One month in already. How.
I swear yesterday we were heading to orientation at the lake with ten strangers I’d never met before.
Here I am, one month later feeling like I’ve been friends with these humans all my life. I had no clue the blessings the Lord had waiting for me here in Raleigh. Sure, there have been moments of anxiety (thank GOD the Clemson Tigers are 3-0). The furthest I’ve ever been from my hometown, and yet feeling so at-home every time I’m with these friends who have already loved me so well and cared for me so intentionally. I’m learning a lot about what it means to go deep in these relationships - to tear back the curtain and truly take off the mask. Being real and vulnerable is one of the scariest yet freeing things we’ll ever experience. When, if ever, have we risked being fully known by another person?
I’m being stretched in many ways but the biggest stretching is happening in growing outside my comfort I’ve found in the slight buffer of emotional distance I’ve put up in relationships - a type of self-preservation, a discreet guardedness only visible to me (or so I thought). If I’m being completely honest, that’s exhausting. For so long, I’ve been terrified to let people see some of the realest parts of me - the pieces of my heart that make me question and doubt that “If these people knew the real me, you wouldn’t love me.”
That’s where I see Jesus step in.
Friends, those are the places He loves to be found, right in the middle of our undone-ness. He’s showing me what it looks like to truly be fully known and, in turn, being fully, completely, wholly and deeply loved. And in return, I fall deeper in love with Him. This is where the overflow runs off into all our other relationships, free of fear in a place where we can be our true selves and know that’s exactly who everyone else wants us to be.
So, I found myself during our time of solitude in our first Spiritual Formation class vividly and clearly hearing the Lord speak the words to me: “It’s Time.” As I sat on the front porch, I let it all flow onto the paper of my journal:
“It’s Time. It’s Time, my beloved.
Time to let go. Time to let Me into all the place and spaces you don’t want Me to see. Time to let the people I’ve placed in your path come and meet you in your mess and bear those burdens with you.
Time to forgive others who have hurt you, but more importantly, time to forgive yourself.
Time to move into a life of intimacy with Me. Time to care for yourself and your own needs, and time to stop feeling guilty about it.
Time to be who you really are, who I’ve made you to be and time to stop apologizing for it.
Time to start loving yourself the way you aim to love others.
Time to return to the garden, letting me prune you, mold you, and shape you. Time to let Me, the Potter, make you into what I know and see you becoming.
Time to look back, so we can move forward.
Time to stop letting shame and fear of rejection keep you from the community I’ve intended for you and laid out for you to lean into this year.
Time to start talking about the things people don’t talk about, because they carry weight and they matter.
Time to prioritize spending time with Me at the start of every day for the rest of your days, not because you have to but because I love you and want to be with you.
But, my beloved, all of this will take time… And it will be in my timing that is never early and never late.”
This place where Jesus has brought me has been the best ever. If you’re even remotely considering this program, do yourself a SOLID and pick up the phone to give Ashley Crutchfield a call.
Stepping into freedom and the process of becoming, and this is just the beginning.
YEA BABY WOOOO!!!!!
<3 Adelaide Bynum <3