The faint scent of bug spray rides a breeze into my kitchen window (Leah and her kazillion bites).
Little girls laughing and playing, sometimes bickering, in my backyard.
Sunshine bouncing off the still-green leaves into the afternoon shadows.
Has Autumn come to tease us or is she really here?
Slides and sandboxes. Cartwheels and handstands. Endless Saturday afternoons that slip into flashlight nights chasing fireflies.
The stuff of childhood.
As my children play and the youngest naps, I sit down to study algorithms for next week. Although its been years since I took on the great intimidation known as ACLS, not so much has changed.
Except me, maybe.
Last week I heard the ability to calmly handle emergent situations described as having “it.” You know, IT. The power-packed two letter word we use to describe an intangible quality one may or may not possess. I immediately wondered to myself, DO I HAVE IT? I HOPE I HAVE IT!
No sooner did the thoughts form than my heart heard this: I AM YOUR IT.
I mostly dismissed Him. In that moment I felt the pull of wanting someone to say I have “it.”
You know, someone besides Him.
Then I went to church that night. We are beginning a series called The Great I AM.
I-Am-Your-It echoed in my heart….
I closed my eyes as Pastor Matt finished speaking. My heart absorbed the Words of my Father, The Great I AM. He was reminding me of my identity. My “it” is Him.
So I can’t be defined. Boxed in.
I’m not a paint by numbers girl. Not anymore.
I’m older. Bolder. And I know something that kind of bristles against my pride.
And yet it sets me free.
I am completely free to stop proving myself to others because I have nothing to prove.
Wait, not like that. I have nothing to prove because I have no power to accomplish or produce the proof.
Jesus is the producer. The accomplisher.
I am a worn and torn, greatly loved, container of a woman.
He calls me as I listen. He sends me as I go. He forgives and gives grace along the way.
I live imperfectly with purpose.
I gasp for breath some days but I’m still breathing. Waves of self-doubt crash at my feet but I’m still standing. My pride screams: Prove yourself! Yet I prove nothing on my own.
I don’t know yet if I have the world’s “it” but I do have this:
His call to go.
His will to follow.
His hand on my family.
His promise as my strength.
His passion for hurting people inside.
So, as I pause from studying (and refereeing) my heart catches in Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
And I’m going to keep that celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything He wants to do in and through me will be done. I can hardly wait to continue my course. (the message)
See, it’s about what Jesus wants to do in and through me. Through you.
Whatever our call, His will for our lives, or the passions we possess, we need not look to others for validation. We need not measure our identity against this mysterious “it” factor. We need not become discouraged when we feel weak or inadequate.
Those are just feelings, after all.
There are many capable people in this world who do many wonderful things.
And that is good.
But you know what might be even better?
Doing wonderful…being wonderful…living out the wonderful…in spite of ourselves. Knowing full-well we couldn’t have arranged it. Couldn’t have imagined it. Can’t manage or maintain it. We lean into the scary…feel His breath on our face…and recognize the truth.
It’s Jesus. His Spirit within us.
And really, that’s all there is to It.