It’s hard to put into words why this weekend was so transformational for me… but I’m going to try.
Several months ago I was approached by my Pastor with a request. Would I consider organizing an artisan and crafter fair at our Church? The goal was to encourage and support the creativity God has given people in our church and local community and to somehow support a local organization with some of the proceeds. I was tasked with recruiting artists and crafters alike, work through a jury process for the vendors, build out the overall structure of the event, handle the marketing of the event, etc. I also had the job of identifying which organization we would be donating a portion of the proceeds to.
Above all of the event planning, I took the last item to heart … this was a very important decision for me that I took months to contemplate. And I finally decided on a local hospice organization … hospice was very meaningful for our family when my Grampa was dying of Alzheimer’s. We simply wouldn’t have known how to navigate the nuances of the end of life decisions without their listening ears, experienced guidance and patient understanding.
But let’s get back to the Handcrafted Market. Many months later, including some sleepless nights and a ton of early morning organization meetings with me, myself and I… and our team pulled it off, with only a few glitches.
This weekend I had the privilege of watching all of our hard work come to fruition and I was bubbling over with pride (for the dedication and hard work of the entire team), gratitude (for the shoppers who decided to support us) and relief (that the big day was finally here).
But later that night, in the quiet of my home, with my aching feet up and a heating pad on my twitching back… I was hit by something more deeply meaningful. My heart was pierced with a love-shaped arrow and it literally took my breath away.
I was blessed, literally beyond words… and this is where I’m going to struggle in finding the words to write this post… I was blessed beyond words by my friends who stepped forward with a willing heart to do whatever needed to be done, in a spirit of both support and love for what was close to my heart.
To be able to verbalize why that is so meaningful to me is the hard part… the emotions are so raw that I’m almost afraid to type them out.
Sadly, I often operate from a place of distrust and abandonment and hurt. And I often portray a spirit of “Oh, I can handle it. I’m strong enough all by myself. No, I don’t need your help. But thanks for trying.”
Distrust because of harboring hurts for so long, and continuous work on the forgiveness aspect. I often come from a place of abandonment due to way too many instances of being left “high and dry”, and without a support system. And that’s when I inherently learned that I could manage it on my own.
But not this time… I couldn’t have done this on my own.
Throughout the days leading up to the event I received offers of help from so many people. Friends offered to stop by and just “do”… just “do” whatever needed to be done. How awesome is that?! More volunteers signed up than we needed… when does that ever happen?!
Throughout the day of the event I received text messages, emails, hugs, etc… from people who wanted me to know they had been praying for the event, or praying for me… one lady, who I don’t even know, handed me a gift certificate for a pampering session at a local salon! Seriously?! Who does that?! God’s people do!
He loves me enough to gift me with so many true friends who truly want to support those endeavors that I commit my heart to. He loves me enough to wait, very patiently, for me to not have enough energy to fight back. He loves me enough to open my eyes and heart so that He can show me how much He loves me in those precise moments when I need to see it.
And on Saturday night, after a long day, when I was already broken and tired and without the strength to fight back and say “Oh, I can handle this.”… God broke my spirit and managed to show me how much He loved me, yet again.
Remember the goal of this event? “The goal was to encourage and support the creativity God has given people in our church and local community and to somehow support a local organization with some of the proceeds. “ God, as He usually does, managed exactly that… but on a much broader scale than we originally envisioned.
God has gifted each of us with a variety of gifts and talents. Whether that’s shown by way of tangible creativity (from creating art to styling decorations for a room of our house or putting an outfit together) or creative thinking (think “problem solving 101”) or simply enjoying God’s hand-painted sunsets… we are all given a specific set of gifts by our Maker. And through those gifts we bear His image. He has a purpose for every one of those… and today I’m grateful for the willing hearts who served alongside me and my team for something so near and dear to my heart.
From the bottom of my grateful heart… thank you!
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of the heart.”
Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”