I remember reading something on the details of prayer over a year ago. The overall message was that it's ok to pray for specific things. That God listens to the details. I always feel bad asking for help, yes, even from God, but I wanted to give it a try. We were going through an incredibly difficult time at Greyson's school, and I was lost without a map. I am not comfortable digging into that publicly, so I mostly kept it to myself, but I was left feeling especially empty, scared and alone. Writing helps me process, and this mess stayed in my brain unprocessed. I prayed to God for the strength I needed to advocate, I prayed he keep Greyson safe, and I prayed for signs.
God- I know you are here with me. But I need signs from you. I need to feel it. I'm not usually so bossy, but this is really something I need, God. I'm gutted and scared and lost and don't know what to do. Show me what to do- but please- BE OBVIOUS. I sometimes don't know if that voice in my head is you or control freak me. I need to feel you here, so please, send me a sign.
A couple of days later I received a text from my friend Jen. One of those friends you don't really get to see or talk to much, but love just the same in your heart. Jen's message was something along the lines of- I dropped something off for you. I hope it's ok. If you don't like it I totally understand. I got to my house and saw something on our front porch. It was a sign. Not a tiny one- a big huge ass sign.
My jaw dropped onto the ground and rolled out in front of me. A SIGN. AN ACTUAL SIGN. I got the chills all over and with tears in my eyes I looked up and said- You are here! THANK YOU!!! Of course you are right here, every day, all the time. And I asked for a sign and you and my friend Jen DELIVERED AN ACTUAL SIGN TO ME. And take a look at it, it's perfect.
You can get your own HERE. Or follow her Instagram page HERE. This is not a paid advertisement. I only share things I love them.
I held that sign and I remembered, I saw, I knew, I know. God is listening. All the time. To all our details.
Fast forward to the end of this past Summer (even typing that sentence makes me feel sad. Bye Summer, we still miss you. Please write.) While scrolling through Facebook, I see that one of my very favorite humans and best selling author, Jen Hatmaker, was starting a podcast. She was crowd surfing for design help for her podcast picture. I had never listened to any podcasts before, but I thought- this is something I could get in to. Jen is hilarious, deep, light, brave, and a brilliant author and speaker. She's written a jillion books (12) and many of them wound up on all the important lists. But most of all, she's a girl, with a big heart and a computer trying to connect with the world, and who can't relate to that?
A week later I saw another post about her podcast. You are supposed to be on her podcast- I suddenly felt. It wasn't a thinking thought, it was a feeling thought. WHAT?! My brain said, you are crazy. (Which I am and fully, mostly, kind of embrace). But I'm so often tearing myself down- not saying this thing is something you HAVE supposed to do.
No, no, no- I am NOT supposed to be on her podcast, I told the thought. She is interviewing fancy famous people and I am neither- I am just me. And the thought finally shut up. But only until her next post. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON JEN HATMAKER'S PODCAST, it said again.
Stop thinking that! I told me. You don't have anything to bring to this table.
Stop being so negative, I told that voice.
Yes you do, God has given you such a blessed story and perspective and two magical boys and it's your life work to share it. You know that- for when you write and share and connect- you feel alive. More alive than you've ever felt. You feel purpose. Please- reach out. Make this happen. Don't be afraid to want this.
And so I did want this. More than anything I had felt for awhile. The stress of dealing with school had beaten so much of my spirit and confidence and hope for the world out. But this day, I felt it coming back. So I wrote Jen. A pathetic, dumb- Hi, you don't know me but I need to be on your podcast type of note. (Cringe). But FINALLY that aching urge vanished. THERE. I did it, now you can leave me alone- I told the voice. And I felt at peace. For about 24 hours.
DO MORE. The voice said. And this time I only argued with it for a minute before giving in. I went to my Facebook page and asked for our facebook friends to help me reach Jen Hatmaker and ask her to have me as a guest on her show. And everyone sent her comments and messages and tweets and more. Except it turns out, it was the her birthday. And the day of her book launch. And the messages got overshadowed by those incredibly important events. But it was ok, because I tried. And if there is one thing I am a PRO at, it's trying and failing. AMAZING at really. But then a few days later, she put a request out on her Facebook page. She wanted people to recommend someone she could interview who had moxie in spades. I went back to my Facebook page and once again made the request. If you connect with my words, will you recommend me to be interviewed for the For The Love Podcast with Jen Hatmaker? And friends, you showed up. Did you ever show up like crazy. I read literally hundreds of comments from you recommending ME. I felt like I was watching my eulogy, and it was good and beautiful and kind, and I just don't really know if I've ever felt anything like it in my life. Social media is so weird, and so good. I prayed to God, Please, I do want this. Please make this connection.
