Cinderella is by far my favorite princess. Reijah often asks me why she’s my favorite and to be honest, I don’t have a specific reason. Maybe it’s because she’s the first princess I was introduced to as a little girl. Maybe it’s because it is the ultimate fairy tale story from rags to riches. Her princess story centers around the beautifully tailor-made glass slipper. And though she left it at the ball, the prince desperately searched the kingdom for the one whom the shoe fit. All the eligible maidens in the kingdom wanted to wear that shoe as well as live the life that came along with it, but they couldn’t because it was not made for them to wear.
I like shoes. Particularly ones that make me taller. My mom just bought me a really cute pair for my [early] birthday present to go along with a cute outfit she also bought me (moms are the greatest – especially mine!). I certainly don’t have an abundance of room for all the shoes I would love to have, nevertheless, I still like them and love the added flair they can bring to an outfit. I admittedly get a little bit jealous when I see people with super cute shoes I’d love to have.
The shoes you wear are often a good indicator to your ultimate destination. You wouldn’t wear high heels to go hiking (though I did see that this past week as we hiked back down the mile trail from Horseshoe Bend…what was she thinking?!?) and you wouldn’t wear a pair of running shoes to a black tie event. The right shoes are significant to each individual journey. And if we are honest, we ladies sometimes wear shoes that really aren’t a good fit or even ones that aren’t comfortable simply because they look good and coordinate with the outfit. It’s the price we choose to pay. But if we wear them too long, they’re painful to walk in and we can’t wait to get home to take them off and breathe a sigh of relief! Can I get an “Amen”?
This journey first started almost fourteen years ago with wedding shoes. When Daniel and I were first married and beginning our new life together, we moved across the country. We moved from Pensacola to South Carolina to get married and then from South Carolina to Texas to be the youth pastors of a church plant in the DFW metroplex area. This particular leg of the journey required several types of different shoes like running shoes, dress shoes, military boots and even flip flops too.
Life certainly is an incredible journey and life on the road may seem glamorous to some, but to be honest, it’s harder than it may look. For example, have you ever thought of how many times we’ve moved since the beginning of the year? I’m kind of afraid to sit down and actually count how many. This week alone we’ve moved 4 times. Yes, 4 times in 8 days!! I remember the first time we were going to pull out of our first stop to make our way to the next state. It took us about 4-5 hours to get everything ready to leave. This morning we pulled it off in about 60 minutes.
Have you considered how many hours we travel weekly…sometimes daily? Starting yesterday we will travel at least three hours for the next several days…and we’ve been doing that for at least a week. May not seem like that big of a deal, but when you’re driving your house, towing your car and have three kids, trust me, it’s a big deal. However, the benefits outweigh the daily challenges. After services, we always get to come home to our own bed, no matter what state we may be in. Waking up to incredible views of rivers, lakes and mountains. Our kids have seen incredible sites like Stone Mountain, the Grand Canyon, meteor craters, the painted desert, the USS Alabama and more. However, most importantly, we’ve seen with our own eyes God moving within the local church across our nation, meeting incredible people and experiencing divine God connections along the way.
As we were on one of our several hour drives by car, I was driving so Daniel could get some work done as we were on the road. Kids were all in the car playing on their tablets. It was quiet, and I was thinking and talking to the Lord. And I heard in my spirit, “There’s grace.” Yes, of course there’s that amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, but grace is more than that. It’s the ability to be in the center of His will and to walk in the shoes God has given you to the destination He has called you to.
I’m so thankful to the Lord for His grace because I make plenty mistakes. But on the flipside, I’m thankful for His grace that sustains me and allows me to do what we are doing. Late nights (kids included), early mornings, school and homework, service schedule, meeting pastors, and then of course normal everyday things like laundry, going to the store, getting everyone fed, getting kids in the shower (especially the boys…they really miss the bath tub!), hours on the road, oh and now my refrigerator doesn’t work so we are keeping everything in a cooler.
I had a dear friend comment, “Jenna, I don’t know how you do it”. At times, I wonder the same thing, but I keep coming back to that one simple word, grace. There is a grace on my [our] life to be able to do exactly what He has called me to do. There’s no way I could do it on my own. I have to rely on the Lord and the power of His Holy Spirit to guide me and sustain me. Allow Him to teach and mature me so that I can be all He has called me to be and fulfill the purpose and destiny He has placed on my life.
Here’s the deal. The beautiful thing about each of us is that we are unique individuals gifted and equipped for many different things and play a specific and significant role in the body of Christ and for the Kingdom. Whatever it is the Lord has called you to do, there’s grace on your life to do it…because through Him you can do all things!
Paul wrote these familiar words to the Philippians, “I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” (Phil 4:11-13, MSG)
One thing I’ve learned through all of this is that in order to accomplish anything of significance, it often requires a great amount of change. Change is almost synonymous with feelings of fear, doubt and uncertainties. But “I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances…I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am”.
So, my dear friend, know this, whatever shoes you’re wearing whether they be house slippers, sneakers, flip-flops, stilettos, wedges, boots or ballet flats, no matter what they may look like, there’s grace for you to wear them and they are yours. Don’t try to cram your foot into someone else’s shoes. Don’t fall into the comparison game or wishing that you were wearing someone else’s shoes. Truth is, you’d probably be getting them off as soon as you could because they wouldn’t be the right fit. And along your journey, you’ll get different pairs of shoes for different destinations and end up with a closet full of amazing shoes.
It just so happens that for now, my shoes look a lot like a comfy pair of walking shoes as we sojourn the nation. These are my shoes, and you know what, they fit.
PS – I need a pedicure!