Prior to this <airquotes>spring</airquotes>, I would have told you I lived in West Michigan. Lately, I’d have to say it’s up for debate as there is a bit of a Seattle-y feel; what with our consistently overcast skies and 20-90% chances for precipitation on any given day. And honestly? I’m not even complaining.
But the farmers are.
The weather and the challenges it poses for so many of those whose livelihood depends on planting and tending to crops this time of year is difficult for those of us with a desk job to fully understand. But, I’d like to think I can empathize … at least figuratively.
I remember when I first interviewed for my new role with my potential upline (aka boss), I was sitting in my car in a Starbucks parking lot in the blazing heat of mid-summer (back when we had summer here). The conversation was easy and he only chuckled when I admitted that the sirens in the background were due to my ill-timed travel from the office to a coffee shop. I knew right away I would come to appreciate Joe on a level far beyond a normal manager.
Not long after I started, we had a one-on-one and both shared a bit about our faith. I know that for some this conversation would never happen and for others, it might be offensive. Personally, I found it refreshing and found myself further drawn to this man who clearly had a depth of experience and spiritual insight that I would appreciate more as time passed.
Actually, most of our conversations found our way there because he wanted me to find the way to connect my faith back to the experiences I was having in my new position. To be honest, it’s not been easy to change careers at my ripe old age of – shhh, we don’t talk about it. There are processes and tools and a million (fine, 30ish thousand) people and … just other stuff. It’s been a lot. And I’m quite possibly the most tired I’ve been in my adult life because my brain is on information overload.
And you probably have sensed my heart’s a bit overwhelmed as well. While I allude to how tender my emotions are, I might not come out and say everything because I have a desire to protect people and things that are dear to me. But I’ll just be a bit more transparent in this moment and say that mentally and emotionally, I’m a little bit broken. Maybe a lot. I don’t know.
But Joe told me I was a few months ago. And he said it was good.
Here’s the part where I look at someone and I cross my eyes a little and wrinkle my face because … ‘how? but why tho?’
He likened me to a field. I swear I wrinkled my face again. He said, ‘I have to tell you. I look at you and I see this field. I see a field that is being prepared for planting. There is all this tilling and work and preparation that breaks every last bit of that dirt up but it’s absolutely necessary for the field to be ready to plant and then, to be harvested. It’s good.’
I’ll tell you. I heard what he was saying but I might have been a little upset by it. Because I feel like I’ve been breaking a little bit for much of my adult life. I’ve been pushing and striving and doing my best to perform so I could feel accepted, needed, chosen and wanted. I’ve felt nearly every ounce of pain those close to me have felt and I’ve wanted to rip that pain away and take it on myself. I’ve loved harder than sometimes I even feel capable of and have been hurt immensely in the cases where that love isn’t returned. But … I’m a 2 on the Enneagram. It’s how we roll.
And so … at nearly 39.5 years old (SHUT.UP.), I’m admitting I’m broken. Because, God. I spent most of my adult life doing all of those things for everyone (including myself) else but Him. He lost first place for much of that time and I looked everywhere else to fill that gaping hole that only He could fill; that only He could plant. And that whole time my field was in some state of ill-preparedness … be it too weed-infested, rock-overrun or just plain flooded.
It wasn’t ready.
It’s so dumb, really. I mean, I know Him. We have a thing. And it’s not fake or contrived. Trust me, there have been some real experiences I could never adequately explain. But. But, I was still too worried about all of those other things that I really have no control over to just let Him do His work. So now, while the farmers wait with anticipation for the fields to be ready, I wait in anticipation – in my brokenness – for Him to do the planting; to fill that gaping hole.
I don’t know what’s next. I don’t even know what kind of seed He’s planning on throwing in there. But I know that every time I sit with that feeling of His peace invading my soul like the farmer planting his well-groomed field, that I have every confidence I’ll be ok. Maybe even better. (Whoa. Look out.) Oh, I’ll still be emotional because it’s in my DNA. I’ll still cry at graduations I refuse to attend and probably weddings, and heck, maybe even commercials. But I won’t be operating out of the same space I used to … out of a place of fear of rejection or shame or as someone who is powerless to stand up for herself. I will know that I am His and He is mine and I can be me and you can be you. And it will be the most beautiful breaking and likely, the best fricken crop that He ever did yield.