I was adopted for a reason. Of this I am sure. I was more than poverty, an orphanage, or third world country in political upheaval and identity defining. Bangladesh birthed me but did not get to hold me. Someday I may get to hold her hand and love her poor up close. Someday I may get to champion her vibrant heritage, spiritual offerings, and her rise to be a people of beauty. But for now, the States are my home.
Michigan has my decades. 3 of them. A family within a dedicated community to principles and faith. A brother with dirty blonde hair, biological to the parents I have. A brother with midnight black hair from South Korea, two years my elder. A father with a work ethic unmatched by most everyone I meet; hammer, nails, and a propensity to details and solid construction. A mother, who had a strong desire for a girl and, who like me, was raised by someone other than her biological mom. Odd details that don’t tell the story, but begin to paint the outline of the depths I may reveal someday. That family, in that community, those were good people working tirelessly to make life work out well while trusting something larger than themselves. This is the grounding I have. Family and then friends who shared experiences with me in my growing up and beginning of my career. Friends who surrounded my husband and I with fun times and memories to be cherished. But even Michigan couldn’t be called home forever. The tribe of little boys, the love of my life, and I wandered to Minnesota just a year ago.
Am I created for Minnesota? After this really long winter, I humorously cringe to imagine such an awful joke. But this is where I am now. With a heart full of very meaningful friendships, career experiences, and memories from Michigan, Minnesota gives me space to explore. The path and life in my hometown had amazingness and I grow homesick from time to time. But I also feel quite alive here. Minneapolis sets my spirit aflight.
So how did I end up in Nebraska? Why would I journey from the Twin Cities, through Iowa in pelting rain, to spend 4 days with people I knew so little about. How did it ripple courage? These two letters might shed some light. The post is long but the message needed, so I write on.
I tried to write this letter in a card and mail it to that lovely Arkansas home of yours. But the ink dried too quickly and the words seemed off. I dared, for a moment, to wait until we talked on the phone to describe the extent of my appreciation, but immediacy won the day. You are a dreamer of dreamers. Do you get that? Do you see your ripple effect in that crazy team you host on Facebook and your friends around the country? Do you notice it when your books sell and your message is sought after? Did you hear it in the voices of women who sang that Nebraskan Friday night in April? Do you feel it when your heart reads the comments posted to your blog or your cards get bought yet again from the store? Please tell me you sense it when the days and deadlines press you and you wonder if you should enlarge your territory to meet the call on your soul! You are a dreamer of dreamers. You awaken, you encourage, you cheer, you believe. You are not duplicated in anyone I know or have read. You are not a platform, you are a person. You are a person with a ridiculous amount of insight and hope.
Thank you for being that.
Thank you for being that for me.
For the GSDTers on your team.
For the college students in Michigan.
For those reading abroad and those reflecting in the late hours of the night.
I had an experience of a lifetime producing Jumping Tandem: The Retreat in Nebraska. These are not sugar coated words or random sunshine to meet a cloudy day. You gifted me a referral and support that allowed me to show a room full of hopefuls that I was adopted for a reason. I can own who I am and who I am designed to be. A six month internship with you, your mentorship, and your friendship weave around, lacing up some loose ends and helping me define my ambitions. Life-coaching is part of your career but it is clearly part of your gifting. Thank you for being a dreamer of dreamers and not standing still until it was a fearless thing to pursue. In the words oft repeated in these corners (Thanks JH) you felt the fear and you did it anyways. You named it and owned it. You modeled it; and you love; I am forever blessed.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Your ripple effect and friend,
Holley Gerth, who I am linking up with today at www.holleygerth.com is a part of why my GPS had to get programmed for Ashland, Nebraska a few weeks ago. I was originally going as an attendee until enlisted to help Holley with something, which transitioned into a desire to serve the retreat host, Deidra Riggs. Deidra Riggs, www.deidrariggs.com, planned and hosted a fabulous retreat, which you can learn about here: http://jumpingtandem-ne.com/. Some how, my random offers to help landed me a production gig of a three day event in the heart of the midwest. Thankfully, I have been trained by and interned with Jim Henderson Presents, a team of two incredible gentlemen and so I managed to show up, sort of rock it, and return home with only blessings, not wear & tear. Deidra is a dreamer, a ripple of Holley, a reflection of Him. We run with lanterns together…
My words splatter across the screen. The delete button is pushed. Part of me wants to write about mozzarella stuffed chicken my household ate tonight and ask about the salmon and veggies you had.
But here it is. If ever there was a time, to say thank you and encourage a fellow dreamer, it’s now. This is the exact topic Holley asked our team to write about today. Here goes the chicken-free, super long text, try not to Skype me about it tomorrow…
Vision. You had it. People. They enlisted to help. Participants. They signed up. You were set. The food was prepared. The table ready. Your Midwest event of writers, bloggers, artists, and entrepreneurs was happening. Then this wandering soul took a risk and decided to come on board with your mission simply because Holley did. I was following her current, willing to be in the motto of — live once, no regrets. I was eager to do what I could to move dreamers forward, because I am a hope chaser. Dreamers, by nature, are some of the most hopeful people I have met.
Did I meet you? When did I start thinking I could create agendas and run meetings? How did it get decided that I would lead the charge so that you could host with grace? Where were the details and years of planning that allowed this working relationship to thrive? None of it is known to me. That is the blur. Is it for you too?
The clarity comes in this, somewhere along the line I had no choice but to be 100% behind you and for you. I grew to love you, not just work for your mission. How does that happen? Driven service, a value I hold high, sure, but how did it happen THIS time and how do I express my gratitude for letting my capabilities support you. This, I guess. With muddle words and incomplete thoughts.
Thank you for inviting me to Nebraska. Thank you for trusting me with your dream. Thank you for letting me lead your crew. Thank you for sharing your heart. Thank you for letting me champion you in my own crazy way.
But above all that, thank you for affirming that my life, though evidenced every step of the way to be in the hand of God, from Bangladesh, to Michigan, to Minnesota, had to “stretch to breath” in Nebraska.
I now actually possess the courage my blog posts have spouted about for months. (Hope Chaser entry #1)
I have gotten in the car and chased hope.
I will not forget where I have come from or deny where I am going, you did this, You were the face of Christ to me. Thank you.
Your person for #JTREAT and friend,