I was standing in front of the fire at west point while heat lightning was dancing behind me under the bowl of the canyon. I was twirling a ping pong ball in between my sweaty fingers. That ping pong ball held my fear. Fear of inadequacy. Fear of not doing a good job. Fear of the 50 eyes on me as I spoke my heart out to 24 different girls as Christ grabbed and reached for them.
I spoke a few useless words and threw the fear into the fire.
Every single morning, the sun came up. Every single morning, I flipped the light switch and sometimes whispered and sometimes shouted to wake girls from their slumber.
We would hike down to a waterfall called Boomer. Our legs would tire quickly as our joints worked in harmony–screaming out praises of helplessness as our muscles wailed to stop. Our sweaty fingers would grasp sharp rocks and carve our existence into the rocks of the waterfall. Some already eroded away, some deeply engraved for years.
Jumps from rock to rock down to the river at the bottom of the canyon turned into slow crawls through murky water with spiders and tadpoles dancing around our ankles.
A 3 hour hike took us 6 hours.
It was hot.
We would crack open our eyes in anticipation of super hike. The crud around our eyes would be washed away with sweat as our humanity was proven to us as we grasped for rocks–sometimes grabbing cactus, sometimes holding on by a literal tiny limb.
Sleep called our name. Our dependence and humanity pulsated through our veins as our muscles refused to work any longer. We depended on sleep. We needed sleep.
On Tuesday nights, our weak humanity would be proven as our voices cried out to our Creator as Saltine crackers were broken in His name and Welch’s grape juice drank in remembrance of red humanity flowing down the splinters of the cross.
Our worth proven to us by a circle of women. Prayers floating through the air as the Holy Spirit wrapped His arms around us. Whispers from Jesus saying “In my eyes, you are worth dying for.”
All humanity, all inadequacy was proven to me in the prayer chapel as I rolled up into a ball and weeped to Jesus “I cannot do this. I am so scared Lord. I am so inadequate. I am so human it hurts. My body needs rest. I need rest. My brain is exhausted, my relationship with you is strained right now, my life is confusing. And even with this, you have me leading girls. Help me oh Lord, just help me.”
Then Jesus and I sat there. No words from either side. Just the sound of me taking in His breath.
Then He told me to just be.
so I did.
Life alone makes me tremble.
God’s presence alone can blow all of my pride away. That’s what He has done.
He has proven my humanity. An empty prayer chapel is an honest place.
I found out that my love this summer spoke in bruises. Bruises of my past came up through other girl’s stories. I was proven once again that I am never alone.
A lot of times those bruises scared me. So I walked through a valley of ignorance. Ignoring that pain, ignoring the truth. Being a valley girl is hard.
Then I ran backwards. God caught me in His arms and pushed me up the hill at the end of the valley.
On the journey up the hill, I would run backwards and God would catch me and push me back. I would run forwards, then backwards, and God would push me back. He screamed
Kellie, my daughter, stop putting my love in a corner.
In the prayer chapel breakdown, Jesus and I shook on using those bruises.
I was quickly proven my inadequacy. Because here’s
I remember that when I pray, my prayers are heard by “the same God who answered Moses’ prayer for water in the desert, the God who gave Abraham and his barren wife a son, and the God who made the slave Joseph second in power only to Pharaoh.”
I remember that the Holy Spirit inside of me is the same Holy Spirit that was inside of Jesus when HE CONQUERED DEATH.
Inside of me is the joy of Jesus’ monotony. Childlike faith of Jesus that screams at the sun to get up and play every morning and the moon to be a night owl with Jesus.
The breath I breathe is the breath that was laid onto my chest by Jesus alone. The same breath that blew down my walls.
The heart inside of me is held in the same palm that holds the universe.
His love. Oh his love.
A love that traded a crown to wear my ugly shame. A love that knocks me down with crashing waves of grace that I have to use every muscle in my body to brace myself for.
A love that can never be figured out.
Trying to figure out the love of Jesus is like trying to catch fish in the Pacific Ocean with a tiny hair on my head.
His GLORY, blinding. It undoes me. Steals my pride. Shatters my teeth, takes me out.
I have learned that I am inadequate.
The seven girls that have gone underwater to publicly proclaim their commitment to Jesus,
have been held by my hands of humanity.
But suspended by the One true, most adequate, most wonderful,
most brilliant and blinding King.
I am inadequate.
But the craftsman and holder of my heart
is supremely beyond adequate.
Anything good in me is Jesus.
That is the end.
That is this summer.
That is this life.
For ever and ever and always.