Life is a series of moments, and June did not disappoint. The sun is out. People are moving into the city, and fun vacations are happening. Each of these creates a perfect opportunity for rest and reflection.
I've said before that patience is hard for me. I get stuck in my head, planning life's next big adventure. This isn't a bad thing, but it can sometimes go into overdrive. This causes me to miss the opportunity to reflect.
Summer is happening fast, but I don't want this fact to cause me to be undisciplined. Moments are great, but we should also look for the greater applications.
Be part of family.
There are many highlights this month, but one of the big ones is my cousin Maegan's wedding. She'd been engaged since November, but our family knew this day would come way before then. The wedding was such a worship-filled celebration, joining two lives together and celebrating the love of Christ—how He leads and loves His Church.
In conjunction to that, this was the first time in almost a decade (yes, 10 years!) that the entire Hall family was in the same place at the same time. This is crazy because we're mostly all in two states: Mississippi and Texas. (My siblings and I are the oddballs in New York, California, and Alabama.)
It was so good to see them and reflect on our time over the years as a family unit. Our Great Aunt Mary passed away in March, so we also spent time together sharing stories about her. (I even got to look through her camera collection and learn a little more about her time serving in Japan.)
All that to say, I love my family. Yes, we don't always get along, but we celebrate and champion each other with each step. My prayer moving forward is to be present with them more (even if that means virtually) and to not make the concept of family out to be an idol.
Idol? Yep, I've let it happen before, desiring a perfect unit above all else. It also spills over when I think about a potential family of my own one day. With these prayers, I want to surrender this desire to the Lord, for family can really take shape in all forms and fashions.
Life in New York has provided the perfect opportunity for this. I've been building a different kind of family unit through my friends in the city and my church involvement. We're called to bear one another's burdens and love people to the fullest, so we don't have to be blood for this to be true.
Wait, then respond.
Another thing I've mentioned before is the importance of positive mentors in life. Some are seasonal while others are lifelong. Whatever the terms, it's vital to have when processing life's stuff. We need a safe place with one (or a few) person(s) to be completely vulnerable with transparency.
I'm usually a pretty private person (aside from blog stuff!), but it was a truly liberating moment the first time I bore all emotion to a mentor. Now, it's imperative that I have this person in my life for prayer discipline and mental stability.
In New York, there are two men that I call friend and mentor. One, I meet with monthly, and the other meets with me more quarterly. Nevertheless, the truths these men (both married and committed to life in New York) share have been a God-send.
Just this week, one of them was talking with me about patience (yep, that thing again). Because I'm my own worse critic, there's constantly some thing wrestling in my heart. Sometimes, I know how to respond through prayer and action, but other times, I literally have no clue. In these moments, we're called to wait on the Lord. Not lazily, but actively turning ourselves to the Spirit.
I don't know how this will shake out over the next few weeks, but it's something I'm committing to do: wait. Life isn't about me, and I'm not always going to have the right answer.
Risks are coming.
As a natural next step to this waiting game, risks are likely to follow. They may be small and calculated, but that jump has to happen eventually. Otherwise, we will quickly and quite inevitably slip into a cycle of aimless wander and sluggishness.
Typically, I'm risk-averse. It keeps me up at night. It certainly excites me in a movie or book, but things usually work out for the protagonist in those settings. Can it be so in real life? (#IRL)
Nevertheless, I've experienced positive effects of risk-taking already, so why doubt? Life in New York isn't easy, but I feel affirmed here. Asking out my girlfriend for the first time was scary, but so, so worth it. Trying to start a personal lifestyle brand seems cliche and saturated at times, but there's a niche out there. I'm thankful the Lord is revealing this need to me.
And this can be true for you, too. I certainly don't want to preach a prosperity-only Gospel narrative, but I do want to encourage you to get off the couch and create. Be you in the context of your circles, and try something you've always wanted to try. (I'm getting back into lifestyle portrait photography with my Nikon.)
You inspire me, so I hope this inspires you. The Lord has a plan for your life and your interests, so I pray you'll surrender life to Him. Proactively wait on the plan to manifest by living in community with others, opening your heart to a mentor, and being okay (and excited!) about the call. It'll likely twist and turn; but rest assured, He'll connect the dots for you.