I didn’t send out a blog at the beginning of this month. I’ve been waiting for inspiration.
I have no desire to fill up a page or a stage with words that “will do” when they really don’t. To a creative mind, inspiration is a valued and rare gift. We wait on it like an awkward teen hoping to be noticed by the school hottie. Author Elizabeth Gilbert calls this type of inspiration “elusive and tantalizing”.
While I’ve been waiting for this elusive inspiration, I’ve spent time with my friend Amy who is a breast cancer survivor. I’ve had dinner with Kristin and Diane who have both cared for and recently buried parents with Alzheimer’s. I had breakfast with Nancy who ministers to women with unwanted pregnancies. I saw Mindy who has been plagued with medical issues while caring for her young children. I chatted with Ellen and Norma who both started businesses that were born out of passion and talent. I’ve spent time with people who chose the hard thing, the faithful thing, the loving thing, when most people would do the exact opposite.
It’s only dawned on me tonight that while I’ve been waiting for inspiration to hit, I’ve had countless opportunities to be inspired.
Inspiration happens to us. It can arrive like a tidal wave or a whisper. It is most often out of our control. But to be inspired? That is done on purpose. It takes eyes to see and effort to take it in. We are surrounded by sunrises and sunsets and birds that sing and music and babies and laughter and hugs and great food and great wine. It’s ours for the taking. (Well, you might have to pay for the food and wine.) If you take a deep breath, scan the horizon, and really look at who and what God has surrounded you, you will find that which is inspiring. And you will be inspired.
After spending time with these remarkable women, I still don’t know what to say. But I am reminded that beautiful, broken people are doing beautiful, brave things in this life. They remind me that I am not alone on my journey. I can draw courage from their strength and fortitude even if they would never in one million years describe themselves that way.
What makes you catch your breath in awe? What teaches you that in spite of all it’s downfalls, being human is a pretty amazing experience? Who reminds you that you are not alone?
Who inspires you? Find them. Hold them in your heart. Then tell them.
You just might inspire them right back.
MELISSA MAIMONE brings encouragement to her audiences with a blend of insight, transparency, and theology. Affected by depression and anxiety from a young age, she shares with vulnerability (and plenty of humor!) that a hopeful, joyous life is possible no matter what your circumstance.