Proof of Life
Journal Entry No. 05
Welcome to the Proof of Life journal entry series.
Writing more in general, and specifically with you, is something I hope to continue throughout the year.
Like many of you, life has become clearer over the past year and there are many things I have dropped along the way that I deeply desire to pick back up. In turn, there are things I never want to pick up again.
From the very beginning, I have always felt like we are on this journey together and I can’t wait to hear what proof of life will come to mean to you.
Many years ago I was attending the Hope Spoken conference and my friend Shannan Martin was a speaker. As the two of us were waiting in line for something or another we had the sweetest conversation that I have cherished to this day.
At the time they had recently moved from their dream farmhouse to the city where they knew with their whole heart they had been called. They were giving up what many would have defined as success and they were choosing their own version of what faith, success, service and community would now mean to them.
Even when you know a decision is right for you it does not mean that it makes it easy to walk it out. Often times the people that have the hardest time comprehending an out of the box decision are those that love us the most. What is possibly meant in love or protection can come across as worry, fear, questioning, doubt and even disappointment.
During that wait in line Shannan discussed what she had really needed during that transition period and also what she learned she would do for people in the same situation going forward. She wanted to be the kind of person that extravagantly supports those that are courageously foolish.
Those words changed me. I wanted to be that person. I wanted to be that person that didn’t always have to be the voice of reason. Those words allowed me to go home and when my sister shortly after told me that they were going to sell their home and move into a camper I was able to say what do you need and how can I help.
Those words over the years have allowed me to be the person in hindsight I would want to be if even in the moment I didn’t understand and sometimes flat out disagreed with their decisions or even motives.
Be the person that extravagantly supports those that are courageously foolish.
If you have those in your life that want to do crazy things that you don’t understand (not self destructive things) how about not being the voice of reason?
What might look foolish to one is complete freedom to another.
What might look like irresponsibility to one may be the hands and feet of Jesus that no one else is doing.
What Shannan talked about is being open to whatever the Lord has in store for you, in store for others and also allowing those that you love to figure things out for themselves.
I want others in my life to remember that I supported them, held their hand, listened or cheered them on even when I didn’t understand. That they remember they felt supported even when their own legs were shaky and their heart was racing. Don’t people deserve that?
How about loving them more than you don’t understand their decision?
How about asking how we can help them?
How about asking them what they need to make that dream a reality?
What if more of us were being “courageously foolish” with the gifts, dreams and desires the Lord has given us?
What if more of us were able to cast off the “voice of reason” and just love each other and support each other?
This is the good stuff friends.
This is the stuff that changes relationships, your church, your town, your life and your legacy!
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What beautiful thoughts! I love this! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for sharing. This makes me sit back and question which part of that story I am living. Maybe both parts, but I certainly need to work on letting the light shine on dreams and support!
I love this. I have experienced the call and been reasoned out of it by well meaning folks. This is a reminder to not be that person who steers someone away from their dreams.
I just love this. Amen! May we all seek to be more like that!
Blessings to you, Jeanne! I cannot wait to meet you in person. ♥
What a great perspective .. thanks for putting it into words.
Please keep me on your blog. I’m an art teacher to a mostly black school and I’m having to learn a whole new way of teaching and thinking. I know God put me here. It feels right for me in this school but I have to learn about black artists and black music and how to teach them. Did you know that black people are not just from Africa but also all the island nations and they even associate with American Indians. Last year was my first year at this school and with Covid and Black Lives Matter, it has been a prayerful journey.
I look to you as a mentor to me. If you can share anything you know about black culture, I would appreciate it. I only was guided through my teacher’s chapters on Africa and Island cultures and Khan Academy. I also subscribe to Deep Space Sparkle. I have to plan for this next year and we will be going back 5 days a week where before we had A and B days and only 4 days a week. I need more material but I need to be gentle. I’m praying for God’s will in this!
Thank you for any guidance about teaching you can offer!
Absolutely wonderful post, Jeanne. I have over-internalized my Mother’s “voice of reason”, and I have had to end a friendship with someone who never asked “what can I do, how can I help?” when I talked about dreams of making a life change.
I love that. I hope we can all be that cheerleader- without judgement.
Thank you, Jeanne. This a lesson that I need to keep in mind I’m pretty sure I’ve been guilty of not being a “cheerleader” in the past. Good things to think about 🥰
I am glad I opened this email today. I needed it! Thank you for sharing!
Loved reading this!!! Beautiful on many levels – just like you!!
words I needed to hear today. but I’m the crazy irresponsible one…according to my family anyway. This simply confirms that I made the right choice to make the choice that is best for me and not the one my family wants me to make. Thank you for always inspiring me to be authentic – L
Lovely & aspirational thoughts. I think you can take this generous path only after truly learning to accept yourself.
Yes, let’s support the dreams of others even when we don’t understand. When my husband and I had a commuter marriage for a year so I could attend graduate school, so many people where gloom and doom and predicted we would get divorced. We didn’t. And when we decided to leave our first beautiful home and move to the Midwest to get out of the city and so he could attend law school, so many people thought we were crazy. It turned out to be one of our best decisions. It wasn’t their dream, but it was ours. It may not be something you want to do, but we can support our friends and their dreams.
What a wonderful post!! This is something I have tried to do as second nature, and as you say it can sometimes be hard when a close friend or family shares life-changing decisions that differ from what ours would be. I figure they come to me for support (especially my grandchildren) and I can always love them. If loving them means offering encouragement I can do that! Thanks for sharing!
I hear your voice as I read this post….your sincerity, caring and energy. I feel I “know” you as I listen to your courses, and appreciate that you are “in” my life. Thank you for your thoughts and wisdom.
Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post! I realize that I want to be more of THAT person – the person who extravagantly supports others and asks how I can be of service and support. xox
A wonderful way to support others. I love how you asked “How can I help?”
Yes and yes!
Talk about God’s perfect timing, I was reading today in Matthew 4: 18-22 about how the first disciples just left everything “at once” and followed Jesus. It lifted my heart so much because we have done a big move from Illinois to Florida and I miss, miss, miss my family and my life up there. God (through HIS word and your blog today) let me know that even thought it’s hard I just need to leave it and follow Jesus. I can’t even explain the peace I have had all day. He is so good and so amazing.
Absolutely beautiful! I have tears in my eyes! Thank you very much Jeanne to share. For sure this blog will have a big impact in my life!