i did it. i made it. i stood up, opened my mouth, and let the swedish flow. ok, perhaps it didn’t flow perfectly. perhaps i stumbled over some pronunciations and mixed up some grammar. but, i did it. i preached my first sermon in 4 years, which caused enough anxiety & excitement itself; but i did it all in swedish too.
i am freaking overwhelmed.
today was the equivalent of youth sunday in the church where i work. working with youth is always interesting; and helping to guide & motivate them to be the leaders of a sunday morning gathering can be stressful & scary. but, i must say, by the time i was home on friday after practicing & preparing with the youth, i was feeling quite calm (except for the fact that i still had to write my sermon!). then, after spending the entire day yesterday in front of the computer, i got that done too. i was a calm as i could be when i turned out the lights last night.
morning came quickly, and i was out the door earlier than usual for a sunday. all the youth arrived on time, we went through everyone’s responsibilities, and then it was time to begin. i was so impressed with the youth! they were relaxed, focused, and seemed to be into it. they welcomed the congregation, lead some prayers, read the text for the day, sang/played guitar, and did a little drama. seriously. teens! awesome, amazing teens (reminded me of the youth i had in north carolina. i miss y’all). all i really did today was preach and lead the pastor’s prayer.
it was an awesome morning, and an amazing experience. and i felt so at home – even with all the swedish. i could feel the words (it didn’t really matter what language they were) just spilling out of me. standing there, looking into the eyes of the people, speaking about the things that i believe in most: love, acceptance of all people, life as a journey, the joy & responsibility that we have to share the stories of our lives with each other. it was an unbelievable moment, as i realized this journey that has led me here. how i never could have imagined it. all the heartbreak, the insecurity, the pain, the confusion. at the same time, the beauty, the joy, the adventure, the opportunities.
four years ago i gave my last sermon in a church in north carolina, not knowing at all what the future would bring. if i would ever stand and speak words of hope to people gathered again. after some years, i decided that perhaps my only outlet to write/speak was this blog. perhaps i only wanted to use a blog anyway, or talk with people individually (like a mentor or something), and not speak/preach so publicly again.
but, true to life’s surprises, i found myself doing today, just what i thought i might never do again. and it felt amazing. the anxiety of preparing for today almost drove me crazy. but with the support & love from people all over the world – from many different areas & times of my life – i survived. and i am left tonight basking in the glow of this overwhelmed, humbled feeling that, though it is never what we expect it to be, life is an unbelievable journey. and the fact that i have the joy of sharing it all with my love… well, that means that my cup is overflowing.
oh, i am so lucky. how is it possible that i am so blessed?
blessings of joy & peace to you too.