A few days later, I received a message that I was selected to be a guest. And my brain and heart exploded the instant I read it. When was the last time you almost fell over because you got incredibly amazing news?
Recording the podcast was easy and fun and mentally draining, and of course, Jen is everything good and kind and hilarious that you would hope her to be. Yesterday was the launch of my episode, and I would love for you to listen if you haven't already. The whole thing was God and magic.
HERE is my episode: HOW TO SURVIVE WHEN YOUR DREAMS DISSOLVE WITH CHRISSY KELLY. In it I share some of my most sacred parenting moments, and some that were my absolute rock bottom. That's ok- rock bottom is needed before any rise. And risen we have! I am truly so proud of our story, and my boys, and you- for being a virtual village. God is good.
Proof we are living a good life...
Fun at the Big Fresno Annual Fair
When he flies, he's so free.
Jen's website is HERE. And you HAVE to buy her book, Of Mess and Moxie:Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life.
HERE is the transcript from the show, in addition to some autism resources I recommend.
Don't forget- details matter. God is listening. All the time.
So much Love,
I've been listening to Jen's podcast series on Moxie and have been loving it. Yesterday, I tuned in again and heard your episode. As an autism mama myself, your story resonated so much for me. At times, when you were talking, I felt like you were telling my story when my own son was diagnosed over 5 years ago. You've inspired me to start telling our story, although I haven't figured out exactly what that looks like for us yet. Keep up the good work, mama! Together, we will change this world!ReplyDelete
Love your blog! Both my boys are on the spectrum as well, but a few ages older - 15 and 12.. Some things are harder now and some things are so much easier, but I am always inspired by your words! I can't wait to listed to the Jen Lancaster podcast!ReplyDelete
I just finished listening to this episode of the podcast today (I am such a ridiculous J.H. Fangirl!) and had to read more from you. I am in my 12th year as a special education teacher and am working on an autism specialist add-on. I was so touched by your story. As a mom myself, I try very hard to be sensitive to the parents' side of things when I am in IEP meetings, but you opening your heart helped me even more.ReplyDelete
God is so good. I loved how you described the dark and light in light as a package deal. You are so right!
Thank you for your bravery and for getting your boys the help they needed from the beginning. I have seen firsthand the difference that early intervention makes!
God bless you for using the gifts he gave you to make this a better world! My life has certainly been blessed through your blog!....CherylReplyDelete
Chrissy, I listened to the podcast. I loved it so so so much. I am deeply touched by a few things you said in the interview with Jen. 1- that you love it when what you have to say reaches someone who may not be affected by autism, but some sort of other disolving dream. 2- Living in your green sweatshirt and finding the moxie to move. My momma dreams disolved in May of this year when my 14 year old son took his own life. To say I've lost my moxie is an understatement. I am an unanchored soul, being thrashed about a bottomless ocean. But I want to thank you for your words, your voice, and for sharing with me your journey to keep fighting for a life with moxie. I am new to writing and am also blogging. I suck at it, but I am putting it out thereReplyDelete
I am so so sorry. What was his name? Tell me about him. It's not fair, and I'mReplyDelete
Sorry you won't get the answer why here on earth during this lifetime. You are doing life one breath at a time. I am so proud of you. Keep writing, the world needs your story, and you need to tell it.
Ok- how is your home so neat??? my kids destroy everything in two seconds! Love the pictures at the fair too.ReplyDelete
Chrissy - so I just listened to your episode with Jen yesterday - I'm a little behind on my podcast listening. But I just wanted to say...me too. Man. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Our own precious family has been sucker punched by a spectrum diagnosis, and I feel like I'm just now even starting to surface again 2 years in from my green sweatshirt day - though I've known for much, much longer. Thanks for reminding me that it's okay to not always be okay; that some days you just have to survive. Parenting these kiddos isn't a sprint or a marathon...some days it's like an iron-man/ultra-marathon combined. Glad to not be in this alone! - EmilyReplyDelete
Chrissy, I listened to your podcast episode yesterday and was so touched by your grace and love for your boys. You spoke so eloquently and it was such a delight to hear!ReplyDelete