The Time of Your Life

I write this in the eerie silence that marks a summer day in my hometown. Heat and humidity intertwine, hovering over the slender pines like a suffocating fog. The air is thick. The day is quiet. Children will continue their play and birds will resume their melodies when the evening arrives. Even the morning breeze has abandoned us.

This is summer in Louisiana.

Along both sides of my parents’ rural driveway, pear trees stand at attention as if to greet each season with a royal salute. The green and slightly wilted leaves of this summer day will soon explode into bright reds and burnished golds. These vibrant hues dance in the fleeting breeze of autumn as if they know to live full and beautiful before falling to the ground below. It would seem each explosion of beauty nearly kills the trees, leaving them barren to tell the story of winter’s cruel assault.

From jamiwilliams.theworldrace.org

Creation lives in seasons. Trees, flowers, crops, you, me… we all have seasons. Jesus taught about it. Solomon wrote about it. The Byrds sang about it. My mom has a fridge magnet about it.

To everything there is a season.

In September, my season will change. I will say goodbye to parents, church, friends, career and paychecks. I will walk between those pear trees one last time before this property is sold to another. These trees have stood silent guard to my tears on many long walks back to home. Tears which told the stories of every imaginable hurt, from bicycle wrecks to a wrecked heart.

I will miss the yellow leaves and yellow buses of autumn. I will miss standing in a winter wedding and holding a spring baby. I will miss sofa chats with friends and long phone calls with Mom.

I will exchange a solid roof for nights in a tent, and hot showers for cold bucket baths. I will trade my pillow-top mattress for a sleeping mat. Dirty hands and hair will replace manicures and hair appointments. A 48 lb backpack will be worn in lieu of my Louis Vuitton bag. I will miss heat in the villages of Kosovo. I will miss air conditioning in AIDS ravaged Swaziland.

I am fond of my American life.

I will miss comfort.

I will miss being comforted by my privileges, possessions, and people.

I will turn 36 on the World Race. This wasn’t in my life plan. This wasn’t a listed option when we played MASH in middle school. I never played with Humanitarian Missionary Barbie. At age 35, I was supposed to still be a wife. I was supposed to have a family by now.

Yet, that’s when it hits me.

I’ve been striving. I’ve been attempting to live a season defined by the seasons of those around me- one that is not my own. Do I want to be married to someone with a faithful, tender heart? Yes. Do I long to look into a child’s eyes and see my own? Of course. Do I ever buy into the lie that I don’t have “time’? Absolutely. But…

To everything there is a season.

This is my season for wild faith; to abandon the expectations of culture and buck the status quo. This is my season to proclaim that the only One who can define what time it is for me is the Creator of time.

I want to live a life of unconventional adventure. Because that’s how Jesus lived.

I want to be defined by Love and not theology.Because that’s how Jesus lived.

I want to live untethered to stuff and unhindered by materialism.

I want a life that is authentic; not leased or loaned so I can play the part.

I want to live a life that isn’t in emotional, spiritual, or financial debt to impress you.

I want to embrace orphans.

I want to feed those starving and forgotten.

I want to witness the blind see and the lame walk.

Why? Because that’s how Jesus lived and I want to meet Him off the page and head on.

I am tired of a Christianity that is more American than it is Biblical.

I’ve read the Bible. Now I want to live it. Do you?

We are called to this type of life. Whether you are in a boardroom or laundry room, you are on a journey through seasons.

How do you want to live? Are you numbed by comfort? Restless? Are you looping around the same mountain of problems? What if you pinpointed your biggest fear and then sprinted into it?

What if you lived without striving and like the trees, just let your colors explode one season, and let your leaves fall in the next. What if you had ruthless trust?

Perfect Love pushes all fear out of the way. Do you believe it? Do you live like its true?

His hand extends to you an open invitation- but to take His hand you must open yours and release the things to which you cling. It is then, and only then that you step into a journey with Him. This is the freedom for which He set us free.

I too, extend to you an invitation to step into a new season as I step into mine. Maybe you can’t backpack three continents with me, but you can be who He has called you to be and not what others expect to see. Whether you choose to support my mission financially, with prayer, or occasionally read my blog- I want you to journey alongside me.

Embrace your unknown and live fearless. See you on the other side.

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