It’s Friday, and I’m back blogging, after possibly the longest break ever. Thank you God for restored internet!
This weeks topic is…
I have wandered this earth for as long as I can remember; I was too young to wander on my own legs, so carried in the arms of others I wandered from one place to another. More houses than years, sights and smells from across the globe etched into my mind, experiences beyond my age. I have wandered, and in every place my wandering has taken me to I have asked “Is this where I belong?”
Family, friends, boyfriends, teachers, they all come and go. I have met too many to count; I have had long lasting friendships, and those which are fleeting; I have known family close by and family scattered all over the world with not a word for months. In all this meeting, and greeting, and knowing, and being together, I have asked “Is it with you that I belong?”
No place, no person, has ever been able to answer those questions with a convincing “yes”, not one has put my heart at total ease and comfort, has allowed me to give a sigh of relief and say with total confidence “This is where I belong, here, with you.”
I know where I belong, it is in the now and the not yet, it is with the revealed and yet still to be fully known. It is in heaven, with my Savior King, that I shall finally exhale long and loud and say “This is where I belong!” Then when I am with my creator, lover, redeemer, father, friend, God, and king, I will know real belonging.
That time and place often seems so far off, and yet in the mean time He gives me glimpses of what it will be like. The sweet fellowship shared among His children, the welcome received from those who know our Dad, the intimate times in surrender and worship when it’s just me and Him. It is in those moments when I taste a small flavour of what it will be like to fully belong.
He had spoken to me that morning. I remained silent. After such a long time of wishing he would speak, after hoping that somehow, somewhere, we would be able to get back on track, he spoke, and all I did was swallow hard and remain silent.
I ran down that gravel path as fast as I could, down to the picnic bench and collapsed onto it, head falling onto my arms on the table. Hoping he would meet me there, some small part of me believing he would.
The hurt, the desperation, the longing, inside me so large, causing me to ache from deep within. Taking deep breaths, scared to let the emotions rise up. Then it came, from deep inside, the tears, the sobs, the painful weeping, and the hot angry tears. I shouted at noone in particular
“I can’t do it! It’s too much, I can’t do it!”
Suddenly I realized I wasn’t alone, he had come to meet me just as I had hoped, joined me on the bench while I was too busy with my head bent over sobbing to notice. Aware of his presence I let the questions come, not looking up.
“Why do you love me anyway? How can you love me?”
He was silent, but I could feel him listening. I repeated the question, this time through uncontrollable sobs.
“How could you love me? Do you really love me?”
He waited quietly while I let the tears flow, letting the emotions bubble over and leak out until all the turmoil was laid bare, and what was left was calm quiet. I pulled my head up from my arms and as I wiped the tears off my face and the snot from my nose he spoke.
“I love you, I love you more than you understand.”
At his words I began sniffing to stop the tears flowing again. He continued;
“I love you, I created you and I see all you can become, I see the beauty.”
I let his words sink in, and prayed they would be graven onto my heart. Walking away I thanked my creator God for meeting me there in that place. Not a church, or holy building, but a humble picnic bench, right where I was, right where I needed Him.
I sit at my desk staring at the lists stuck up in front of me, sorting through emails, writing new lists. I lean back on my chair and sigh, I feel overwhelmed by it all and wonder what the point is. I wonder where the joy is, I wonder what it was that used to make this working, this caring, this living, this breathing, so light and fun, and happy.
I glance over at my bookshelf thinking about what to do next and a notebook on the top shelf catches my eye; laying all wonky, just tossed on the shelf as if forgotten. I remember who bought me the book, and why, but I also remember that the purpose never got fulfilled and I began to use it for something else, I can’t remember what. As I reach over and take it off the shelf and feel its embroidered cover I wrack my brain trying to remember what is inside. I cannot remember and I open it slowly, curious as to what I might find.
A list.My list.
My grace-gift list.
My gratitude on a page.
I only ever got too #48, after that I moved and I guess that is when it got misplaced. I read through the list, its great in variety, and surprising in content at times.
The small everyday things that made me give thanks:
Children playing the ‘waving game’ out of car windows #1
Fields stretched out like patchwork quilts in the valleys below #13
Freshly tarmacked roads #22
The hard things which seem so big, that only by God’s grace I could write:
Freedom in being child-free #25
Understanding what it means to have beauty out of ashes #43
The big moments where God’s blessing poured out so visably and I was about to shout the praise back:
Skyping with Libby R #27
Medical clearance #28
Sitting up late with friends encouraging one another #44
I read and I re-read, absorbing the joy, the thanks, the gratitude; remembering where the joy is, remembering the abundance of gratitude and praise that is owed. I feel my heart getting lighter, and the smile fixes on my face.
I remember the need to moment by moment notice the gifts, the be thankful for them, to search them out, to go on a treasure hunt for joy. I remember how good it is to find grace in unexpected places and to give thanks for it, easy or hard.