This is my friend Shauna. Whenever we take photos together this is how it looks. I lean in, she leans out. We laugh about it and joke about how she has trouble bonding with others (but she doesn't, which is why it is funny). And yesterday was her birthday. I thought about the many ways I wanted to do things to show her how thankful I am for her, but my life got in the way. The only thing I did get to do was make my family sing the birthday song in unison on her voicemail. Creative, huh?
[ Well, my friend, you deserve more than that. So here is a little collection of things I would have brought you, if our fridge wasn't totally empty, and the kids were cooperating, and the explosion didn't happen inside my house. Ok, there was no explosion; it just looked like there was. It's a birthday collage for you. ]
But besides all these treats, I wish there was a photo I could include to represent how thankful I am that she is my friend. The photo would capture how she is an example to me and others around her in so many ways. It would show how, even though she leans out of photos with me, she leans into life. I know she would not claim to be fearless or perfect. But through faith, she is able to lean into whatever challenge she is facing with strength and a resolution to learn from it.
Maybe you are facing something today that you are leaning away from. A relationship or a responsibility or a conflict. I am, and I'm sure if you don't have one in mind, one will come your way in a matter of hours. When we feel the resistance, maybe we can remember that there is a lesson waiting for us and a chance to grow. And maybe this time, we can choose to lean in, and watch what happens. Don't begin to think you can only lean in when you have things together. Because really leaning in means admitting you don't. It is about letting God into your insufficiency, and letting Him help you face what you don't want to face alone.
OK. Time to go face my day, leaning in and looking up.