This has been my identity for so long. When my friends graduate before me, I don't have a place. And when I move to a new town, I don't have a place. When I'm not the best choir director, I don't have a place. And when I sit by myself in church, I don't have a place.
In my mind, there should be a small place carved out specifically for me everywhere I go. So what happens when there's not? Meltdowns in the form of shutting down and becoming defensive.
I didn't even realize I felt this way. Not until recently. But once I did realize it, my whole world was flipped upside down.
When I don't have a place - I don't matter.
When I don't matter - I panic.
When I panic - My world falls apart.
Dramatic much? Funny you should mention it. That's been the name of my game for so long.
Just stick with me.
I am a strong, beautiful, confident woman. I know this. Strong, beautiful, confident women don't need a specific place everywhere because they make their own place, right? So now that I know who I am, I won't ever feel like I don't have a place, right?
Oh, if it were that easy.
But it's not. Which brings me to this story.
I've also recently decided (thanks to a strange chain of events involving Arkansas, Patrick Mead, and some really fantastic people in my life) that I want to know Jesus.
But Karissa, you've been a Christian for so long? You mean you don't know Jesus?
Correct. More on that in the future. Just roll with it for now.
In wanting to know Jesus, I have started reading the Gospels more than I ever have before. They're fascinating. So yesterday in class at church, when my good friend Dave starts asking questions about Jesus' life, I was answering every single one. I've been immersed in the Gospels for a week. (And I'm a fast reader.) I knew the answers for which he was looking.
Dave - "Jesus told his disciples he was going to do what?"
Karissa - "Prepare a room for them."
Dave - "Right. Prepare a place for them."
And class went on. That would have been it, because I didn't even really catch what Dave had said. He agreed with me! But God has placed an amazing man in my life who opens my eyes to truths I can't even see.
So while Dave was going on with class, this wonderful man sitting beside me acted on God's behalf.
He nudged me.
I turned to him.
Me - "I know I'm answering all of them because I've been reading the Gospels."
Him - "Did you hear that?"
Me - "Huh?"
Him - "He went to prepare a place for them."
Oh. My. Word.
A place. Jesus is preparing a place. I don't have appropriate words to express what happened to my heart in this moment. We both found the verse. (He on his iPhone, I in my old-fashioned concordance.)
I flipped to John 14:2
"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."My heart was overwhelmed, as were my tear-filled eyes. I quickly dug for a pen in my over-crowded purse and began to underline words that were soothing a wound I didn't think could ever be healed.
He's preparing a place for me.
I have a place.
I have a place.
It's only been a day. And I still hear the words that I don't have a place. But now they're echoed by something else.
Me - "I don't have a place."
Jesus - "You are wrong, sweet girl. I'm preparing one for you."
How comforting that while I'm getting to know Jesus, He already knows me. And knows the words I so desperately need to hear.
Did I mention that John 14 was already
prepared for my reading last night?
My name is Karissa and I have a place.