I have spent the past week in Chicago at a conference for Christians in student development. I have loved learning and thinking about my role, and listening to people teach about it who are really good at what they do. It has made me, more than think about what I do, ponder who I want to be. I have been surrounded by young and older professionals who have had many different experiences and roles.
I found in myself a feeling of hurry and rush – this sense of urgency to become myself. When will I arrive? When will I be the full and complete version of myself? “Kallie 8.0?” When will i feel like, I’ve done it. It’s done. I am somebody to notice? I know this isn’t the way to live. I know that Jesus is walking with me everyday reminding me, You are simply becoming who you already are. The process of becoming is the journey of life.
I came up with three things I want to be described as: gentle, celebrator, leader.
I want to be gentle. I met someone this week who was this way. I want to be unimpressed by the attempts to woo, name-drop, or prove something. I always want to pause, to take a moment to think before speaking, breathe before reacting, and remember before responding. I want to have my heart, soul, and mouth at a calm and glacial pace – moving at the speed of the Spirit. I want my words to be few and well-chosen, laced with grace and marinated in good intentions. I don’t want to speak too quickly and let words off the leash that i can never get back. I’d rather anything than speak words that leave my mouth with a bitter taste and someone else’s heart with pain.
I want to be a celebrator. My best friend is this way. I want to be genuine in my love for others, more excited for the successes of those around me than my own. I want to choose to celebrate the engaged, the expecting, and the promoted – rather than grow bitter and compare my lack to their fortune. I do not want to be known for cynicism, bitterness, or self-pity. I want to rejoice in the good that God is giving out like confetti on those all around me. I want to genuinely squeal with delight for the engagement rings, the travel plans, the successes, and things going right. I never want to be the friend you hesitate around – not knowing how she will react to your exciting news. I want to be the Leslie Knope of reactions to good news; the happy reaction you know you can count on. I want to rejoice in the good that God is doing.
I want to lead well. I want to follow in the footsteps of the women leading us in the Church today. I want to say, “Come to the table,” and mean it. I want a house without walls, a life without walls, where people know they can always come. I want to not only welcome people in right where they are, in all the mess, but help them not to stay there. I want to walk with people towards Jesus (goodness knows I need that journey just as much) and towards a redeemed life. Not a life of remaining where we are, one hand in the Christian world and the rest of our bodies somewhere else. I want to lead people in a direction. Towards the Cross, towards the throne, towards fullness of life. I’m asking God to really teach me what this looks like.
I want to speak the truth in love, saturated with grace. To speak and write words that matter. I don’t want to waste a minute – I am in a rush to arrive. At the same time, I want to press pause always – to step back and know God in every moment of every day. He does not rush us to become who we already are in Him, He is with us in the slowness.