In the midst of doing what I love, I also get to be who I am—a mom who takes a toddler potty a thousand times a day, a homeschooler who teaches “school schtuff,” a wife who (most of the time) folds laundry, a friend who makes friends laugh by sometimes snorting when I laugh, and at rare moments a marketing writer.
Recently I had a freelance opportunity that required me to go to a meeting. A real meeting at a real office. So I sauntered past my drawers of regular work attire–sweatpants and a perfectly stretched MOPS t-shirt–and reached for (drumroll please) real clothes. Real clothes as in real heels.
I dropped off my daughter at kindergarten and had some time before my meeting, so I stopped in at my local happy place, the place where they serve dark-roasted coffee at exorbitant prices, but it’s just so happy that I don’t even flinch when I hand them my gift card.
Now I’ll just tell you that even though I felt professional enough to fool them into thinking I was one of them, I felt nervous. Nervous that I was going to say something really…..really…..really….dumb. Or that I would revert to my adolescent coping skill of nervousness where my face turns red and I saying nothing at all (crickets chirping…. crickets chirping while they stare at my red face).
I was working my way through it, but I could feel that red face just waiting for an opportunity to break through and show me who’s still boss.
With my heels clicking on the tile floor and my toes slightly pinched, I stopped in at the bathroom. There sitting next to the sink was a small torn piece of paper with these words: “Fear not, God is with you.” It was written in the handwriting of a lady who I imagined was grandmotherly and wise.
I took my first real breath of the day. Of course God was with me. I had asked and prayed about accepting this project. He would not let me be put to shame…not by a person who wears real clothes all the time or by a red face.
As I walked out the door I thought about taking the note with me when my rational-toes-pinched-self took over and chuckled at my thinking this was written for me. Surely it was written for someone going through a much more difficult situation than the fear of a work meeting.
That was actually the dumbest thing I said or thought that day. I deserved a red face for thinking it.
“Fear not, God is with you” (Isaiah 41:10) is a promise God hand-delivers to me every single day. It doesn’t need to be written in grandmotherly penmanship and left in a bathroom.
In a way more significant way, God told a man over two thousand years ago to painstakingly write it on a scroll and pass it through generations. And now that promise sits next to my bed in a book surrounded by countless other promises I need to hear each day.
I left that note sitting there, not because it wasn’t for me, but because it’s for everyone–for the mom shopping
with a toddler whose cookie fell on the floor, for the teenager trying to fit in with friends, for the person whose life feels small.
What promise of God do you need to be reminded of today?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Let’s pretend I write it in grandmotherly handwriting for you and leave it in the bathroom.
And don’t doubt it’s meant for you. It’s meant for you today.