunities and I believe it will strengthen our AmeriCorps recruiting efforts. We have a generous donor who provided a significant amount of funding at the end of the year and who is working with Charles to figure out how to expand the housing part of our ministry in a way that will insure a stable form of income over the long run. We are seeing a really strong interest from area congregations in our Unity Works training as well as congregations interested in going deeper in other ways with Embrace Richmond. I have recruited four new AmeriCorps members who are all really wonderful and who will add a lot to our ministry. Our current team is getting along beautifully and we are seeing some transformative relationships form in our communities. These are all really great things, but I heard that annoying little voice this morning whisper those dreaded words, “What if….”
My friend Martha told me to start talking to that negative voice, telling it that it is not welcome in my head anymore. My friend Charles speaks to that voice in me all the time. His favorite line is “God’s got it!” Today, I am determined to stop listening to that voice that keeps stealing my joy. Today, I am just going to rest in the blessings of the past few weeks. I invite you all to help me with this goal. If you hear me say the words,“I am afraid, I am scared, I am anxious”, you are to stop me and ask me if I really want to go there. I promise not to bite your head off if you take me up on this.
My friend Erika suggested I pray that God grant me “the capacity to accept my blessings.” I have never heard that before but it really resonated with me. So that is my prayer, not only for myself, but for all of you. May God grant us all the capacity to accept the blessings that await us in this new year.