We Are Roaring

A whisper can be carried away by the breeze, the message lost as roars and hollers around fill the space it tried to claim. Whispers are the risky first steps, the ventures into reality of our inner lives, the worry, the fears, even our secret loves. We test to see if the world about us falls apart when a truth is spoken. As a child, as a young adult, I whispered some of my secrets only to be shutdown and taught that even my quietest voice was not to be trusted or valued. When I began writing, later when this blog became my roar, I found a safe space to allow my voice to grow in volume and intensity. I am learning to speak my truth and live into what that means, accepting all the consequences and freedom that brings. I didn’t expect to hear so many other voices, no longer whispering , shouting out stories that tear at our souls. Loud, angry, hurt voices speaking openly about sexual harassment, about choosing to suffer in order to keep jobs, fear of not being believed blinding them to their own power, The whispers have turned into a roar, saying no more no more no more.

I am heartened by the bravery of all these friends and strangers posting #metoo on public forever forums, sharing stories that break my soul and anger me that this problem is not so rare, that I am not special in my suffering. I am shocked and saddened by the sheer number, a scroll through my social media accounts show that women are finding the courage to share that they have been treated as objects time and again, that they have been silenced by a system that forces us to prove our claim rather than the abuser prove his innocence, even when the accusers number in double digits.

I have searched and searched for the upside to this political nightmare. I believe that God will use all to His glory but I could only see daily how more and more of His people were being marginalized and demoralized and put at risk through the divisiveness and hate rhetoric. Yet this president has accomplished one thing, whispers are turning into roars. Women who felt triggered by the comments he made on the bus with Billy Bush and found ourselves shrinking each time we heard his voice, have now said, enough. We found that more and more of us are feeling the same way and, my God, have like histories. It was only a matter of time before Harvey was outed as an abuser, who is next? Women are angry and talking out loud. We are pushing our way into that glory, to a space of no shame, to a celebration of all that it is to be women and children of God.

The men in our lives have choices as well. Their own voices matter in the midst of this uprising. Will they find their own voices and ask God’s forgiveness for the times they ogled the waitress, they hugged the cashier, they held the hand of the hostess as she took him to his table, made their own comments with their buddy at the bar, or didn’t object when another man did all of this? See all these women weren’t harassed by only a handful of men. This is systemic, we have a problem in how men see us, actually look at us. We are not bodies for male pleasure. Long ago a manager at a restaurant where I worked was instructing others in training on how to interact appropriately. He said, if you wouldn’t do it with your spouse watching, don’t do it. So simple, the perfect start for those men who respect their spouses. For those who don’t we have bigger issues to address, a different blog. Right now, the streets are filled with roaring women. Thanks be to God.

Philippians 2:3

 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,

We Forgot To Limp

Plum stubbed his toe this weekend, not the terrible first stubbing of spring that draws blood on tender flesh cushioned for months under socks and slippers and boots, but really more of a bumping of his little foot against the cement porch, a foot that has spent the entire summer roughening on the gravel road alongside our home. A closer inspection showed not a single drop of blood, not a tear in his skin, no mark of the injury that he felt. Hours of barefoot play in the summer sun and the steadfast refusal to keep shoes on brought about a tough exterior, one that belied the pain he was experiencing. We have extra bandaids for just such an injury, one that is more inside than out. He asked me how one limps, such was his determination in milking this event as well as the disappointment that nothing outward pointed to the level of pain he was knew. I showed him and he managed a limp for all of two steps before he was distracted and the pain receded. I understood his concern, though, I had worn my own bandaids all weekend.

Our church moved 10 years ago to a brand new building, one that fit the dreams we all shared for more ministry options. This weekend was the celebration of that move and our 3 services would be combined into one but our church couldn’t hold us all at one time, thus the high school just down the road was chosen to be our worship site. The auditorium and cafeteria were large enough for us all, a perfect choice. Except that building held memories of my children, of Stella’s art exhibits, of decorating their lockers every year for their birthdays, of graduation ceremonies as I watched them cross the stage and look to their future. I walked those hallways as I registered them for classes each year and bought new sweatshirts and yearbooks, I met with teachers their for conferences. This was their high school, the place I drove Stella to early each morning when she missed the bus and picked them both up to drive to orthodontist appointments.  This building held memories that I had ignored. Yet walking though with Plum, I began to mentally limp, I felt the injury and knew no one could see me bleeding. Then it happened, I was distracted. Plum wanted to explore the stage, a friend tripped and fell, the food was plentiful and the friends were all around, I forgot that I had stubbed some memories. As we left the event, I realized I had survived without real damage to my psyche. Now in thinking about the school, I would also remember singing praise songs and would always consider that the students who sit in those chairs for assemblies will be covered in the prayers of our congregation.

