Capacity

Friend: “Have you celebrated getting in to Bethel yet!?”
Hannah: “Actually no celebrating – basically just worrying and then repenting for worrying *3 laugh emojis, followed by a wide eyed emoji*

in-de-pend-ent
adjective
1. free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority (that’ll preach)
2. not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence
3. Hannah Riggin

I am independent to the core; through upbringing and wiring, I am determined to be responsible and to accomplish as much as possible without letting anyone ever see me sweat. Maybe you’re like this too – always covering your bases, never wanting to inconvenience anyone.

I don’t notice the extent of my independence until incidents like the one that happened at Sam’s Club a few weeks ago:
It is my responsibility to pick up all of the food for these weekly community cookouts that our church helps to facilitate. We plan to feed about 150 people every Thursday.

Feeding 150 people for the first week of our summer cookouts at Sam’s Club looks something like this:
3 boxes of hamburgers
2 boxes of hotdogs
Pans for grilling
4 monster sized cans of baked beans
3 boxes of 42 pack chips
Oh, don’t forget the lemonade
And also the massive quantity ketchups and mustards
Oops! We need plates and cups and napkins and cutlery

…the list goes on. For anyone that’s ever been to Sam’s, you know that the size of the items in your cart are significantly greater than they would be if you made a quick run to Walmart.
My cart was spilling over, and as I made my way to the front of the store I realized I had forgotten one super significant item – the buns.
The slippery, “I’m gonna need 16 of each of you”, “Don’t you dare squish me with the other items in your cart” buns.
I made it about 3 steps and the buns would slide off of my grocery mound. That’s right — ALL the way through the parking lot, to the back of the parking lot of course (did I mention half of Winston was there?). Take three steps, drop some buns, pick them up, lose some dignity. Repeat.

I needed help, and I wasn’t willing to ask. Contrary to my belief, it is a bit difficult for 1 person to singlehandedly feed 150 other people.

grocery

It isn’t a surprise that I find myself in very similar situations planning to move across the country for ministry school.

The truth is, I want to say that I’ve got it, that I don’t need help. I want the option of spending a half hour in Sam’s Club parking lot and just not telling anyone about it. I want to hide the effort, the cost, the need, and the worry. Some call it pride, some call it consideration, and honestly, it’s probably a little of both.

I think we all reach moments in our lives when our capacity has reached its limit. In those  moments, no matter how much we’d like to step it up and carry a little more, we simply can’t.

“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.”
Isaiah 54:2

The Lord gave me this scripture while I was applying for Bethel, telling me that in my season, my capacity had been reached. He wanted to give me more, but there was no space for anything new in my life the way that it was – things had to change, and I didn’t know it at the time, but the curtains of my habitations were being stretched out (literally).

It’s funny because that verse seems to contradict everything that I mentioned above. I’m realizing something, though: There is a huge difference between our own, independent, “I will do this” capacity and the one we obtain in surrender.
When I refuse to ask for help – whether it be because of pride or out of fear that God coming through is only a story people tell themselves to get through hard times, and not a stark reality, I greatly limit how much I can receive.

It would be like if a family member offered to clean your messy kitchen for you. You listened, said thank you, and then proceeded to clean the entire thing yourself before they got around to doing it.
It’s fine – the kitchen is still clean, but stepping in to handle it kept the family member from getting to contribute.

I am not in ANY way saying that our ability to get in the way is greater than God’s ability to help us – his arm is never too short. But for me, in this season, I do feel him inviting me to let him in. I hear him saying “I really want to bless you – will you let go of your fear of not being taken care of and let me outdo anything you could have accomplished in your own effort?” And in “funny later, but not at the time” moments I hear him saying “Han, you literally can’t do this one on your own – even if you wanted to.”

May each of us be granted the bravery we need to believe that we are loved and cared for. May each of us be granted the courage to know that the provision of tomorrow isn’t dependent on our performance or our own capacity, but in perfect Love that never waivers or changes its mind.

________________________________________________________________

I am sharing this journey via blog on the world wide web for a few reasons:
1. I have every intention of blogging more regularly throughout this journey, because I’m coming to find that story is powerful and one of the tools God uses most to encounter other people. Let’s call this the prelude to all of the blogging entries to come.

2. PRAYER. Y’all, this ISFJ, green-blue on the DISC test girl HATES CHANGE and LOVES SECURITY. I hate change even when it’s awesome, just because it’s different than what I’m used to. There is nothing familiar in this guaranteed to be spectacular season change. (There are many other areas to be covered in prayer, I am sure, it’s just the quirkiest, yet also realest thing I’m facing right now).

3. SUPPORT. This is the hardest for me for a million reasons – my “no that’s okay I’ve got it” independence, and the fact that as humans, we love to point to something and say “this measurable proof shows that this is worth investing in” .. but those voices fade in the face of last-minute transitions and no-other-choice.
Tuition for the school year is $4,550. In addition to this cost, I have to cover living expenses and continue to cover all of my adult bills. I will be working part-time throughout the school year to supplement, of course, but it is very scary going from full-time job money to part-time, the cost of living staying the same but the income being cut in half. Because the school is not accredited, student loans are not an option.
Talk about a faith walk — one of those moments where the rubber hits the road, and the theology that is much easier to quote is actually put to the test.
If you would like to give toward this adventure, donations can be made via Paypal
1. http://www.paypal.me/hannahriggin

THANK YOU so much for reading, praying, and supporting!

