Three years ago I had a conversation about God with a friend. She was a Buddhist and I don’t think she believed in God and then one day, rather randomly, she asked if I believed God loved her.
“Of course. He loves everyone.”
And so began a weekend of intense conversation about God and love and, it was brilliant! I loved it and felt so honoured to be having that conversation with her. She started going to church. It was all grand.
Three years ago, as a result of that weekend, I felt inspired to create a safe place where people could explore God. I made bold declarations about having found my dream, my calling, and set plans in motion to make it happen.
Excited. Empowered. Raring to go.
The Itchy Soul community was born. Life was good.
Three months later I closed the doors, locked up, declared it untenable and walked away.
Maybe one day I’d come back to it, I thought. But I’m not the right person to do this. I have a theology degree that I never finished. I’m not a pastor. I have no qualifications. Who am I to lead a thing such as this?
I drifted along for a little while, uncertain. Not really sure what I was meant to do.
I dabbled in web design and almost started a company with my best friend until we realised that we wanted to serve totally different clients, so that idea was canned.
I took time to figure out what I really wanted (books was the answer, as you probably know by now, I’ve always wanted to write books) before realising that that was no way to keep me in chocolate and Yorkshire tea, so that idea was canned. (Kindle publishing wasn’t really an actual thing back then. If only I’d known eh!)
(For the sake of brevity and my pride, I’ll leave the list at that but let’s just say I played with lots of different stuff going round and round (and round!) in circles, including opening (and closing again) different versions of the community I’d dreamed of, but I never quite got settled on what my thing was.)
Until one day I realised that maybe it wasn’t about having a thing after all.
What if instead of having a thing, my whole reason for being was just to be me?
I mean sure, I can’t see anyone about to write a cheque in recognition of me being me but it certainly eased the pressure to know that maybe I wasn’t such a hopeless drifter after all.
Maybe all this stuff had been leading up to a pivotal moment of recognition.
Because if my whole reason for being is to be me, it stands to reason that your whole reason for being is to be you, the real, honest-to-goodness, made in the image of God you.
And suddenly it was like someone had lit a torch under my behind! What if in the process of me learning to be me, I was meant to help you be you?
And what if in the process of learning to be me and helping you be you, we found out where we fit with the one in whose image I believed we were created?
And what if I relaunched play things around this stuff? Dusted off. Cleaned up.
Said sorry for being such a flake, except what if it were a little different this time and I didn’t think big and instead took it one little piece at a time?
The thought gave me goose pimples. It terrified me. I’m a different person to the one who did this three years ago but I still don’t have those qualifications.
I still don’t have the answers.
I’m still just me, being me, trying to figure out where on earth I fit in this plan of Gods.
Could that really be enough?
And then, by weird coincidence, which of course really so isn’t a coincidence at all, the guy up the front in church was preaching about, well, I don’t really remember what he was talking about to be frank.
But one thing sticks in my head … the idea of starting with what you have, right now, not waiting for all the answers or the perfect timing, just start.
And so I did.
Except, I didn’t tell anyone about it yet. Largely because I’m scared.
I have all these ideas and thoughts whirling around inside my head and what if … well, let’s not even start entertaining the doubts and fears again eh. 😉
I have a dream to build a new model of what it means for you to live a full-to-the-top-and-spilling-over life of joy, love and happiness. One based on a loving relationship with someone bigger than you. Showing up all you, the person you were created to be.
And from the goose-bumps and the way that the idea keeps niggling at me and won’t give up and go away, I believe it’s a dream that he wants for you too. 😉
So if you’re reading this feeling like you too have given up, given in or forgotten about the thing deep inside that you really feel called to do, be or live, I urge you to dust off those dreams, take them for a test drive and see if they still fit.
You won’t know unless you try.
And if you’re reading this and this new model of love, relationship, honesty and joy feels like something you’d like to explore, I invite you to stick around. I’d love to explore this stuff with you as we figure out what this looks like, one little piece at a time.