Later Chef and I attended a wedding of a young woman from church, a woman who oozes grace and light. She sings with our praise team and sends me notes that lift me at exactly the moments I think I am sinking, she lives out faith actively. Chef and I had not been to a wedding since the civil ceremony of our daughter, the estrangement occurred one month after that and we were not invited to her actual wedding, the one with the dress and cake and music. I knew this would be a stubbing crashing smashing of memories, a bashing of hopes and dreams but I so respect this young woman we couldn’t not go. Bandaiding my heart, we entered the event hall and found that many other friends from church were there as well, we sat with some who kept us occupied and laughing and covered with joy such that we forgot to limp, we forgot to check for bleeding. This wedding was the perfect one to ease us back into life, to invite us to participate in joy and distract us from our pain.

I know it would be safer to avoid the gravel, to always wear shoes, to stay away from places that trigger memories that will break through to my bruised soul. Yet I am not called to be safe and protected, to hide and to be cushioned. I am asked to rely on the strength of God, who will guide me and keep me from harm. Running away rom those events that might possibly touch on my sore spots means I would miss the chance to heal ever so slightly, to replace some memories of what hasn’t been with an evening of laughter and new jokes to share and delight with friends instead of nursing wounds on my couch. Paul says we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, he doesn’t say we should stop doing the things that might rough us up. Today I trusted in God to protect my soul, and found his grace was indeed sufficient. Step by step, that is how I move ever closer to the light.

 

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

(photo credit to http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2013/01/that-funky-bandaid-color/ )

 

 

When Children Repeat our Hate Speech

The world crashed down before I even had my first cup of coffee, before actually I had even turned the coffee maker on. We had only donned slippers and robes moments before, just out of bed, I’m not sure I have even visited the bathroom yet, surely I must have or I would have lost control of that function right there on the steps as my grandson uttered hate speech. Of course he didn’t know the meaning of the words he used, merely repeating something in the manner of growing his vocabulary. Of course I delight as he uses ever larger words and deeper concepts that he picks up from listening and exploring his world, I have always delighted, until this one morning. My heart broke before it even had time to fully wake. Spreading the reputation of my Plum far and wide as a joy bringer maybe has brought more pressure than this 6 year old can bear. As he nears his next birthday, I too am getting closer to admitting that he doesn’t always bring the smiles and lighten my heart, he is reflecting the world sometimes to me and it isn’t pretty.  I much prefer when he shows me God.

The old show, “Kids say the Darnedest Things” takes a lighter view of the utterances of children, when they repeat the curse words mommy said or describe how daddy put the moves on mama. We laugh when we hear adult talk emerge from little mouths, highlighting the absurdity of our concerns and our proclamations. Yet what of the times that they repeat hate speech? What does that say about the world they are exposed to, how do we control what they know and hear and say without limiting their growth? In a society that allows white supremacists to march freely without the need for hoods, there should be no surprise that this ugly talk has filtered down to my first-grade grandson. Apparently it began on his bus, when he was being bullied by older kids who eventually were sent to see the principal and he was moved to the seat right behind the bus driver. Yet no one bothered to address the language used against him, to explain why it was wrong. He only knew it felt hurtful to have the older kids taunting him. Other kids ran to tell Mama as he got off the bus and sat down in tears, unable to make it even the block to his door, such was his shame. So when our very large white Labrador blocked his path on the steps, it seemed the perfect time to use his new words. Frustrated and annoyed, he blurted out, “Move it you white cracker!”

My first instinct of horror and shock ruled my own words: No Plum we never ever ever say that, that is ugly horrible talk. Then I got some coffee and invited him to sit with me as we dug into the why. We talked about slavery and the idea that some people are worth less than others, something he thought was outrageous and my heart began to mend. We talked about another ugly word, one I never ever want him to use and why. We explored how angry people are right now because they are being treated as less than still and he is white skinned and he is expected by many to be better just because. We talked about a war within our country fought by those who wanted slavery to continue and those who didn’t and how grateful we are that the North won. We also talked about bullies and hurtful words and how the things those folks say are probably things we don’t want to allow to come out of our mouths. He apologized to our dog who was none the worse for it all but my Plum was learning that words matter.

