What in the actual heck was 2020?
We all went through it. Some felt its effects more than others. Some lost loved ones. Others lost jobs. Many lost their sanity. (I'm looking at you, Homeschool Mom.) Countless families reevaluated their way of life and relocated their clans to greener pastures.
We are one of those families.
In January of 2021, we made the difficult decision to move our tribe of 7 from New York City back to Dallas, TX, mid-pandemic to give our kids a glimmer of "normalcy" (whatever that means these days). It was the right step for us, and it was the painful step for us. Funny how obedience to the Lord doesn't always equal a lack of discomfort.
So many new things became "normal" in 2020: distancing ourselves from other people, covering our faces, being suspicious of our neighbor, hiding out in our homes. But I think my least favorite "new normal" that came from this past year has to be ZOOM.
I despise Zoom.
I'm a people person. I need to be with you face-to-face. I need to touch you, shake your hand, hug your neck, pat your back. Did you accidentally spit on me? Not a problem. Do I have dried ketchup on my face? Please lick your fingers and rigorously rub it off of me. Are you a complete stranger in the laundry aisle at Target who feels the need to run your fingers through my hair to "see how thick it is?" Go for it. (True story.) Point is, I like you. I like your germs. I'm not afraid. Bring it on.
In 2020, Zoom became our window to the world. This app was the magical portal that transported us to a faraway land called "Connecting with People." My kids used Zoom daily for school. My husband created an entire online music academy platform based on Zoom technology. I zoomed in to meetings, parties, conferences, events of every kind, persevering through slow WiFi speeds and poor camera angles. The one lesson I learned from this myriad of virtual meet-ups?
People don't know how to unmute themselves.
You know what I'm talking about? Of course you know what I'm talking about. Like clockwork, in every Zoom, it's someone's turn to speak and they're carrying on an entire conversation with their own self because the dang computer is muted. What inevitably happens next? Three different people simultaneously chime in, "Unmute yourself." "Can you unmute yourself, please?" "Your computer is muted." Then we all wait with bated breath while said Zoomer locates their "Unmute" button, which is in the exact same place it has been the past 73 times we've Zoomed. It never moves. But please take 4 minutes of everybody's time to track down the icon yet again. We'll wait.
Unmute yourself and speak up.
And now here we are in 2021. My family has moved across the country and started a new season. My husband and I are going on 20 years of marriage. We're 9 years post-adoption. I have teenagers, for crying out loud. I have gray hair. And God has met with me in some dark places and deposited truth, insight, and wisdom into what I fervently pray is the fertile soil of my heart.
It's time to unmute myself.
I've experienced some life and it's time to talk about it. My website, my blog, my upcoming book are all avenues to testify to the faithfulness of God in my life. And to let you know that what He has done for me, He will surely do for you. Revelation 12:11 tells us that we will overcome "by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony." Guess what? The Lamb has already done His work. His blood has already been shed. It's now up to us. We have to open our mouths and share our testimony. This is how we overcome.
Friend. It's time to unmute yourself.
What has God put in you that needs to be birthed? What gift do you possess that needs to be released? What passion has God given you that is yet to be fulfilled? It's time to do the thing. It's time to write that book, earn that diploma, apply for that job, create that masterpiece, compose that song, send that email, take that trip, serve that ministry, start that business, give that blessing. After this past year, I strongly believe that our time here on earth is shorter than we think. I've decided that I'm done with being "muted" on the sidelines. I'm ready to do the brave thing. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I'm ready to step out of the boat and see how it feels to walk on water. I'm ready to unmute myself.
How about you?
Are you ready to do the same? I really hope so. Because I like people and I'd love for you to join me. Consider this blog your permission to unmute yourself. Only there's no button to push. No microphone to speak into. No poor internet connection. All you need to unmute yourself in this instance is a copy of God's Word, a relationship with your heavenly Father, and the holy gumption to believe that you are who He says you are. Are you bold enough to accept that "He who calls you is faithful, and He will do it?" (1 Thessalonians 5:28) Do you have the guts to imagine that just maybe "you've come into the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14) Are you stubborn enough to bet your life on the promise that "God is within you and you won't fail?" (Psalm 46:5)
Cuz I am.
It's time to overcome, Friend. By the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. It's up to us.
Let's unmute ourselves.