I stepped out of the car in the drop off lane at George Bush International airport in Houston, kissed my husband goodbye, walked toward the check-in counter, and then stopped. I looked around and I thought, “What. Am. I. Doing?”
My family has had a LOT of change over the last several months. The biggest one being that we moved across the the state of Texas from Lubbock to a town called Magnolia. Eight hours from every single thing that has been familiar for all of my life, and from most everyone we knew (including my oldest son).
In some ways, it had felt like a pretty easy move logistically. But, as time had passed, and the busyness and excitement of a move wears off, I was slowly beginning to let myself miss our people. Our friends and family that we did life with.
And it began to sink in at this airport. I seriously thought about calling my husband to turn around and come back to get me. In 44 years of life, I had never flown alone. I had never traveled alone.
I was alone.
And I was scared.
I know, I know. This seems ridiculous. But, it made perfect sense to me in that moment.
I was on my way to a women’s leadership conference for IF:Gathering that I registered for when I was part of a leadership team with my people back home. Before there was any inkling of Houston in my future, this was planned with other friends from this team! I wasn’t alone…then.
Yes, I was flying to meet them in Orlando, and I was so very excited about this! But – the thoughts first in my mind were:
Why are YOU going? You aren’t leading anything right now, you don’t really even have friends in your life right now, and…you don’t even have a church home yet. This is for women that are serving, and leading, and connected in their places. That isn’t you! Why are the lies so easy to believe?
Because of this, I felt completely out of place. I realized just because we had bought a house in this new place, I didn’t feel like I had a home. I didn’t have my people.
But, I got on that plane. And I went. And it was wonderful to hug these ladies’ necks and just feel…known. And to know that I KNOW them! I love them!
And the weekend was so wonderful! We were poured into and loved on and trained and encouraged…the list could go on. But, if I am honest, the whole weekend ended up being something so very different for me from what I believe most of the ladies probably got out of it.
The weekend was gloriously hard for me. Like snot-cry, messy, gloriously hard. There was a tearing and mending for me.
For the first time in months, in the middle of a leadership conference, the complete weight of it hit me.
I realized that in the previous few months, I had been wrestling, more than I had realized. I wrestled with change. I wrestled with not being worthy. I had wrestled with not going to the conference. I wrestled with fear. I wrestled with God.
But I was there. I had boarded that plane. I was standing there in that hotel ballroom. And I wrestled some more. And cried. A lot.
I felt for three days that I didn’t belong there. I watched these amazing women that had dreams and vision for their places, serving the Lord humbly, and wholly. I spent three days trying to navigate how I can truly be a part of serving my community with these tools without a truly connected place in my new community.
Then Tuesday morning, the last day, it culminated. Culminated into trembling, ugly, uncontrollable, crying. We were given some of the most beautiful prints of our states with the name of the place we serve written across it in gold script, and mine had the great state of Texas still with Lubbock written across it.
And it hit me…I can’t help plan for these people. I can’t dream with these ladies. I can’t serve there anymore. I felt in that moment I didn’t have a “place” to pray for. That picture represented so much of what I needed to let go of. But, I didn’t know how to move forward. I had not even realized until this weekend that I was just stuck.
Then… while everyone was giddy and filled with Joy and rejoicing in this beautiful gift given to us, I sat and wept over mine. And started pouring out my heart to God in the back of the journal they gave us. I was begging God to show me my place. Lamenting over the fact that I didn’t know who to pray for in that moment. That I didn’t feel like I had faces and names to pray for…
I was writing this:
“Abba, I want to have a list of names to write down from my place. To pray for. Faces to pray for. I don’t have names.
But, I have You. You are enough.
Lord, … ”
In that very moment. That unfinished sentence in this prayer… one of my Lubbock friends taps me on my back and says something I will never, ever forget…
“Kim, your friends want to take a picture with you.”
My friends? A picture? Oh, not a picture now! (remember the crying going on?)
I turn around with what I am sure was an alarmingly scary, red-eyed, tear streaked face to see two beautiful ladies from Magnolia, Texas that I had been able to meet over the weekend. We take the picture, me with a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights look, with two of these prints with Magnolia written in gold across them.
But, what did one of the ladies do right before the photo was taken? She had slid her picture into my hands for the photo. I had my breath catch in my chest.
I realized in that moment…
I Am Home.
Magnolia, Texas. My town. My area. My people. My ladies. The women I will serve my guts out with for His Glory. The women I will cry with, laugh with, dream with, love with.
That unfinished sentence? I went back while I was alone in the hotel room later that night and finished that prayer.
“Lord, thank you. Thank you for healing and new beginnings. Thank you for your people being your hands and feet. You are so faithful. You are so very good. I trust you Lord. You are enough. Always. ~ Amen.”
And those two ladies that I had to go to Florida to meet?
They are now two of my dearest friends, along with three other beautiful women the Lord has already faithfully brought into my life so far!
The very reason I thought I went to Orlando in the first place, to become better equipped to be used to help other women connect, are the very things the Lord is using in my own life to help me start over.
I will always miss my Lubbock Sisters. Always. But in these new beginnings here, with new friends sitting around my kitchen table dreaming big for our big God, healing is coming. One meal, one conversation at a time.
Thank you Lord for a little trip to Florida to help me find my way home.