When we were planning the Summer schedule for AMPLIFY a few months ago, a cookout planned for this past weekend was something I was really looking forward to. (Thank You Niki & Nathan!) Sunday gatherings have their own special rhythm of connecting and I was looking forward to enjoying time with these same people in a more laid back summer rhythm.
The week leading up to the cookout changed that for me. My niece's husband was killed in a tragic car accident and we left town to be with my family in Tennessee. Even though it was time of grieving it was also a sacred time of celebrating a life well lived. I was grateful for time we were able to spend with family and leaving was hard.
After getting back to Jacksonville my emotions felt so raw. Everything felt a little harder no longer being surrounded by extended family. And now the thought of sitting around at a cookout casually chatting felt more like torture.
We've been talking about our stories this Summer. More specifically we've been talking about seeing God in our stories. We even changed our schedule up this Summer at AMPLIFY to force us to connect with God and each other in a different way. So as one of the leaders challenging our community of faith to be willing to be uncomfortable in this effort during these Summer months...missing the cookout didn't seem to be an option.
Even though I choked up talking about the past week on the drive to the cookout I knew the drive home would be better.
And it was.
Because hot dogs are healing...joking :)
Opening up our hearts to receive is healing.
When we feel pain our flesh wants to pull away,
but healing only comes when we show up.
My cookout conversations are stories for another time...
but let's just say
I'm glad I showed up.
(Here's a pic my friend Pam took of me at the cookout. Thankful for friends that are there when you are a Superstar and more importantly...when you're not.)