Last July I went to the She Speaks conference. It was a very last minute decision. I had been traveling a lot and the thought of putting my body on another airplane was far from appealing. But, I had several clients attending, some of them presenting, and I really needed to go.
So I did.
One of my clients who was speaking at the event was Michele Cushatt. The day came, she did her presentation and wowed the audience (as usual). She spoke on storytelling and had the audience of soon-to-be authors enamored. You see, my friend Michele has a gift…the gift of storytelling.
Now I’ve had the opportunity to hear a lot of speakers over the last ten years. I’d even heard Lysa speak before. But this night was different. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but as Michele and I sat in that room listening to these two talented women share what God had put on their hearts, it was like it was meant just for us. We texted back and forth during the presentation – quotes we liked, words we wanted to remember and other observations such as “holy cow, this is amazing”, “did she hear our discussion the other day?” and “wow…this is wrecking me”.
That’s what that night felt like. That night, Jesus wrecked us. Both of us.
We were undone. And it was so good.
We went back to our room that night and talked, laughed, cried and prayed together. We fell asleep knowing that God was moving and feeling like the two of us might get to play a small part in whatever grand plan he was orchestrating.
A few months later, in early November, I got a heart-breaking phone call. Michele’s cancer was back – for the third time. It was very serious and the treatment was going to be very long, hard and painful. Over the next ten days we talked, cried, prayed and even laughed a little together.
We were undone again. I can’t say it was “so good” this time.
But still, I knew God was moving.
The last few months have been intense. This is the closest I’ve ever been to cancer. It’s hard and it’s scary and it makes me cry. It wakes me up at night and reminds me to pray for my friend…because what else can I do? Through all of this, it’s become clear to me that God does some of his best work when we are outside of our comfort zone. It is when we are “undone” that God can really start to mold and shape us into what he has already prepared for us to be.
This is one of the messages in Michele’s new book, Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life. Our little team has been working with Michele on this book for a few years now and I’m thrilled it’s hitting the shelves this week.
Two lessons I learned from Michele and this book:
First, life – real life – isn’t usually wrapped in shiny paper and tied with a “Pinterest perfect” bow. Messy can be beautiful. Clutter can be beautiful. Topsy Turvy can be beautiful. Undone is beautiful.
Thank Goodness. Because I’m messy, I’m cluttered, I’m topsy turvy…and God still loves me and thinks I’m beautiful. Amen.
Second, we need each other. There is no way to get through this life in a bubble, relying only on yourself. We were made for community, we were made for family. We were made to find other “undone” human beings to walk this time on earth with us. Reach out…find someone, even in the middle of your chaos. We are all undone.
Check out this book – I promise you won’t regret it. The story is captivating, the writing is really, really amazing. But the girl…the girl who wrote it is unforgettable. She is generous, kind, encouraging and I’m blessed to call her a friend. I can’t wait for you to get to know her.