Hello courage.

A dear friend from Oklahoma came to town for a short few hours visit, and we shared lunch across the big farm table.

"My heart is longing for deep community," I told her.  I poured it all out.  "I love people.  I need people.  Over the last few years, I've realized that although I'm still an introvert, I'm much more social than I ever realized.  And so many of our close friends have moved away or are moving away soon.  It seems we're just left here in this holding pattern, not knowing what comes next.  I often feel that so many of the gifts I know the Lord has given me are just not being put to good use.  I know and feel confident in my worth here with my children and husband, but I mean as a member of the body of Christ, as a friend, as a member of a community."

She put down her fork and, smiling with tears in her eyes, spoke words over me that I needed to hear more than anything:

"When you take flight it's like no other...and you will take flight in this next season with great courage.  The best is yet to be." 

My eyes brightened.  I sat up a little straighter.  "I feel hopeful," I said. 

"This is always how it feels right before everything opens up," she replied.  "Let hope arise and spring up from every place your feet tread."

A few days later, I received a package from her in the mail.  I opened it to unveil this beautiful "hello courage" piece of art and a note:

"You've felt in a cocoon at so many different times...but you're about to take flight with fresh courage and strengthening hope. When you spread your wings you release the most magnificent aroma of Christ.  Keep fighting from victory not for it.  There is no one like you!"

~ ~ ~

Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes we just need to hear what God thinks about us.  Scriptures say it, of course, but I'm talking something more personal.  And He often uses those close to us to communicate that.  What a sweet gift.

I'm reading the incredible book Love Does by Bob Goff right now and I'm reminded of the chapter where Bob says, "Words of encouragement have their own power.  And when they are said by the right people, they can change everything.  What I've found in following Jesus is that most of the time, when it comes to who says it, we each are the right people."

As I'm reading this book, my soul is stirring to live a bigger, more adventurous, more whimsical life.  Still a simple life, but one that is opened up for God to work even more.  It's a blog post for another day, but for now I'll keep reveling in this message from the Lord just for me. 

Because apparently, I'm about take flight.  I'll wait in expectation and polish off these dusty wings and get ready for the beauty that awaits.