Last week I have the privilege of attending Catalyst Dallas. It was a phenomenal time to be energized and encouraged in my current stage of life. The theme was “Take Courage” – something I often wrestle with. I would say I’m not a naturally fearful person. Because 5’9″ and not tiny has led me to feel pretty safe in most situations. I’m pretty confident in my ability to hold my own. However, with my words, I tend to be more fearful. I hate the idea of speaking up for myself if it causes someone else embarrassment or pain. I’d rather take the hit then cause conflict. The LORD has definitely been dealing with that part of who I am lately. I’ve grown close to a few people that thrive in conflict and it’s taught me that conflict can be healthy. I’m very thankful for them and the way they’ve fought with me through the growing time and the continual growth of my conflict resolution abilities. As I’ve transitioned from a bubble of like minded leaders desperately crying out for God’s wisdom to the mundane day to day realities of where I am, Donald Miller’s session on Joseph keeps coming to mind. The thought of thriving in slavery or prison seems so foreign to me. When I’m “imprisoned” or uncomfortable with my situation, my tendency is to change it, or if I’m really honest – run away. Running is my MO. I’ve gotten really really good at it. I’ll run from one shiny situation to the next, never willing to take courage and face the reality of my situation. Because sometimes – life sucks. Sometimes our jobs aren’t fun, and the bills have to get paid, and the house needs to be dusted, and all I want to do is day dream about the next shiny thing. But looking back at Joseph has given me an unwanted dose of the often unconventional ways of God. Who would have thought an ex-slave, ex-con, former exile would rule a country? None of the politicians I’ve voted for have pasts like that. Yet that is precisely how God chose to set up Joseph’s training ground. As far as I know, I’m not currently a slave or in prison, although sometimes my three beige-colored cubicle walls feel like a prison. The growing pile of things that need to filed, the requests for conference rooms, correspondence, and excel sheets usually feels like the ultimate form of torture for my free spirited creative brain. For whatever reason, the things I’ve done in my life are being used as a training ground. When I’m not doing the things that make my heart come alive – my dramatic self tends to wallow in the “if not now, then never” lie that we’re all SO quick to believe. But looking at the story of Joseph has made me decide that if I’m going to be “in prison” then I’m going to make this prison cell pink. If this is where God has put me, then I am going to kick butt at it. I know I’m not always going to get it right and chances are I’ll inwardly (or outwardly) groan at the request to process a report or file a workbook more often than not. But, it’s time to submit. It’s time to submit to where I am, and my prison cell. The less I fight the season, the faster I’ll learn and hopefully the most I’ll make of it.
So here’s to painting prison cells pink.