"I have 57 things to tell you."
She didn't even give me a chance to say hello. I laughed and made myself comfortable, resting against the wall behind my plastic chair in my office. Staring at the face of a friend in my computer screen, I settled in for a long conversation.
"Okay. Thing number 1. Give it to me."
And then for the next 30 minutes, she spoke into the very fears I'd been hiding all day—no—all week. She looked at me and reminded me of my vision, of why I was doing this thing called Story Sessions. She took a stick and poked and prodded and waited until the fire was lit again.
She didn't know I was about to give it all up. She had no idea the questions swirling in my head over these past few weeks of maybe this is over and perhaps I took on too much and what if they all wake up and don't want to hear from me anymore.
She took all of those and threw them in the fire too. She laughed and pointed at me through the screen.
"You're my general, but I'm your VP. I make a damn good one. Are you listening?"
She was the first person I texted a few weeks ago when something was different. I'm a feeler. When I notice a shift, it's echoed in a feeling that often I can't articulate.
"There's something about today." I sent her in a rush, my heart beating out of my chest. "I don't know what it is...but there's something here."
Her reply was immediate.
"I agree! I was just about to text you!"
"Really?" I asked, although I probably shouldn't have been surprised.
"Really. I noticed it this past weekend on your face. New light and new life -- an anointing of some kind -- new."
And the words kept coming—encouraging, affirming, celebrating. The words came again last night when I texted her in a different kind of emotion, the swell of anger roaring in my ears.
"I'm so pissed." I said. "I just need to blurt it somewhere."
And she responded, holding space and reminding me of my calling.
Almost every week, she'll send me a message with an idea for the community. Couples retreats. A marketplace. Prayer calls. The ideas are endless and never waver with creativity. From the very beginning, she's held my hand and nodded as I move and shift and change.
When we switched to subscriptions, she was the one I wanted as the caretaker for the original Story Sessions page.
And almost every time there's a new member welcomed into the community, she's one of the first to comment, whispering a welcome home.
I almost threw in the towel these past few weeks. Multiple times, I was just too tired. Too discouraged. Too beat down to even want to try and figure out where I was experiencing the most malaise because there was a definite feeling of growth paired with this undeniable feeling of purging.
But I kept going. I didn't quit. I held on to that growth for all its worth and tried as hard as I could to wade through the purging.
It was because of these women—and so many others—who lifted my head and spoke into me right when I needed it. It made me realize that often, our dreams are thick and bright and heavy to hold—maybe even scorching to the touch because of their intensity. We leave them at arm's length, too afraid to get too close because just breathing in the fumes may cause us to crumble.
Perhaps this is why so many dreams lay wasted.
Arms get heavy. Blisters form on ill-prepared feet. Shields slip and arrows find a crevice within the armor.
With people around you though, linking arms and whispering reminders and grabbing your face between their two hands when needed, anything is possible. Dreams feel light. Visions gain clarity. The scorching intensity of our hopes suddenly serve as a settling furnace and not one that will burn to ash whatever touches it.
Dreams are heavy burdens those around us can help carry if we let them. We have to loosen the hold first, though—have to stop and listen when those who believe with us grab our hands and begin speaking into our vision.