I shouldn’t brag about this, but I have some experience as a stalker. As a teenager my friends and I would do “drive-bys” together: driving past the places where our crushes were, with the hopes of catching a glimpse. I was never ashamed. Until once we were caught – by MY crush. It was embarrassing. But I got over it. (He was THAT cute!) That tradition died in high school. Until this past weekend. When I tried to stalk Lisa Harper.
I went to Propel‘s Activate event in my hometown of Woodbridge, Virginia. I love how God can weave a connection between everything in our life. I took a couple women to lunch at the same Silver Diner where I’d spent hours pretending to drink coffee and smelling the second-hand cigarette smoke of the radical, deep, late-night diner dwellers of my teenage Saturdays. To be praying over a meal in a place where I once sought rebellion was a beautiful transition from one life of sin into a life of forgiveness.
But that’s not what I really want to tell you about. Because this is about me as a stalker.
I was determined to meet Lisa Harper. She’s my ministry girl crush. (Which is to say she inspires me, challenges me, and makes me laugh.) So crush seems fair to say. And what do I do with crushes? I stalk them. (Please keep reading before you call the authorities…)
So when they announced she’d be signing books around lunchtime, I snuck out and looked everywhere for her. But I couldn’t find her. Hello, ya’ll, what’d you do with Lisa Harper? I asked person after person. Anyone who looked official got the “What’d you do with, Lisa?” question. Turns out there’d been a whoopsie, and she was signing in the afternoon.
When afternoon came, I sprinted out – even as Christine Caine was talking – GASP! – to find Lisa’s table. Ya’ll, she was still missing. She wasn’t where they said she’d be. But I would not be stopped. I searched and searched. And then I realized I’d need a book for her to sign because I didn’t bring one. So I waited in line as dozens of women tried on t-shirts, debated which coffee mug they wanted, and flipped through the books on the table. Suffice it to say: I waited forever. And then I waited more. Because us women are slow to make decisions unless we’re picking out desert. Because if it isn’t chocolate it isn’t desert.
About a minute shy of eternity I was back on the hunt for Lisa. When I found her they told me it was too late. She was at capacity. Too many Lisa-loving stalkers had found her before me. They don’t know how tenacious I am, I thought. So I waited like a spider outside the room. Women came out with their signed books and flushed cheeks. I’m not gonna lie, I was fighting off jealousy like the flu. Maybe she’ll want to talk to me because I’m wearing cowgirl boots, I thought. She’s from Nashville, after all.
After the conference had started back up again, I noticed a few other spiders waiting on the cusp of their own webs. One twenty-something girl with gorgeous wild curly hair knelt on the floor on the other side of the hall. I wasn’t the only one with the spiritual gifting of stalking. I know we tell each other all the time that there’s enough room for all women to succeed in God’s kingdom. And this is true. Except when you need to meet Lisa Harper.
Still, I was encouraged. Emboldened. I can do this. I’m not leaving without meeting Lisa.
And then it happened…
They opened the door. The gal with the short hair and official name badge moved out an arm to give the official word that they’d be walking. The young guy with the plaid shirt held Lisa by the arm. (Because you never know what women at a conference will do. Clearly.) They were moving and quick.
I stood up.
And then I did what completely shocked me.
It was humiliating. I never thought I’d do it.
I looked down. DOWN! Not up! I slumped my shoulders in immediate defeat when I saw their speed. Clearly she had somewhere to be. Clearly the door wasn’t going to open for me. Clearly I’d missed my shot and we weren’t going to bond over my cowgirl boots.
And then I saw the twenty-something hop up and run. With her cell phone poised for action. She ran up behind Lisa and her protective covering of people.
Lisa turned around and with a warm smile said to her, “Follow us!”
And the girl did. And then I did. Because maybe I had a chance after all. (Try not to focus on the fact that this nearly forty-year-old-woman was following the twenty something. Because I’m not focusing on that at all. I swear.)
Lisa paused for a moment and wrapped her arm around the wild child and they stole a selfie there in the middle of the web I’d so carefully crafted. There another girl got the moment I’d wanted. As she leapt through the hallway towards her friends who were waiting and cheering in enthusiasm, Lisa was rushed down a hallway.
I’d missed my chance. Even with all my stalker expertise, I’d looked down when I should have looked up.
As I drove home with my new book sans a signature or a selfie, I thought about all of us as women. How often do we do in our daily life what I did in that hallway of that conference hall?
How often are we looking down instead of looking up? How often are we following someone else instead of the One who said, “Follow me”?
When Christ asked us to follow him he didn’t promise we’d receive everything we want in life, but he did promise we’d receive his Spirit. He did promise us we’d be forgiven. He did promise us second chances.
So regardless of what you’re waiting on, standing in line for, or what you think you’re missing out on, look up and follow Jesus. What he has to offer is even better than any signature or a celebrity sighting.
(But Lisa, if you’re reading this, I promise I’ll be looking up next time!)Regardless of what you're waiting on, standing in line for, or what you think you're missing out… Encourage a Friend
Have you been looking down instead of looking up? Are you failing to take chances when God has big plans for you? Learn to pray about it! Click HERE to get your 7-Day Devotional, Praying to Move Mountains!