I realize I owe you a part 2 in the story of the girl who kept her self small… and we will get there… but this morning, or afternoon rather, there are other pressing matters on my mind…or other matters pressing on my mind.
Remember how you forget sometimes? Like how you forgot to text your mom back or call your grandma on her birthday (guilty on two counts, though if Apple would just get on their shit and allow texts to be marked as ‘unread’ I would remember to respond more often ya know?)…
Full disclosure this post was inspired by Pastor Sam Lopez at HillSong LA who preached on the subject of forgetfulness this past weekend. He too forgot to call his mom and, somehow, manages locks his keys in his car on a semi-regular basis (I didn’t even know that was still possible)… Anyways, he asked a fairly simple and yet vital set of questions which flowed together like a series of rivers colliding into an ocean of unknowing- How often do we forget? How often do we forget who we are? Who we were called to be? How often do we forget Gods promises? His timing? His word? His power? If we don’t like the way the Divine is orchestrating our lives we take the baton and try to change the timing and tempo on things. Our impatience turning the melody of our lives into a wild, chaotic, mess of noise and distraction and in the process we manage to forget the harmony God originally intended for us.
Sam also talked about how we ‘forget’ just how good we are at deceiving ourselves… how we lie to ourselves to get out of things, into things, around things… We tell ourselves we are behind and make excuses for not moving forward- why try? There is too much ground to make up ya know? Or we tell ourselves we are further along than we actually are, giving ourselves a false sense of being ‘better than’ everyone else. Perspective loopholes which allow us to forget the humans in humanity.
Side note- You are not behind, you are where you are and that is ok (shout out to Dave Evans)…what other choice do we have? Shake what your mama gave ya and keep going! We forget that nothing is ever wasted AND that our ‘wasted seasons’ are NOT wasted time… it is information, learning, growth, stillness, refinement… there is something to be extracted from or injected into every moment we get to spend on this planet orbiting the Sun at 67,000 MPH, that is 18.5 MILES PER SECOND by the way! (… confession I 1000% googled that, I did not have that information stored in my brain, I’m not THAT big of a nerd… ok maybe I am… but still, the point is we are on a planet and that is pretty f*&$ing cool).
Ok, everyone exhale… inhale… remember to breath.
Full disclosure, the reason I am writing this piece (while sitting on the patio at Go Get Em Tiger in Highland Park) is because I was supposed to be in a van right now, going from Chicago Midway Airport to the cutest camp ever in Wisconsin for a photo shoot with one of my very favorite clients…obviously I am not there, though I want to be… The thing is, I am not in control and I FORGET THAT ALL THE TIME! Who is with me? How often do you forget that you are not in total control of your own life? Yes, we make choices, we take action, and live like it is ALL up to us… but in the end the are greater forces at work.
Last night was a massive reminder of this fact. After not sleeping because of having to go the bathroom 17 times because I drank 2 too many cups of tea (and by ‘cups’ I really mean ‘small vats’) before bed and then the dog kept having to go out because he ate something he shouldn’t have and then Drews body decided to go into full on spasms for an hour… which was terrifying and frustrating A) because I was tired and just wanted to sleep with the precious time I had left in bed B) I was supposed to be leaving for the airport in a few very short hours (unlike tall hours) C) because feeling someones body go into involuntary muscle contraction for an elongated period of time is rather unnerving and D) did I mention I was supposed to go get paid to play with kids at a camp for 2 days with the best crew ever? Needless to say, in that moment I was anxious and afraid… I forgot that there is peace to be held, even in moments that are out of my control… especially in the moments that are out of my control.
In John 14:25-27 (what is with me and scripture lately? Its a thing guys… its happening… get used to it) Jesus gives us a reminder… of our reminder-
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Sam used this verse in his sermon on Sunday and it hit my heart so hard in the ‘wee small hours of the morning’ this morning… I have the word Shalom or Peace tattooed on my left wrist in Hebrew BECAUSE of this verse and I STILL forgot that I need to trust in Gods promise, plan, protection and peace. But fear was shouting all kinds of nasty things as I debated about staying or going, going or staying...
As I laid in bed (truly it was morning and not night by this point), I surrendered the struggle, made the decision to stay in LA and not go to Wisconsin (which was heart breaking and hard) In that moment The Holy Spirit reminded me of the peace only he can give. I breathed it in, letting go of my contrived sense of control, and rested in the fact that there is a purpose to all things…the alternative is chaos in my mind. I took action and got ahold of all the people I needed to and do you know what their response was? “Kelsey, don’t worry, sending you love. It’s what you needed to do in this moment, and it was the right thing to do - something positive will come of it all. Sending you all the good vibes”
I MEAN COME ON!
It was confirmation of promise and peace. Fear told me that everyone would be mad, disappointed and this client (whom I love) would never work with me again… but ultimately it was a point of connection welded in the fires of vulnerability… Another thing I forget all the time. Vulnerability, showing up honestly and without pretense, will (9 times out of 10) yield connection and bring peace where there had been fear, frustration, or tension…but that is a post for another day.
My question in closing is this- How will you remember?
May I suggest- Write yourself reminders, leave them on your night stand and read them before you go to sleep. Go old school and write them on your hand. Put them on a post-it note inside your closet or inside a cupboard. Set them as a backdrop on your phone, get them printed onto a phone case. Have a friend you trust set a reminder in their phone to text you once a week to tell you the thing you need to hear. Get yourself a Happy Planner and put ALL the quote stickers in it. There are about a million ways you can give yourself the gift of remembrance… what will it hurt to try one?