Repurposed For What?

sanfran

“It becomes crucial that we become a generation of storytellers who are both recapturing the glory and joy of the Sacred Romance even as we tell each other our particular stories, so that we can help each other, through God’s Spirit, see His plan of redemption at work in us.” Brent Curtis 1947-1998

It was 5 1/2 years ago. My, how time flies. I started this blog, originally called Heart of a Coach’s Wife, in the summer of 2010 when our lives looked very different. That summer was a turning point for me. I, for the first time in several years, finally began to feel settled in our purpose and in our community.

After a rather raw worship experience led by a gifted musician at a conference, God graced me with the ability to surrender back in 2010. He gave me the courage to not just surrender but embrace what He had led us to years ago. Blogging became a way to pour into others whose spouses were also coaching.

Through a series of circumstances, God challenged my husband to walk a different path… a path away from coaching high school football. Months of conversation and prayer and counsel resulted in releasing the only life we’d known in our fifteen years of marriage. With the release came hope… and grief… and peace… and struggle. Change, of course, brings growth, and we grew a lot. But it was hard, and I still cringe as I write these words. We didn’t just change our circumstance — we sort of changed our identity.

God repurposed our lives. Repurposed our hearts. And after just one year, Heart of a Coach’s Wife became Repurposed Heart and eventually landed on the name Repurposed. There was even an 18-month rest from blogging from 2012-2014 because it started to feel like an idol. Regardless, this has been a place, since its inception, where I wrestle aloud with authentically embracing the gospel.

My audience expanded to include men and women who were in no way involved in coaching careers but were learning to live reflective lives, to surrender, and to intentionally make every day experiences more beautiful. I still believe any situation can be turned into a worship experience. Yes, every experience can be given back to our Maker, our Redeemer.

Centuries ago God promised His people: “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekial 36:25-26 esv

My prayer back in 2011 was that my heart — and my readers’ hearts — would be repurposed. I yearned we’d all be changed to embrace every bit of what He planned for us. I begged Him to change our hearts to look more like His.

But here we are in 2016. After re-reading David Platt’s Radical over Christmas break, I’m struck by God’s design for us to live in community, focus on others, and in turn, be changed and molded ourselves. So I’ll ask again: Repurposed for what? Five years later, might Repurposed be a place where you’re not only challenged to live reflectively and surrender, but to ultimately take your stories to others?

Christ intimately poured into 12 men. Who are your 12? Or your 6? Or your 3?

“To whom can you deliberately, intentionally, and sacrificially show the life of Christ in this way? This is foundational in making disciples, and we will multiply the gospel only when we allow others to get close enough to us to see the life of Christ in action.” David Platt

See, the purpose of this blog is now more than just leading you toward reflection. My hope is that your response to your own story will involve repurposing and restoring others’ lives. God has a way of speaking His truth to each heart who hears it — His Spirit comforts and convicts with the very messages each of us need to hear on a given day. What is He saying to you? Where does He want you to take His truth?

Are you ready to step out from what’s comfortable? Together, let’s reflect and then join God in redeeming what’s broken in the lives around us.

I’m excited for what the year holds for us.  Whether you’re new here or have been a reader since 2010, welcome. I’m so glad you’re a part of Repurposed, for I believe our Maker has intentionally crossed our paths for such a time as this. We all have a lot to learn from each other, and I’m all ears.

photo source | Kimson Doan

When You’re Scared to Write in Pen

pens

I’m not sure what I was thinking.

I love writing and have for quite some time. I should have revealed it’s therapeutic qualities to my daughter months ago.

My daughter, the writer. She’s organically etched her words in dozens of journals stuffed into drawers and under her bed. She has a lot to say. She listens to her Rescuer, and she’s not afraid to speak back.

It’s an interesting season, for she’s stepped onto that roller coaster called “almost middle school”. Bless her. Like anything in this unraveling world, I’d bear her angst if I could. But my job is to lead her, equip her, in daily finding her own story.

Yes, life is hard, even as a kid, when your mind and heart boast maturity one day but are bound by a child’s perspective the next. It’s hard, too, to hold your confusion as you’re riding that roller coaster without it spilling onto the person next to you.

Have you caught someone’s wrath before? Have you spilled your pain onto another?

“Here, my dear. Here’s a notebook. Write out your hurts and let your journal catch your anger. Take a breath, and then we’ll talk.”

“Will you read it, Mom?” she risks.

“No. But I will if you want me to.”

She assures me she won’t. The job of Savior is already taken, I remind myself.

So the first day in our new routine, she came into my office after school and grabbed her journal. She clenched her jaw and focused her gaze and wrote and wrote and wrote in silence. She wrote until we packed up to leave. Homework would have to wait that day.

The pen she grabbed from the depths of her backpack was a beautiful gem of an instrument.

“You know,” I said, “I love that you chose that pen to write out your frustrations. It’s so beautiful. It’s sort of a reminder God will redeem all the ugly stories of your life someday. Don’t you think?”

She nodded slowly. “I like it… because I’m writing in… pen.”

She narrowed her eyes and stared off into her heart, nodding ever so slightly, until she brought her gaze to mine.

She nodded again in silence with a question on her face as if to discern if I got her message.

I got it.

“Yeah, pen,” I whispered. For a moment, we traded roles again. I was the student, and she was wise beyond her years. She was the one moving me forward. You see, I will choose to journal in pencil every time. Pencil is safe and subtle and unthreatening. It’s changeable when you’ve risked too much. If you’ve been a bit too honest, well, you can erase your boldness and try again another day.

Not with pen. My daughter’s words were out there. They were raw and brave, and no one could erase her honesty. And she was okay with it. My goodness, she was okay with it.

It’s tough to create an image you’re proud of. It’s even more exhausting to maintain it.

Maybe we don’t like our truth, but it’s ours. And it’s real. And how can miracles happen without having something to restore?

The pen, it’s a starting place. It’s a bold, bold stroke onto a page of hope. There’s no denying what’s on your heart.

“There can’t be growth without pain,” a Brazilian mom told me one day. They were here for just a few months, and her five year-old cried every morning when she dropped him off at school. Confusing language, different routines, new school culture. My comfort place was her son’s fear. His growth.

Pedro’s mom would have chosen pen.

When we dig deep and harvest courage, the fragments boast honesty and the exposed heart whispers, “I’m real”. And there’s something welcoming about a person who’s truly lived, isn’t there?

Yes, where is redemption without something to redeem? Where is healing without the wounds? Where is wholeness without the shards?

Will you lean into your truth in Twenty Fifteen? You know, that truth that’s spilling over from last year? Can you grab the pen instead of choosing to be safe? And together on December 31, 2015, maybe we’ll ponder the healing and freedom this year has brought us.

I really can’t wait.

* Dedicated to my daughter’s teacher, Miss Hauser, for suggesting the journal. 

photo source