Han goes to Bethel

Han copy
(thank you, Shainey Coleman, for this dreamy Boone mountain pic)

 

Unexpected, unanticipated, not even on the radar.

Living in Redding (California) and attending BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry) was one of those “wouldn’t that be awesome” kind of dreams. You know, just like the “wouldn’t it be great to live on this remote beach instead of just vacation here” kind of dreams.. not the ones you take seriously, but the ones you pull off the shelf, admire for awhile, and then forget about in the day-in, day-out.

I’ve heard about life in Redding for years now – best friends have been to school there, transformed by the culture forever.
I was able to visit in January of this year in the middle of #rigginandtaycrosstheusa (the cross country trip that I took with Kelly Taylor and also Instagrammed like a champ). A friend showed Kelly and I around Redding and we ended up at a worship night facilitated by his community.

There are moments in our lives when we encounter people who are walking in a freedom that we haven’t yet known.
It happened that night. There was a breathing room, a living hope, a deep rooted joy in every face that I saw – a freedom that I, at the very least, had lost sight of or forgotten about altogether..

You know how one white shirt, when by itself, looks as white as white can be? It’s only when the shirt is compared to another brand new linen that its dinginess is revealed.
It happened that night. Comparison in a healthy, “remember what is possible!” kind of way.

Long story short, through little heart tugs and conversation with a friend, I decided to apply — SUPER last minute, assuming that if I was accepted, it would have to be God (because who in their right mind applies to school for the Fall at the end of June?) Honestly, more of me believed that I would not be accepted, but that I could finally put the “What would happen if I tried?” question to rest in my mind.

Well guys, I got in.

I’m learning in this season that the heart tugs – the purest, deepest, fingers-crossed hopes of our hearts should often be listened to, instead of buried in fear of them never coming to pass.

I have so many of those dreams – dreams of running after-school programs for inner-city kids and watching those children beat the odds, break the curse, and pursue their dreams – of having a freaking incredible marriage and raising a family full of compassionate hearts – of giving people TOOLS to navigate this life and to listen to their hearts; not getting swallowed by life, but overcoming by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and maybe a little Talenti gelato – of knowing the heart and the intentions of God deep and wide, and proclaiming those truths to a world full of weary hearts that are only hoping He’s good.

…but I know that it starts with me. It starts with me getting the tools and the healing – it starts with me encountering before becoming the encounter. It starts with me deeply knowing the heart and intentions of God so that in every season, I can stand with others and say “No matter how it looks, He is still faithful.”

I’m not discounting my seasons or my story leading up this point. I’m not saying that I don’t already know some of what I’ve mentioned, or that I’m not already pursuing some of those heart dreams – but there are times when we are called deeper, when we are called to more, and I believe that for me, this is one of those times.

I thought that I would live and die in Winston-Salem.
I love this city – the way that it’s not too big, and not too small. The way that it carries inspiration in the air and breathes wind into the sails of creatives. I have unspeakable gratitude for every gift of friendship that I have with SO many people. I don’t feel worthy of 1/10th of the love that has been poured into me through the friends that I have. I belong to the best church in the world full of beautiful, loving, gifted people. I have nothing but thankfulness in my heart when I look at all that has been built and all that was in store for me when I moved here 3 1/2 years ago. I will forever call this home and plan on returning during the school breaks and beyond — but for a season, I am laying down and giving all that I’ve got to this invitation of BSSM.

 

I am sharing this via blog on the world wide web for a few reasons:
1. I have every intention of blogging more regularly throughout this journey, because I’m coming to find that story is powerful and one of the tools God uses most to encounter other people. Let’s call this the prelude to all of the blogging entries to come.

2. PRAYER. Y’all, this ISFJ, green-blue on the DISC test girl HATES CHANGE and LOVES SECURITY. I hate change even when it’s awesome, just because it’s different than what I’m used to. There is nothing familiar in this guaranteed to be spectacular season change. (There are many other areas to be covered in prayer, I am sure, it’s just the quirkiest, yet also realest thing I’m facing right now).

3. SUPPORT. This is the hardest for me for a million reasons – my “no that’s okay I’ve got it” independence, and the fact that as humans, we love to point to something and say “this measurable proof shows that this is worth investing in” .. but those voices fade in the face of last-minute transitions and no-other-choice.
Tuition for the school year is $4,550. In addition to this cost, I have to cover living expenses and continue to cover all of my adult bills. I will be working part-time throughout the school year to supplement, of course, but it is very scary going from full-time job money to part-time, the cost of living staying the same but the income being cut in half. Because the school is not accredited, student loans are not an option.
Talk about a faith walk — one of those moments where the rubber hits the road, and the theology that is much easier to quote is actually put to the test.
If you would like to give toward this adventure, donations can be made via Paypal
1. http://www.paypal.me/hannahriggin

THANK YOU so much for reading, praying, and supporting! I look forward to sharing tons of moments with all of you: whether they be the life-changing jaw dropping ones, or the “this-is-funny-now-but-it-sure-wasn’t-when-it-happened” ones, and all the others in between.