It felt like the first day of school. I was the new kid; shy and hesitant and completely unsure of why I was even there. The excitement of a new chapter in my ever continuing story was hiding behind the nervous thoughts and insecure notions bouncing around my head; “would they even like me?”
I had been there before, almost two years earlier. My life had changed in a short two weeks as I left Texas and drove across the country with complete strangers to participate in this thing they called training camp; a warm-up and precursor to the world race.
This time around however, I was already in Georgia, ready and waiting for the arrival of 50 strangers I knew would become my family. I stood with anticipation as the new name tag dangling from my neck set me apart and felt all too foreign.
The week had finally come. This idea of being a squad leader was no longer this distant thought, it wasn’t in a galaxy far, far away or found in the written words of an application sitting on a desk back at the office.
It was here, right before me; staring me down with each arriving car, loaded bus and pack-carrying racer.
And in all honesty, I was absolutely terrified. I knew that I had found my way to this camp in Small Town, Georgia by a path only paved by God, but any inkling of doubt and insecurity had somehow followed me down the same road. It made me question my very attendance, the words I spoke and the words I didn’t. It stopped me in my tracks and kept me at a distance.
It told me I shouldn’t fear becoming a disappointment.
Because I already was one.
And it wrecked my world. It made me question my ability in every aspect of who I was and told me to operate out of performance so that people would be pleased with the way I led. It made me hang my head and fight back the tears that wanted to spring from the pit of my stomach.
It struck a spot in my spirit and in my heart with all the force of a cannon ball and the pain of a piercing sword.
Because I grew up believing that I was a disappointment to God.
That He didn’t love me, that He wasn’t proud of me and that I had no right to talk to Him.
That until I got my life in order, until I crossed and dotted all the necessities, I would never be able to approach the throne of the Most Holy. That until I was enough, I would never know my Father.
That was my reality.
But it was a lie.
Cause Papa has never and will never be disappointed in me as His beloved daughter.
He will never love me any less.
And even though I still find that hard to believe, I have a funny feeling that He’s placed me in a position and a season that is only bringing me into a deeper understanding of the fullness of who I am to Him. That He has placed me in this role to walk in the beauty of who I am and to lead with a freedom that comes from following Him.
Because I think He might be kinda proud of me.
And I think He may just love me.
So here’s to a generation that is dancing in the love of their Father, who is spreading it to the nations and refusing to believe anything less than the truth that they are loved beyond understanding.
Here’s to Q squad, a squad that has more potential than anyone I’ve met, that has a reckless abandon in them just waiting to be unleashed and whose Father delights in them in ways they have yet to believe.
Here’s to a year of overwhelming love and a crazy abundant life.