Wednesday, 04/16/14 - 6:30 AM. There are days when I wake up two hours before my alarm is set to go off. This was one of those days. My mind swung into full gear as soon as I woke up. Pretty soon, the pull of fatigue was in a tug-of-war with my racing thoughts. On days like this, I have to make a decision about what is the most important - more sleep, or more prayer time? Prayer won out hands-down. The nervous butterflies in my stomach could, perhaps, be ignored for a few more hours - but I didn't want to lose the opportunity to spend time with God on a momentous day such as this.
Now, as I look out at the purple/pink/blue dawn sky this morning, I feel so much pent-up joy and excitement and fear and hope. That is a lot of emotion for 6:30 in the morning. I am filled with joy because of the promise of the beauty of the coming day, both as I drink in the lovely morning and I anticipate meeting the wonderful people who have supported and encouraged us this past year. I am excited to see what the day brings - everything I have done so far with the food truck has been an adventure. At the same time, I am afraid. I am nervous about the possibility of something going wrong with the truck (can’t imagine why I feel that way), or that we will break something, or who knows what else? I know the flesh and blood persons Sarah and I are - we could quite easily mess things up ourselves, just in our own weaknesses. But I am also filled with hope because there was a day when I greeted each morning with sadness and trepidation. There was a day when the unknowns were frightening in a life-threatening, sanity-stealing way. And yet, I could meet with God every morning and He would greet me with His unchanging love, unconditional acceptance, and unfathomable peace.
And here I am today. Facing the first big event in which we will be cooking and serving food from the truck. And I have no idea what is to come…
04/18/14 9:07 AM. So here I sit, 51 hours after I started this blog and I feel exhausted still, yet peaceful and incredibly blessed. I realize we have the most wonderful volunteers and supporters helping with The Torch. We have met so many new people in this journey and I am repeatedly touched by the generosity of the people I meet. Dawn and Darl at The Shop are such giving and caring people - so willing to give to the community and so gracious and helpful to work with. Meg at Shone Foto is a joy to talk to and such an encouragement.
Everything in the truck worked exactly as it should. We cooked and served and talked to people and the whole time it just felt - right. And for me, that event wasn't just about raising funds. There is a lot more happening with The Torch which is almost inexplicable. There is no rational explanation for the way connections are being made, needs are being met, and opportunities are appearing. There is no logical reasoning which will explain away how two people, like Sarah and myself, could be living this life and seeing these dreams happen. We started The Torch with basically two things - an idea, and faith. The idea could be rationalized and quantified: we both had a deep desire to share hope with people in need, by feeding them - body and mind.
The faith part cannot be rationalized. I cannot explain how the idea spread and grew. connecting us with incredibly generous sponsors and supporters. I can’t tell you what burned in the hearts of the men who agreed to build the truck for us. Or why people made the decision to help pay for the leaf springs. I don’t have a concrete, sensible answer as to how - years ago - we crossed paths with a very helpful guardian angel named Sean who has stepped in several times and fixed the truck for free - volunteering in his precious spare time and using his positive attitude to encourage us to keep moving forward.
When we have needed the truck to start, it has started. When we have needed finances, they have been there. When we have needed encouragement, somebody called or sent a message on Facebook. When we needed doors to open for connections and opportunities - they opened and we connected and we keep on going.
There is no obvious explanation for how - in just a few short years - my life has been so completely transformed, but there is a reason. There is only one reason I never gave up in my darkest, most pain-filled moments of despair - and that reason is supernatural, not rational. It is my faith, which is firmly grounded in my relationship with God and my belief He loves this world deeply and wants me to reflect that love. My faith made me strong when I had no strength left. My faith has taught me to value all human beings and to have hope for humanity. I can show some tangible supports for my faith - my health, The Torch, my jobs, my home. But I cannot explain how it works or how every time I ask God for help it always comes, and often in supernatural ways I don’t expect. I don’t know how this hope in my heart and mind and being burns and fuels me, but it does, and every time we have an exhausting, challenging, exhilarating event like Wednesday’s, it burns even brighter. I may not be able to explain it, but I truly can testify to its power. And that’s what I am left with 51 hours later, no explanations, just a more powerful hope and deep gratitude to God, Who never, ever, fails me. So of course, when I have to choose between sleep and prayer - prayer will win out every single time.