As I finished up a conversation with some friends, one of them asked how they could be praying for me. They knew that my job was ending, and that I was really scared about what was going to happen next and how long it was going to take to get to that next. I paused a few moments, trying to come up with a new way to say the prayers I had been saying for weeks. Finding nothing new, I responded with hoping for a peaceful end to my job and new doors to open.
One of the friends then asked how they could be supporting me in this time. That was a new question and one I didn’t have an experienced answer for. It actually brought tears to my eyes. I again had to pause a few moments to dry some tears and find my voice. I asked that they would keep seeking me out in the coming weeks, and when we can that they would invite me to do things with them. I admitted that I was feeling worthless and unlovable (words that tumbled out of my mouth without my brain fully processing them). The women offered me space for the words and the tears, and promised they would check in. They did not say that I was wrong to be having those feelings, which I appreciated. Instead they said they loved me and that I would find a good place again.
Only a handful of my friends will recognize the step that is in the photograph at the top of this blog post. They might have seen it a few times, or like me walked past it at least twice a day entering and exiting work. It is one of a dozen etched steps on the entry path into Faubion School, where our offices were housed. Sometimes I walked that pathway, noting the diverse values before me; most of the time I was too focused on where I was late getting to.
Even though most of you reading this will not recognize where that step is, I anticipate you can connect with the value it reflects. We all want to belong. We want a place. We want a person. We want to be wanted, to be needed. If we are missing, we want someone to notice.
You do not need to know where this pathway is to recognize that the step fits right in place. That the word is right, and even the nearby grass has embraced the cement in its neighborhood.
I do not know where #NextNextChapter is, or what it is, or when it is, or any of the other useful details that I’d love a burning bush to share with me any time now. But I do know that there are people I belong with. My resume may have a blank space in it. I need to learn (and remember) that I am not therefore a blank space.
I’m going to finish this post off with one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It is part of a long speech from Moses to the people of Israel, shortly before his death and their entrance into the Promised Land. He is sharing with them why God loves them (and spoiler, it is not about their resumes).
“God wasn’t attracted to you and didn’t choose you because you were big and important—the fact is, there was almost nothing to you. He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promise he made to your ancestors. God stepped in and mightily bought you back out of that world of slavery, freed you from the iron grip of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations.” – Deuteronomy 7:7-9, The Message