One of the things I loved about the conference (did I mention that I just went to the Storyline Conference?) is that it was not one bit religious. It was intensely spiritual and all about the heart of Jesus, but there was no Christian lingo or insider church talk that would have made non-believers feel like outsiders. I suspect the large majority who attended were believers, but it was not assumed or required. We prayed together a number of times, but the focus was much more on how we live our lives rather than what specifically we believed. Each speaker shared that they were a “Jesus guy or girl,” but in the course of their teaching would sometimes quote writers or other experts who did not necessarily share their belief in Jesus. If I had been there as a non-believer I would have felt loved, respected and extremely curious to learn more about this Jesus. It occurred to me our churches could learn a lot from this example.
I also am a Jesus girl. And I went to the conference listening specifically for His voice. As I was reading back through my notes, I remember Glennon talking about an event in her life that she experienced as an invitation from God. An invitation by definition offers a choice. It is not an order, but an opportunity to participate and an affirmation of affection. Below is the invitation I believe I received.
Here is the thing I believe with all my heart, my friend. This invitation is for you as well. Do YOUR thing with great love right now. In case no one has told you lately, your unique, specific voice matters!
My Beloved Child-
Your voice matters. I made you in such a way that no one else has been or will ever be just like you. You are unique and, like all my children, that makes you special. You already have everything you need to live a great big life full of adventure, love, sacrifice, meaning and purpose.
You don’t need anything else to be ready. Someday is a myth. No one is ever ready. Everything you have experienced, suffered and learned up to this point is all part of the masterpiece we are making together. I gave you gifts and passions that only you can use to make the world a better place. Don’t waste these gifts I have given you on a small, safe, comfortable life. I have never once told my children to play it safe.
Don’t let the voices of doubt, fear or shame keep you paralyzed. They are lies. You will make mistakes, but I will be there with you every step of the way. Dream big and love big, living right on the edge of Yikes!
Share what I have given you with others. Tell people about the Kingdom. Try something new and, if you fail, don’t be afraid to try again. Love people that are hard to love and listen to them. Be real, authentic and vulnerable. People will still love you, even when you drop the act. If they don’t, bless them and walk away.
I see your heart and I know you love me too. We are in this together, so don’t be afraid. My plan for your life is for you to pursue your passions and use them to make the world a little better and remind people that they are loved. I’m not that concerned about the specific details as long as you live in grace and walk in love. Don’t wait. Work hard. Do YOUR thing with great LOVE right NOW. Let’s get started! I love you- God