I used to not even notice so much of what was happening; each breath we took…the many steps we walked…or even the simple beauty surrounding us.
But I do now.
Because when someone brushes up against death, there’s nothing ordinary about any of these things.
And there’s honestly nothing ordinary with even life itself.
During these past seven months, a season full of so many unknowns God has been using things such as these, to remind me life is truly a gift, not to be overlooked.
As I sit here today, we’re on vacation trying to heal a little from all we’ve been going through.
We stayed the night in my hometown and its surreal to be here.
In one way its all too familiar and in another, it’s quite unfamiliar.
Because a person can grow up in a town and one day feel as if they’ve outgrown it.
As I sit here in a coffee shop on Main St. this morning I come here as a quite different person than when I left it over thirty years ago.
Back then I was a young girl who knew very little about God and even less about myself.
I had first left this town in search of who I was.
I always felt like something was missing or better yet someone was missing.
I had no idea who I was because I was so busy striving to be liked and approved of, I lost who I was.
My head would hang low back then and I’d hide my figure in oversized clothing in hopes to not be found out.
I truly wish someone had been there with me back then and guided me through all I was experiencing…I wish I had truly known God, but I didn’t.
I didn’t find him for a couple of years and the journey to him almost killed me.
Because there’s something dark that happens when you’re wandering through life without him…
I wasn’t the kind of person others would have wanted to be.
I didn’t have it all together or even halfway figured out.
I wasn’t an athlete others would remember and I wasn’t the girl who would ever make it to the top of the class…these are the things I longed for but always fell short of.
And yet as I sit here today, I feel as if I don’t need those things anymore.
Because they’re not what my soul needs.
Instead I’ve found great pleasure in finding God and him finding me.
And it’s here we sit together every day getting to know one another a little better.
This trip we are on, the one we’ve dreamed of for months, the one Joe etched out ever detail in his mind is here to do something for our souls…yes to heal us from the past seven months but there’s another thing it’s here to do…it’s here, to remind me of the journey I’ve been on for the last thirty years
-which has stretched my heart and grown me into who I am now.
It’s been renewing for us to find joy within these long months, even when we had no idea what was awaiting us on the other side.
Because when we search for joy in the midst of suffering, it always is found.
So even though we’re climbing out of this season we’ve been in there’s something hard about not being the same person you were before this began.
Not being able to take the steps you easily have taken for years.
Because there’s something hard about reminding yourself healing takes time.
So, when Joe told me this morning how he’s still adjusting to his body’s limitations these days it made me think of how sometimes a person changes and grows stronger and there’s other times when our bodies have to adjust to a new ‘normal’.
I’ve always had a hard time with learning new rhythms.
Because sometimes it happens this way overnight we lose something we love.
And life challenges us to carry on as before.
But there’s a season that’s necessary for us to heal.
A day for breathing in the fresh air and seeing the beauty surrounding us, even in the midst of the hardness of life.
As we’re driving through the beautiful countryside of New England seeing all of the leaves changing colors, I’m reminded of how beautiful things can come following a season of suffering.
I know this because I’ve been here before.
Strangely though no matter how many times I’ve walked this road I still continue to forget how healing does come.
We all go through these seasons and yet I so often forget how I make it out.
Because I think it’s easier for me to remember being in it, walking through it and I forget how I made it to the other side of it.
And there’s something very unique about surviving, because once we make it to the other side, we’ll have a big story to tell and re-tell about God.
Here’s my reminder for this season….
Deep struggle always brings a season of re-growth.