In Jessica Honegger's new book, Imperfect Courage, she writes, "One of the bravest things we can do is to be still and alone long enough to feel our feelings, and once I learned to be still, that is what I felt. Feeling our feelings is vulnerability... to flourish, we must work with, not against, togetherness, and to prize togetherness, we must come out of isolation and be seen." As I write to you, I acknowledge that I have nothing to give you but my vulnerability. For far too long, I have put on my mask of strength and now I humbly put my mask to the side to invite you into my story, for His Glory. I may have no wisdom to give you but I have plenty of stories that may be used to encourage you. Thanks God for stories and for using me, you did not have to.
Dear friends, I write to you from a corner chair in my hotel room in Connecticut. The reality began to set in as I looked around my empty hotel room to quickly realize that this is my new norm. Many friends still find themselves together back at school and I am thousands of miles away, alone. Yet, my introvert nature is enjoying this time of solitude. I am learning to lean into this new time and seek the Lord’s hand. The Lord is kind enough to give me margin where I get to pray for my people in the alone time that I have. During a FaceTime call that I had with a dear friend, she told me that if I do not learn anything else during this season but how to pray, then that is all we can ask.
As August is wrapping up, we say goodbye to summer and hello to a new beginning. Though school is on its way, this is the first time in 18 years that I am not grabbing a notebook and a backpack. Instead, I am grabbing my suitcase and my essential oils as I travel across the states to different universities, empowering women as they pick up their notebooks and lead the women before them. But before I dive in completely, I want to take some time to thank the summer.
Thank you summer, for giving me a new appreciation for this season. You have given me a glimpse of the adventurous spirit I did not realize I had. You gave me evening walks when the looming days came to an end, and allowed many sweet conversations to fill the air. Long talks with my mom and our dog, chit chats with my dear beloved as we let each other in on our daily lives. Thank you summer for giving me the opportunity to sit in a corner and record Jennie Allen speak in a tiny office space to passionate women, and in turn empowered me to think of what I want my empowerment to consist of. Thank you summer, for bringing many days at the pool with family, and for many nights outside listening to the soundtrack of the season, something that will never get old.
Can I be honest with you, friend? This month was a whirlwind. I started my job with a "marathon" of visits that began on a rocky start. Women rallied me when a dear advisor from Texas A&M Chi Omega passed away. Let me tell you, I was wrecked by the news, by the heartbreaking story of Mary Evelyn passing white sent to me via phone. Graciously, I was able to return to Xi Kappa for 48 hours. Mary Evelyn’s legacy is one that will not be forgotten. After my 48 hours in College Station, I returned to Kansas, inspired to make a difference just as Mary Evelyn had. As I took a deep breath returning back to Emporia, I was greeted with open arms and mattress surfing.
Truly, the month of August challenged me. The amount of growth that the 31 days held baffles me and proves the Lord’s faithfulness even more so. I cannot help but laugh at what occurred and just praise the Lord for His goodness. The words are still jumbled in my head but I know, I am CONFIDENT, He is still good. Right now, I may not have many words to express to you to even begin to relay to you the exciting events that this month held, just know that in due time, I am sure the stories will come. Until then, I am sitting open handed and expectant for the month ahead and singing praises for the details of August.