One of my favorite movies is Akeelah and the Bee. Against some major odds, Akeelah ends up going to the National Spelling Bee. The movies' themes center around love, support and coaching others, and overcoming loss. It is only through the help of others that Akeelah makes it as far as she does.
I'm having a very Akeelah and the Bee moment this week. I'm going to be ordained as a deacon in full-connection in the United Methodist Church. It is like many other milestones in my life in that it is both an ending of a long journey but also a beginning or continuation of another journey or calling.
In 1998, God told me to go and preach the gospel. It turned out He wasn't kidding. After 12 years of trying to convince Him otherwise, He's finally taught me that I'm in this for good. He's prepared me. He's equipped me. He's sustained me.
But it hasn't been just God but God working through others. So many people have been there along the way and I'd like to take this time to thank them all. So here goes...
1) The people who said I couldn't do it. That's right. Every time someone said that I couldn't do this I began to doubt too. I told God - no. And each time, He showed me I could do this and made me even more determined to reach my goal.
2) The people who said I shouldn't do it. You know who you are. Thank you for helping research what I was getting myself into. It hasn't been and won't always be easy. I understand why you said that. But please understand that I'm following God's call and have been through a very thorough discerning process. I'm a big girl and I'm ready to roll.
3) To those who love me no matter what crazy thing I do. You are the ones that love me as God does - bad hair days and all. You helped watch my kids when I needed to study in seminary. You proofed papers for me knowing that I'm a spell checking nightmare. You sent me a message telling me to hang in there. You took me out to have fun to get away from things that were often too serious. You hugged me and cried with me when I needed to heal. You laughed with me so hard that I thought I might do bodily damage. I can't thank you enough.
"You know that feeling where everything feels right? Where you don't have to worry about tomorrow or yesterday, where you feel safe and know you're doing the best you can? There's a word for that, it's called love. L-O-V-E."
And it goes for me too - that's what I feel for all my friends, for all my family, for all my coaches. Thank you. Thank God. And celebrate this accomplishment with me. You deserve it!
Until Everyone Hears,