God has a way of showing up in the most unexpected ways.
I hadn’t checked my blog or my email for a few days last week since I was attending the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza. I wanted my time in Detroit to be dedicated to spending quality time with old and new friends alike.
But one afternoon during a break, I decided to take a quick peak at my blog. I noticed that I had a comment on one of my posts where the individual asked me to email him. So on my way home from the E, I sent him a quick email. The man that emailed me was Cameron Von St. James. Cameron had stumbled upon my blog and asked if I would participate in sharing about his and his wife Heather’s journey as well as share about Lung Leavin Day.
In his email Cameron wrote, “Nine years ago, my wife Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Heather had just given birth to our daughter, and during the most exciting time in our lives, she was given just 15 months to live. After surgery to remove her left lung, Heather began her journey towards survival, and Lung Leavin’ Day was born.”
He then continues with, “This year (Feb 2nd) will be the 9th Lung Leavin’ Day celebration! The purpose of this holiday is to encourage others to face their fears. Each year, we gather around a fire in our backyard with our friends and family, write our biggest fears on a plate and smash them into the fire. We celebrate for those who are no longer with us, for those who continue to fight, for those who are currently going through a tough time in their life, and most importantly, we celebrate life!” (Learn more here: Throw Your Fears to the Fire!)
Cameron asked me to write about my fears, to write it on a virtual plate and then to smash it in the fire with them. As many of you know my #oneword365 for 2015 is “brave” and when I read Cameron’s email, I knew this was a perfect opportunity for me to be “brave.”
My fingers danced across the keyboard as I typed on the plate on their interactive page. I typed the words “I am afraid I will never be a mom.” Yep…there I said it! In fact I literally wrote those words on my interactive plate. I even went back and typed more words on a second plate that read “beginning the adoption journey.” I so deeply yearn to be a mom and there are days I am afraid that God doesn’t hear my pleas. I am afraid that these dreams will never come true for me. Yet adoption and/or foster care are two things that I have been praying about and have given completely over to God.
Today I am choosing to follow Heather and Cameron’s examples, I am choosing to write down those fears and to throw them into the fire. I’ll admit it feels good to write them down and give them wholeheartedly over to God. I am not sure what God has in store for me, but I do know that God will help me overcome these fears. I know that God will give me the strength to journey trusting in him as he holds my heart.
I have so many friends who continually remind me that I will be an awesome mom. They also don’t think God would give me these deep yearnings if it wasn’t going to happen for me. Yet it is something that still scares me. I want to find my Mr. Right and be a Mom so deeply. (Anyone who knows me knows I love every chance I get to hold a baby.)
So I’m throwing my fears into the hot fire and am leaning into God as God holds my heart
What an amazing story and tradition! I love that you are praying for big things, I know God will honor that!
It really is an amazing story and tradition. I know God will honor my desires too. Some days though that is easier to trust in than others.
I'm so glad you shared your fears. I think writing them down is freeing. I guess that is one of the reasons i like blogging so much as I write I can work through things. Praying you will find the answers you are looking for as you continue to trust in God.
Writing them down was indeed freeing for me! Thanks for the prayers, Amanda. They are much appreciated!
I love that tradition and I am so proud of you for being brave ,Tara. I hope it diminished the power of your fears. And I pray that God will grant you the desires of your heart in the most miraculous ways.
Colleen, I am proud of me too! Thanks for the prayers. They are indeed much appreciated!
What an awesome ministry opportunity. (((Hugs))) for being brave in accepting it and for writing down (and sharing) your biggest fear.
Praying that as you travel with God this year, you'll find His ways amazing and enough. Looking forward to seeing what other brave things you'll do and how God satisfies your longings.
Thanks Susan! I wonder how God will satisfy my longings too!
What a wonderful idea to leave our fears behind. Tara, fear not, for God knows the deepest desires of your heart. All he does in you and through you will prepare you and shape your desires until you are ready for the unveiling of his plan.
That is so true!
Your heart is so precious and I know that God hears and sees the desires of your heart and I sense in my spirit that "this is the year."
I hope you are right and this is indeed the year for me!
yay! this is awesome! God will do it!
I am so afraid even to mention one more time that I still long and ache again to do the ministry I prepared to do. I can't bear another dismissive rationalization—after all, I've thought of all those and more.