It's been a year!
Can you believe it is May 1st? I can't. Yet, here I find myself exactly one year after having stepped in as the Executive Director at Hope Street. Friends, it has been a year of learning; about myself, about my team and about the 40 some men women and children who call Hope Street home. I recently found a journal entry I made a year ago as I wrestled with my ability to fill this role:
I spent this last weekend at a retreat up north listening to a dear friend talk about the names of God. It is a series of talks I have heard before but nonetheless was brought back to knowing God is the great I AM. He IS whatever I need (not always want) Him to be in any and every situation. There was one name in particular that once again convicted, comforted and challenged me – El Shaddai: God is Enough. Enough. When was the last time I felt like I had enough? Enough sleep, enough money, time, space, friends; I mean let’s be real the list could go on and on. Do I really believe let alone really want God to be completely enough for me? Well if you were to look at my life clearly not. Not sure if it is the still competitive (retired) athlete in me that is constantly fighting for approval, to be better, to be the best. Or if it’s just my pride that keeps me from realizing I am not in control. Regardless, once again in the still moments I hear the same question, Am I enough? Only difference this time is I’m whining thinking God did I not already learn this lesson?? I put my shoes on the shelf, I trusted you with my health, I walked away from the relationship, I said YES to your call. It hurt to be stripped of the things I found my identity in for so long but I can look back now and know it was worth it. Yes, God, you are more than enough.
However, as I drove home from work today saddened and challenged by what is next, I heard these lyrics on the radio:
I have heard You calling my name I have heard the song of love that You sing So I will let You draw me out beyond the shore Into Your grace Your grace
Yes, I have heard Him calling my name, but have been too consumed by the noise that is the life around me. I know his love is perfect and in it there is no fear. I see him leading me to the shore and out beyond it, but I’m terrified. Terrified I will fail, let someone down, or simply not measure up. But ah grace, He gives me grace to do the things he calls me to. Grace for failure, lack of trust, and pride; so as hard as it seems right now I choose to say God is enough until I believe it in the innermost parts of me.
So if you are still reading this, would you please join me in this prayer:
Abba, forgive me for continually having to be reminded the same very simple yet profound reality that you are ENOUGH. You satisfy not merely gratify my deepest longings and desires. In you I am completely adequate; I lack nothing for you are sufficient. King Jesus, I will follow you, I will listen for your voice, and go where I can’t imagine going for I know your grace is enough. You are enough. Thanks.
Friends, it has been a year. A year with the opportunity to choose each day to allow God to be enough; enough for me, enough for every person who walks through our doors. You see when we rest in that truth the circumstances around us may not change but the peace we will experience inside cannot be thwarted. Thank you for your prayers, support, and words of encouragement. Thank you for continuing to join God down at the Greenhouse for People on 26th and Capitol.
ASHLEY N. THOMAS