what’s on your shelf?

Breadcrumbs – these blog posts and instagram posts, are breadcrumbs of my journey to where I am now. I often catch myself scrolling through old posts, needing to become aware of how far I have come, when I have forgotten. There have been some really hard days, and some really good days too. Sometimes, it feels like those breadcrumbs are soaked from my tears, and it isn’t worth putting the soggy mess down on paper. But that, my dear reader is where I have grown the most. Pressing post, after putting my vulnerable heart out into the internet, and walking away because of the fear that creeps in. When these tears soaked bread crumbs are laid down, that’s when the real work begins to happen, it’s when I get random messages from people I don’t know, thanking me for sharing that crumb with them, thanking me for the raw vulnerability.

Show up.

These words echo through my fingertips everytime I open this blog. Lay out those breadcrumbs, sprinkle them along the way, because there is somebody who needs that trail.

There are days when I need that breadcrumb trail too. Days that are dark, and lonely, stuck in the “I don’t knows” of what I am feeling. The thing is, I know that I am not alone in this, and neither are you, reader. I keep showing up to these words packed inside my brain, for myself, but also for you, as my reader. Whoever you are, these breadcrumbs are for both of us.

Last night, I shared my story and talked on the idea of home at Identify, a women’s ministry that I lead here on campus. I had never done a speaking engagement like this, and I was terrified walking in, unsure of even how you do this whole speaking thing, I am much more of a behind the scenes type of person. I shared bits of a story as breadcrumbs for these women on campus, breadcrumbs about home and what that means for a university student, living away from home but also in regards to the deep need to plant roots where our feet are.

I showed up. Jesus also showed up.

It was incredible. A reminder that the Lord is calling me to lead this ministry again this year, a reminder that I needed.

When I got to Redeemer this year, I did not feel like myself, it was almost as if I was walking in autopilot. Write this paper, send this email, you don’t have time to cry, you have to be strong for this new group of ladies you are living with. It took much longer then I expected for these feelings to fade, it was not something that I woke up and I felt normal again, it was a slow fade back into the comfortable person I know and love. As I learned what it meant to take myself off of these autopilot controls, there were days where I thought things would never go back to being the same. I was terrified of burnout, of hitting rock bottom again. I was terrified to mess up, I was terrified that I wasn’t going to be around for this women in my life because of my schedule, and the list goes on.

A good friend of mine, reminds me of my humanness on a near daily basis, a reminder that sometimes I need to hear more then I think I do. The beautiful, gloriously, messy idea of being human and what this means.

You are human.

This whole idea of human, is deeper than the skin and bones that surround these organs that beat to the drum of life. It’s more than my brain that thinks and calculates and keeps the rest of my body in functioning order. To be human, is to mess up. Is to be okay with the mess, jumping in because we are all human. There is not one person here on earth, that is not human. To be human, means that you are not perfect, and you never will be. You will get head colds, and burn your tongue on hot coffee, you will have days of deep belly laughter from the depths within, and days of deep sadness that ravages your entire being. Because, you were created to be human, gloriously beautiful, and gloriously messy. Embrace the mess of your humanness.

Through my writing, my instagram and this blog, I am inviting you into the mess of my life and the seasons that I am walking though, into this journey of my humanness. I invite you in, sprinkling bread crumbs along the way, because I understand the desperate need for vulnerability.

Vulnerability is a hard place to be, to show up and be vulnerable is when breakthrough begins. Even if it’s just a crack, to let the light to shine though, it means you aren’t standing in complete darkness anymore. The opening of your soul, to let someone in, to see the raw parts of your humanness, the nasty parts that you hide, the painful parts where you tucked away, in a shelf in your mind because you don’t want to deal with them. I have been there, am there. There are things, still tucked away on that shelf because I don’t really want to deal with them, and they will sit there until I am ready, they don’t go away. I know that each of us, has something different sitting on those shelves, and someday, you are going to take it out, blow the dust off and begin the process of dealing with it.

What’s on your shelf?

I need to ask myself that question too.

Well reader, we have come to the end of another Nat rambling. My coffee is cold, but my fingers are ready for more words. Thank you for showing up, for continually showing up. Even if it’s your first time here, thank you for showing up. If you read this blog, I would love to hear from you and your thoughts. My email is natlantz64@gmail.com if you ever want to drop a line. There will be more words coming your way soon.

njl.