November 15, 2015, was the worst day of my life.
I just tried to delete that sentence thinking it may be a little more dramatic than it should be. However, as I recall the day I can honestly say November 15, 2015, was the worst day of my life.
November 15, 2015.
The Perk Coffee House was one month away from opening and hundreds of details and schedules needed to fall into place. I thought, “I got this.”
I was in a tough season of graduate school. But I can handle the two hardest classes in the program during the same semester, right? I got this.
I can give my little ones 100% every day even if they NEVER LET ME SLEEP, right? I got this.
I can volunteer in youth ministry too, right? I got this.
I can be a loving wife, keep the house somewhat clean, get groceries, cook dinner, and be a good and intentional friend, right? I got this.
All those things I thought, “I got” came crashing down in the middle of a packed cafeteria room on a youth retreat. Great timing, I know. It was a youth retreat I’d been so passionate about the two previous years, and just barely managed to attend that year. I was empty. Completely. Not one ounce of my “can-do” attitude mattered anymore. I had nothing left.
On November 15, 2015, I had serious thoughts of running away from my life.
I’m embarrassed to share this with you. It’s vulnerable and I’d rather tuck it away and never speak of it again. You know what the hardest part about that day was? I knew in the depth of my soul that God was watching. I knew that He was allowing the pain in my soul. I knew He was being silent on purpose.
That hurt. God how after all this, can you let me crumble to the floor? I couldn’t articulate the lesson to you that day, or even that week, but now I see exactly what happened.
God showed me exactly what living life on my own strength looked like.
He let me use up every ounce of me to serve Him knowing full well what the result was going to look like. It looked like a disaster of a woman who couldn’t hold it together long enough to cry with dignity in a bathroom stall.
November 15, 2016.
Today is November 15, 2016, and it brings up a whole lot within my spirit. As I look back over the last year, I see a significant difference in my life. It’s quite the opposite of where I stood just a year ago. So what happened with all those things that lead to my final breaking point?
God took them out of my hands. The degree. My home life. The Perk. Shoot, I even wrote a book! All of it, He is in charge. Guys, it feels like I’m soaring on wings like eagles. I’m running and I’m not weary.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31
I plan to celebrate on November 15 for the rest of my life. I plan to celebrate the desperation God allowed me to go through. The most painful day of my life became the road I learned the greatest lesson of serving Christ on. I cannot do it, but He sure can. My friend Janelle said it in the very best way, “We just get front row seats to watch Him.”
So today I’m celebrating with my friends the launch of Encounter because this is the stuff God does when we let Him take the lead. Encounter is an online magazine born from the vision of The Perk Coffee House. Our production director emailed me this morning and said he’d never be involved with a smoother launch and my instant thought was, “we’re just watching Him work.” Now, all we need is some popcorn.