I’ve had a lot of people in the last few weeks tell me how much they believe in me, and it’s been lovely really. It’s not like I don’t know that I have really spectacular cheerleaders, because a lot of them have been cheering me on in one thing or another for almost twenty years, but still…it’s especially nice to hear while I’m walking a new path that is chock full of creativity and vulnerability and the very real reality that I have no idea what I’m doing.
If I’m being honest, I wouldn’t even be on this path if my BFF hadn’t told me really pointedly that she believed in me and in my writing almost five years ago. She handed me a back a book that I loved and said that I needed to be doing what that author was doing – sharing and writing about what God was teaching her. So, I started a blog.
I wrote about what I was learning in my graduate classes and about how I saw God in the client-therapist relationship. I wrote about being a bridesmaid a whole bunch of times, and about how the Church can do better by single people. I wrote about my friends and about how they loved me so well I saw Jesus.
A couple of years ago, an editor-friend took notice of my blog and sent me a long email about how she was tired of working with authors whose ideas she couldn’t engage with, and about how she liked my writing and how she thought I had ideas that were good, and about how she thought I probably had a book in me. She said that she believed in me and this hypothetical book, and she said that it didn’t matter what the book ended up being about, she wanted in. So, I started writing a book.
I borrowed from their belief in me, and I started chasing a dream. And the more this dream becomes real, the more borrowing I find myself doing from them and from the other people who keep sending encouraging texts, Facebook messages, and emails. I borrow from my friend Melissa every time she won’t make day plans with me, so I can’t avoid writing in the afternoons. I borrow from Nickie every time we’re talking and she suggests that I write about whatever it is. And I borrow from Jesse, the one who suggested I start writing about what God is teaching me, every time we’re talking about my book and she says, “Can you believe we’re here?” Yes, I can believe we’re here. Because in the same way it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to write a book.
And my village is awesome, and gracious, and continues to love me so well that I see Jesus.
Sometimes that comes by email:
Ok, so this might seem weird, but I am offering my house to you as a haven where you can come if you need to get totally away from all of the “normal” places to write or whatever. The cats will probably want to snuggle and Tornado might bite you. It’s messy, sometimes a little bit dirty, we don’t have TV, but we do have internet! And a swing on the back patio. A coffee machine. Always pizza in the freezer. Am I missing anything?!? Like I said, I don’t know if you’ll even want to take me up on that, but I can give you a key.
I emailed my friend Maggie back and took her up on it because the heartbeat of my life and my writing is friendship and community and making intentional choices to see God in both, and here He was right in front of me holding out a house key.
Yeah. I’ll borrow that too.
I think sometimes people will tell you that they believe in you, and I think other times people will find a way to show you that they do. And I think both have a really important place.
We need to tell each other to chase those crazy dreams that maybe aren’t so crazy. We need to say out loud that we’re not in this life alone. We need to speak words of life and affirmation and love to one another, because we never know what God is going to stir in someone else’s heart with those words.
But, we need to give our words feet and hands every once in awhile. We need to clean houses, or buy groceries, or change diapers. We need to cook standing next each other, then sit down at dinner together and eat. We need to offer kindness as much as we offer kind words. We need to do for each other as much as we need to hear from each other.
Because sometimes love sounds like “I believe in you” and sometimes it looks an awful lot like a set of house keys.