Andiamo is an important word for me.
While studying abroad in Italy two summers ago, I truly learned how to rest in God’s presence. Thousands of miles from home, with only a handful of friends and my measly Italian, I often sat with God and explored my new city alone.
One of our tour guides, Luca, loved to tell us “andiamo.” When we finished at a location, he’d smile and motion to us with his cliche Italian expressions, and say, “Andiamo! Let’s go.” He led us to and from and in between wonderful sites with amazing history. He walked with us and opened us to new places, new things.
He had a contagious sense of adventure and noticeable hope in good things to come. He met us where we were — silly Americans trying our best to get by in a foreign country — and asked us to follow him to experience the goodness Rome had to offer.
When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I did not want to go.
I sat in bitterness and remorse and shame. I could not believe my diagnosis and truly thought my life was over. In my eyes, I was best by March 18, 2016. My hopes and dreams were shattered, and I didn’t know if I would ever press on.
Then Jesus came and entered in. He found me in my weakness and sorrow. He cradled me in his arms as I wept and mourned over the life I knew, the perfect image I created. He whispered to me, “Andiamo, let’s go. Let me show you my Father’s wonderful plans, wonderful places you will visit and wonderful people you will meet. Trust me. Follow me. Let’s go.”
So I went.
I picked up my baggage and loss and walked with Jesus. The Holy Spirit instilled in me a perseverance I could never have mustered on my own. I learned how to make the most of my disorder, to speak openly and confidently in hopes to decrease a stigma around it.
With encouragement of Sweet Denise and Dear Tim and a village of friends, I began to believe in a hopeful future again. I began to believe in myself, my capability to rise among the ashes. To walk worthy and boldly knowing Christ saved me and he still saves me when I wander.
Some of Christ’s last words are “let’s go.”
Known as the Great Commission, he speaks to the disciples. He says, “Go and make disciples of all nations…and surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He says, “Let’s go.” Let’s go and spread the Gospel and share good truths and do justice, love mercy and walk humbly (Micah 6:8).
Let’s go. Let’s transform our forward thoughts into forward movements, persevering and enduring whatever storms crash into our lives. Let’s be who we are called to be and do what we are called to do.
Let’s live a life worthy to be called Christians, “little Christ.” Let’s take what we are given and turn it into gold, into undeniable goodness which can only come from the love of the Father.
Andiamo. Let’s go.