In determining how to start a blog about who I am and what I’m about, it has me pondering the concept of “first impressions”. I’ve heard that within a matter of minutes of meeting someone for the first time, we have already assumed who that person is and how we feel about them. I experience this on a regular basis because of my “day” job. I’m a technical Recruiting Consultant – I find my clients, skilled software and systems engineers. In speaking with these engineers for 15 minutes, I can get a sense of their communication style, their motivations for their career path, their ability to articulate their skill and sometimes their blunt lack of good judgement (I once had a man tell me that he was in the middle of using the restroom and asked if I could call him back in five minutes – I didn’t call him back).
With that said, you’ve probably already determined whether you like my writing style or not being that it’s been about a minute. Maybe I should have started with a picture of jazz hands and some fun glitter? Most of my friends would say that glitter is very depictive of who I am. But this poses a deeper question: who do we want to be known as? What is it that we are impressing upon others?
I grew up Virginia – a place that my heart will always call home even though I’ve lived in Arizona for almost 11 years now. I long for green grass and trees again (and no, the trees in Phoenix aren’t the green I’m talking about, they are like dingy green – I mean deep rich hues of green), four seasons (instead of slightly hot, hot, and blow dryer hot), varieties of beautiful flowers everywhere (my green thumb died once I moved here), ok – you get my heart.
It was there in Virginia, that I first met Jesus, when I was ten. My dad drove me to a parking lot to share what he had recently found – that Jesus was the way, the truth and the light. I remember looking at him through teary eyes and saying, Dad, I want what you have. Jesus used my dad to introduce himself to me. Every part of my soul wishes that I had stayed the course of where God was calling me but that’s not my story. In truth, I spent much of my life fighting to fill the void in my heart that I now know that only God could truly fill. I looked to others, to alcohol, to food, to my career, to men, you name it – I sought it.
In my ultimate quest for true love (reference the previous sentences on looking to fill the void), I met my husband over the phone, while I lived in Virginia and he lived in Phoenix. Eleven months later, I moved out here with my two-year-old daughter, hoping that he would be my knight in shining armor. Want to take a guess at how that worked out, at first?
But when God says he works everything together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), he means it. He started to work it out with me. Like, really work it out. You know what I’m talking about – the high intensity, level ten step climber treadmill while holding 20 pound weights, work it out. It was grueling, challenging, exhausting, maddening, humbling and beautiful. And it’s still going on. The Jesus lightbulb finally went on and it all started to click. God has shown me that when I truly understand what his love means for me, then I can be confident in who I am and I can love others because of who he is. This is my viewpoint and my voice – HIS love is enough. It’s enough. It has freed me to be the mom my daughters and my step-son need. It has freed me to be the wife I need to be. It has freed me to be the friend that he wants me to be. I want to scream it from the dirt colored Arizona mountain tops to every woman around – Jesus’ love is the only love that will ever satisfy.
Oh, how I hope my first impression to others resembles the love of Jesus. And every impression after that.