the world race: take two.

I laugh when I think about myself at the beginning of the World Race (August 2009) – that girl was such a different person. Yes, I had some stellar qualities that I still carry today, but I also had some junk. I was prideful and passive aggressive, I struggled with feelings of insecurity and worthlessness. Because I wasn’t a leader I didn’t show honor to the one on my team. I didn’t pick my teammates and I held that against them. During the second month I stormed off because Colin made a joke I didn’t like – I was easily offendable and quick to defend myself. Halfway through my race I was brokenhearted and a blubbering mess…

now I’m leading a World Race squad. Oh, the irony.

This season is a gift – it’s one of the most beautiful, redemptive experiences the LORD has granted me. I get to do the World Race again – this time as the best version of myself.

Every day is the best day of my life. I feel fully myself and I like who I am. My heart is whole and healthy. I’m not too concerned about the past or the future – I’m at peace exactly where I am.

The people around me are sacred treasures – my appreciation for them grows daily. My co leaders (Macgregor and Caitlin) are my team, my friends, my family. We laugh and cry and pray together, we fall asleep talking to each other, we feedback each other, we buy each other treats, we have nicknames and inside jokes, we are for each other in every situation. It’s not always easy, but it’s always good. If marriage is anything like what I have with them, then I have nothing to fear.

And then there’s my squad…

a group thick with creativity and humility. A group full of passion and service. When they worship corporately the Holy Spirit spills out like a waterfall. They are some of the nicest, coolest, most interesting people I’ve been blessed to know. My heart is whipped – they’ve won me over and there’s no going back. They are so much farther along on this journey than I was when I started back in 2009 – and because of that they will far surpass the place I was in when I ended the race. I can’t wait to see it happen.

And so, here I am now – two weeks into my second World Race – sitting on the floor in Guatemala, wearing the same shirt for the second day in a row. My hair is pulled up tight because it’s so hot and the bottom of my feet are covered in a layer of dirt. My stomach is full of beans and tortilla, my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

Second chances are a gift indeed.

Walking the streets of Antigua with my girls

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About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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12 Responses to the world race: take two.

  1. Tim says:

    For some reason, I think the bigness of God in you is helping to set the environment and your team on fire. I’m proud of you Hope.

  2. chelseakim says:

    beautiful pic. i miss you so much.

  3. Abby says:

    this right here was absolutely beautiful…i cant wait to hear what the Lord teaches you this second time around…

  4. Melina says:

    LOVE this! and LOVE you!! : )

  5. shaynacraze says:

    I love the picture and all of your stellar qualities 😉

  6. marissavilla says:

    aw i remember when you stormed off. you are right. you’re a very different person, but i’m glad that old you, oldish you and now new you have all touched my life. you sometimes still baffle me in that i don’t really know if she’s real kind of way.

  7. brandy says:

    beautiful!!! 🙂 LEAD with courage and grace my dear – it’s what you were destined to do!

  8. love to hear all this. i love you and i’m thinking about you a lot. (inanoncreeperway) so much love!

  9. Sydnee says:

    love, love, love. I know you are doing awesome and loving everyone so well. It’s who you are.

  10. i miss you.
    and i love you.

    and so so happy for you!

  11. Lindsey Corcoran says:

    i love the picture, and I love to hear what is going on in your life..Where is the world race and is it on tv? I take my state board exam on Thursday and I will officially be Lindsey Corcoran, RN. 😉
    I miss you lady, I always wish I could be with you on your adventures. Love you!

  12. ashleymusick says:

    Hope. : ) You know what? I totally get this and just sit at my desk so excited for you. This excites me. Just live it up… chase after it like you never knew was possible that first time around. There are more treasures to be found.

    Love you lots.

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