“I don’t think I’m doing this right,” he says, as he steps forward and back. I reassure him. The man in the navy blue shirt with the small daisies on it furrows his brow. He holds my hands in his and look at his feet. I tell him about what I’m reading. We ease into talking about the bible. We keep stepping into and away from one another, “Are you a new believer?” he asks.
In hindsight, the pre-challenge me would probably want nothing to do with dancing with boys in the young adults group. But eight days into the challenge me, feels so at home here, so excited, so ready to guide that those nervous looks roll right over me. This eager peaceful feeling wasn’t something I was generally aware of at the time of course. Because, you see, I was so consumed, so on fire for Jesus that it was as though I had been this new person all along-that’s the only way I can explain the stillness and the certainty. I’m coming to terms with how my old self would have reacted, pre-challenge, pre-daily prayers and bible reading, and intentional words. I would’ve tried to get his number or worn something sheer or acted as though none of it could touch me or been too self-conscious to ask questions or felt too small to confirm the newness of my faith.
How I relate to others shifted, so quickly, that I barely noticed, but I’ve never felt more sure of myself. It’s weird to realize how you see people changed almost effortlessly, from the inside. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I can acknowledge what a gift it is.
I’m learning so much about myself and it’s only been nine days. I didn’t know that was the only amount of time you needed for things to change. I’m reading the book of John. I think it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot of beautiful things.
I am in awe of who I am becoming with the help of Jesus and those around me. I am a version of myself I never thought I could be. I am that powerful, calm person who is able to be kind and vulnerable without expecting anything from you. I am a reflection of the people who have helped me the most. I am learning to be loving for others. And I feel so very calm.
I feel Jesus in everything lately. In music. In sunsets. In texts from my friends. I sit with him in the mundane. I feel so alive. So in awe. So in love.
A few months ago, while at my favorite café, I said hey to a guy I had met the previous Friday night. We chatted briefly. I asked him what he had been reading. At some point I asked him if he’d ever been in love. He said, “Just with Jesus.” He asked me about being in love. I mentioned how some love is sacrificial. Now that I really reflect on it, it doesn’t compare to this feeling of this last week or so. There’s no lack, no fear of loss, no surrender, just a very rich contentment.