Monday, February 20, 2017

shine your light over here, please

Yesterday, Addison and I were walking Flash, Addie's dog, around the block.
We were arguing over who would have to pick up the poop and who would carry it.
Because clearly, I am emotionally immature when it comes to poop.
(Not my dog. I shouldn't have to carry poop. That's all I'm saying.)

Our conversation veered into former job aspirations that I have had.
(There is no rhyme or reason to our conversations. Clearly.)

Addie asked, "Mom, have you ever worked in a nursing home?"
I said, "Yes. For one day."
"Only one day?"
"I thought I wanted to be a nurse so I signed up for a nurse's aide course in high school."
"What happened?"

"My first day an elderly woman asked me to help her.
She was upset because she needed help going to the bathroom....
she started crying. I didn't know how to help her. So I started crying with her."
Addie said, "You are the worst nurse ever."
"Yes. Yes, I am."
"What else did you want to be?"
"Well, I thought I wanted to be counselor."

Addie laughed.
"Mom, you would be horrible at that."
"Why do you say that?"
"You had to get off of Facebook because you couldn't stand reading sad things."
Funny how he would know that about me in two seconds
and it took me four college semesters of psychology to figure it out.

I didn't tell him I had also crashed and burned as a short term missionary in college.
Living overseas is no joke. Missionaries are rockstars. That's all I have to say.
Nursing. Counseling. Missions. Not in my wheelhouse.

"I have always wanted to help people. It just took me a while to figure out how."
"I encourage people."
"Oh." He didn't look impressed.
"With my writing."
It was clear that I was making no impact on him with my words.

But I felt like I had an epiphany somewhere between fighting with him about dog poop
and him telling me I would be a horrible counselor.

Sometimes we have to try a thing or 12 before we realize, "Hey, I am horrible at that."
Sometimes we have to recognize what we aren't before we can embrace who we are.

We all have a certain kind of light to bring to this world. Light that only we can bring.
I bring mine with blog posts and humiliating personal stories and talking about Jesus.
I bring it with baking scones and teaching Sunday School and laughing with friends.

It may take us upwards of 40 years to figure out how to shine best...but we should keep at it.
It is a life long journey of learning how to shine.
And I am still figuring it all out.

Others bring their light with knitting or dentistry or auto repair.
I can't do any of those things. But I so need all of them in my life.
Especially the knitting...I love cute scarves.

We are each created with innate gifts and a purpose.
Each season of life seems to invite new ways to shine.
God wants us to spread all that light and creativity around.
We need each other's brightness and beauty.
This life is too dark without it.

When we step into all that God has for us and let Him use us? The world gets better.
There is less crying. More goodness. Less hurting. More helping.
More clarity. More provision. More sharing. More joy. More loving.

I need all that good stuff that you bring to this world. We all do.
So as soon as you figure it out? Shine that light right over here.


Lisa Woods said...

Beautiful. Shine on, Susanna.

AnnieO said...

Thank you for that! My word for the year is "shine".... love to find little breadcrumbs like this!