I have a friend named Crystal who quit her full-time job with the government to leave California and go to school in Australia. From the minute I met her she was singing things like, ” God wants us to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” And yes I said, singing because she doesn’t talk. She speaks in song. She dreamed out loud about leaving her desk job and going to Hillsong college. Then after about two years and we became best friends, she gave me a bunch of her clothes and gave away her car and was off on an adventure, following her dreams and calling. She is visiting california as I type, and staying with me, afer being gone for a year and a half. She inspires me. She stopped dreaming and lived the dream.
So before my friend Crystal came to visit, I started reading a book by Donald Miller called ” A Million Miles and a Thousand Years”. In this Book he talks a lot about his good friend Bob who had his kids write letters to all the World leaders asking if they could come hang out with them.Many of the World leaders accepted the offer and this took Bob’s family on an adventure! Donald Miller also wrote about his bicycle trip across America and many ways he wanted to live a better story. I finished this book when my friend Crystal came to California. One day I was at work and Crystal told me she read a book in a day at my house. She finished a book called “Love Does”. She was telling me about this book and suddenly I realized it reminded me of stories Donald told about his friend Bob. I asked her who the author was and she said, ” Bob Goff.” Donald Miller’s good friend Bob wrote the book my best friend just finished. I was so inspired by Don’s book and she was so inspired by Bob’s book, so we book swapped. Crystal and I started talking about Don and Bob like we hung out with them all the time and went to their dinner parties. I decided that someday Crystal and I will write books that include inspiring stories about each other. I realize that we can’t tell our stories without telling other people’s stories as well.
I just finished the book, “Love Does, and I am so inspired! Bob goes into more details about his kids visiting World leaders, and tells many other funny and inspiring stories about how he loves people by doing things a little differently. There’s a portion of the book, where Bob writes about living life on the edge. He says,
We all have these friends, these amazing people who seem to live on the edge of death. IT must be because it’s on that edge where they feel most alive, where they have the best perspective on life. It’s where one missed step, one wrong move would end it all that they realize all over again how beautiful the place their standing actually is, a place where they live and breathe and love well. Have you noticed that lots of people who trust God seem to be wired to live near the edge?
After reading this, I started thinking about how I have so many dreams about going on adventures and writing about them. Then I started feeling sad because I can’t figure out how to go on adventures when I don’t have much money. This thought pattern led me to frustration because I felt like I’m dreaming and I want to be living the dream. I struggle figuring out the line between living the dream and being irresponsible. I have bills to pay so I can’t just quit my job and go on an adventure. I need to get a full-time job but I want to travel. I started to feel stuck in limbo and the weight of deciding what to do next in life started to bear down on me. I took a deep breath and prayed about it. I asked God to please give me direction. The next day I went to Disneyland because it’s kinda like a mini adventure.
Sometimes God speaks audibly, or in the whispers of the wind, or the sunrise, or in text messages. It’s true. It happened to me. Well ok, it was my friend who texted me, but God spoke to her and she texted
” For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you. ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ ” Isaiah 41:13. I know it’s scary whenever we reach a place in our lives where we have to take a leap of faith or journey into the unknown. Most days it feels like we’re on the edge of a cliff and our dreams are far away on the other side. The devil tells us that we’ll never get there, that we can’t possibly make it. And we believe the lie. But not anymore. Rejoice my sisters because we are not alone! Our Father is holding our hand and he will help us reach our dreams regardless of how far away they seem. We serve a God that moves mountains and parts oceans, surely he can help us reach the other side of the cliff. We just have to trust him enough to jump. My prayer for you today is that you hold tightly onto God’s hand and jump with the knowledge that he will not let you fall.
I was in line for California Screamin and I was getting texts from God and I nearly stopped breathing. I have amazing friends who text beautiful things that speak directly to what I was thinking and feeling. It’s amazing how God truly hears us and keeps us all connected by speaking to us so we can then speak to others for Him. It’s a beautiful thing really.
So the next day, I was dead tired and driving to work when I had an epiphany. I decided I am going to write letters to every person who has inspired and mentored me in life. I started making a list of people including my pastors, college leaders who I haven’t talked to in years, and my favorite authors. Not only was I going to write them letters but in those letters I will ask them if I can repay them by taking them for coffee. Ya know, it’s the least that I can do. If Bob Goff’s kids can write letters to World leaders and ask them to hang out, I surely can ask my favorite author’s to coffee. But then I decided I need to include musical artists that inspire me as well. So that day at work I started to search for mailing addresses for this list of people. My mission for this year is to mail personal letters to all these people and not only take them to coffee, but ask them a question. ” Have you ever felt lost and how did you deal with it? ” I am working on a book called ” Lost in the Garden” and this will be a part of my book!!! I’m super excited about this!
I realize that living life on the edge isn’t just about going on random adventures. It’s about finding a dream or cause and doing all you can, living life that colors outside the lines, in order to live the dream. My dream is to inspire people with words the way I have been inspired by words. I want to bring Jesus to people through words. I want my words to point to God’s words. It’s amazing what words can do. It can connect you with people all over the world. I have favorite authors who live in Portland, Nashville, and Tennessee but it feels like I’ve already had coffee with them because I’ve sat on my couch with a cup of coffee while reading their words. They have changed my life and given me hope. They shared how God saved them and changed them. They share the gospel with their lives. They love people in crazy ways. I want to give people that same hope. But I also want to live life with such a broad perspective that I’m willing to risk it all in order to love. I want to go a million miles in a thousand years and I want to do love. And I also want to keep writing about it until I die.
Crystal leaves in a few weeks to go back to Australia and continue inspiring me and many others by living the dream. She isn’t just “going ” to change the world but she is changing it everyday, in the space around her where she lives. We all tend to look to the future and say, ” I want to change the world someday”. But we can speak and live the grace of God with our lives everyday and that will change our bubble of the world. I sometimes think about how I wish I could skip all the hard stuff and just arriving at my dreams of being a published author who can make a living by writing words to inspire people who feel lost. But we all know arriving at the end of a race wouldn’t be very rewarding without the hard work of running the race. And when I start living these dreams, life doesn’t end like a movie, where the main character lives happily ever after. I will still need to work towards dreams and goals, while dealing with the grit of life. That’s what dreaming is all about; living for love and truth while everything around you says it can’t be done. I agree with Crystal when she sings that we should get comfortable with being uncomfortable. When it starts to feel like your old edge isn’t scary anymore, it might be time to find a new edge to walk along or jump off. I also think you should try singing everything like Crystal does. It’s really fun and makes life a musical. I’m going to miss having her as my daily sound track, but her inspiration will stay here in my heart. Then when she’s far away I will mail her a letter asking her if I can take her to coffee, because she has inspired me more than any of my favorite authors or musical artists because she’s my friend. And maybe, just maybe this cup of coffee will be shared when I go on an adventure to Australia and write books about her story because her story is a part of my story.
Where is your edge? What are your dreams and are you willing to live on the edge for them? Write the words, paint the picture, dance the dance, travel the world, and love the unlovable. I pray these words, along with God’s grace and love, will lift you from your place of depression or fear or frustration and fly you to your dream destination.