Chronic illness changes you. Betrayal changes you.
I miss her. Sometimes, I ache for her.
Her confidence. Her sense of spontaneity and sometimes even fearlessness. Her body free of physical scars and pain. The words that would once pour out and flow when she sat down to write, or as she encouraged a friend, or picked up the microphone.
Some of you reading this knew her. So you know.
Her deep love for people and connection became a fear of them.
But I catch glimpses of her sometimes. And more often, lately. She’s still here.
I see her when she pushes the nervous lump in her throat back and tries to still her shaky knees when she introduces herself to someone or shares a bit of her story.
I feel her when she has an unyielding desire for connection – not just connection between her and others, but among others.
I saw her when she recently looked across her home, filled walls to walls with friends who are now family, laughing and connecting with each other…and as she had to momentarily escape to a back room to shed tears of gratitude.
Community is powerful. There is a familiar quote that I believe is attributed to Oswald Chambers: “A woman’s heart must be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.” Most people read that in the sense of a love-relationship between a man and woman. But I’ve always read that in a broader context of community. That’s who we are, this community of believers with hearts so hidden in God that we find each other here. The funny thing is…I’m finding her here, too.
A walled-off heart is different than a heart hidden in and under the care of God. It’s true that hurt people hurt people. But I want to dwell where healed people heal people. I want to walk among the healed and BE the healed. That place where the bricks and mortar of those walls fall away with the force of an angry two-year old demolishing a tower of Lincoln Logs. Those walls don’t protect me. They just keep the real me in.
So in this new year…I look forward to (re)discovering her.
Her deep yearning to serve and what that looks like now and in the future.
Her longing to cultivate a deeper intimacy and relationship with Jesus.
Her renewed capacity to love and connect with others. And herself.
If you feel like you’ve lost yourself in times of trial, please persevere in prayer, and seek His peace and wisdom. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12)
Love to all and a very Happy New Year. May we remember that our hope is not in a date on the calendar, but in the One who makes all things new!