Part 4 - the seed
While I sat in JoLa and read over these passages and thoughts, my friend Andrea came in. I told her what I had just read and how it spoke to me. As if speaking a word over my life she shared, ‘It might be hard because you know what it’s like to blossom and be big. But you can’t shortcut. You have to start again.’
These words spoke deeply to me. It was true. I had blossomed. 12 years prior, I had graduated college, was sleeping on couches, and trying to figure out what to do with life. Now, I was 11 years into a dream career with the Portland Trail Blazers and had become the Vice President of a non-profit that I loved dearly.
And it was time to start again. But it was time to start… by doing nothing.
I met with my friend Alan who is the Executive Director of Africa New Life and he said to me, ‘Don’t be wounded by this. Be wise by this.’
I wrote that down and continued to think about it over the past year.
I’d blossomed. I’d flourished. And I’d died, unceremoniously. I could try to sprout right back up. I could go underground and let the wounds and bitterness fester. Or… I could be wise by it.
I thought about all I had been through and I was thankful once again. If I was older, I’d be even more crushed, it’d be over with no time to start again. But I’m 37. What incredible opportunities and experiences I’ve been able to have. And now, even though there was deep hurt, pain, wrongdoing… it’s only more experience that I have to continue serving and leading others in the future. I have opportunities to learn from my own and other’s failures and to be wise by my experiences.
Hope can fail us if we put our hope in something built on sand.
But if it’s built on a strong foundation, when the waves crash, against all hope, hope can still be found.
My last summer in Zimbabwe, in 2017, I taught a poetry class at our skills training camp. I had given some prompts and had them write some of their own poetry. I looked over the class as everyone was seated in chairs across the open aired room. I looked into the eyes of my sweet brothers and sisters, most all who had been orphaned and suffered traumas I couldn’t imagine. As I watched them, I took my pen and starting writing too…
I see your tears and I cried mine too
Life isn't fair, I thought you knew
But when we wake again, another dew
Hope is alive because I see it in you