A deeper fear was lurking within me though, one that screamed that I must stamp out this hate speech before it can grow any roots. Somehow I missed some moments with my own son, in spite of all the posters and quotes and books and moments to address his innocent utterances as well. He was one person, an addict but not a racist, before he went to prison. When the gates opened, he was clean and sober but covered in swastikas and runes and subtle references to white supremacy organizations. His experiences inside had exposed him to a race war that our war on drugs has elevated, he became an enlisted soldier in an army that was bringing its fight outside the cells and into the streets. Mama and I feared what he would plant in this sweet child’s head, how would we continue to nurture a child who loves everyone if his father was telling him to hate some? Yet Arrow has chosen to separate from his son, to disappear and begin a new family outside the influence of our ideologies. While his son is white, he has become less than worthy in my son’s construct, a heart-breaking possibility when we measure people by what they can do for us and not by virtue of their existence. Still, everyday I worry about this man who was once my little boy learning that words matter and love was better than hate. He is engaged in a war that has already been lost, on many fronts. My soul aches for this lost boy.

So we try again, with this child, to eradicate hate speech before it can destroy a little boy’s loving heart. Every day that he leaves our homes, when he climbs aboard a bus or hits the playground, he is exposed to a world that is struggling with racism and sexism. For now, he knows that God made us all, that we look alike on the inside, where it matters most and that we are all important to God. He told me today that he is a follower of God, not bullies. My joy bringer reflects God to me, and I have to be strong enough and honest enough to reflect God right back, especially during the hard talks, even before coffee. I have to be brave enough to tell him words that he cannot use, even against our dog, who truthfully, is quite annoying. We are meant to be light and grace during these turbulent times, our children are watching and listening, and in spite of us all, repeating our embarrassing words. His “shits” and “damns” don’t seem all that bad any more.  Neither does home-schooling.

In the MEANtime I Heard the Holy Spirit

My pastor spoke a word in prayer during our services that halted my listening, his flow for me interrupted by the utterance of a single group of letters, a compilation I had surely heard most of my life.  What is it but the Holy Spirit when that happens, when the light changes ever so slightly, when our ears become so acutely attuned we can only hear the cricket’s chirp, when the aromas of a pumpkin pie block out all other scents? I know it is the Holy Spirit that sharpens my focus this finely, pulls me into a sacred space where wondering and imagining and considering feel much more like prayer. When he uttered this one word, one among many as he prayed over and with his congregation, I know the light must have been pouring through the skylights above to rest exactly upon me, so sure I am that his word was meant for me. I wish I could say I remember the context, the way in which he used the word, yet the Holy Spirit amplified this word, typed it in bold and enlarged the font until that word ran everything else off the page, out of my awareness. He said “meantime.” That is how I know something holy was underway, this word I have used and listened to and read countless times, it hit me right then that I had been languishing in the MEANtime.

Since this moment in church, the word has echoed and reverberated and made itself known in my thoughts. I’m trying to understand and live into that one word, to roll it around on my tongue and consider how I have become that very idea, how I have allowed that word to rule me instead of the Word of God. MEANtime. He said something about us resting in the meantimes of our lives and I was convicted right in that moment. Longing for what has already happened, waiting for what will be, the waiting for me is agony.  I suffer from an inability to live only in my current moments, not my desires, not my wishes, my views cast not forward to the possibilities, not backward to my sins, but my eyes fully filled with the joy however tiny in my midst.  The MEANtime, the time between where I was and where I am going.

Every time we set off for a trip, whether to Chef’s hometown an hour away or week long adventures to explore another state, Plum asks about 5 minutes in, “Are we there yet?” Wanting to be “there” where all good things surely reside, not being cooped up in a car seat, peering out the window as we pass what could be for the hope of something more interesting, more rewarding, anticipating the destination instead of enjoying the ride, that time becomes the MEANtime. In between when I was happy and the future joy I carry in my satchel of hopes, that space feels coated in hurts and worries and fear and discontent. Considering my moments as waiting for my dreams to happen rather than watching others I failed to imagine come to life before me, I miss joy. Is it any wonder the time feels mean, feels empty, feels as if disappointment reigns? Another moment I didn’t receive a call or text or email from my daughter, time appears wasted as the seconds fall into minutes and hours and days and weeks and now years of missed sunrises and butterflies hovering about the flowers on my porch, sitting in ugliness of those moments because I don’t have what I want. Would I remember to notice and savor the joys if all was really just as I want? It is true that my spirit is lighter when I am sharing a laugh with my daughter, but does that joy cause me still to miss what God is laying exactly in my path? What if getting what I want leads me to rest there and stop reaching for Him?

MEANtime is not about what is happening or not to me, although I have settled into that discomfortable space, registering and tracking all the despicable and dishonorable events, an ugly scrapbook of malicious and maligning moments that I can pull off the shelf to peruse in my least grateful moments. Because really that is it, to be in the MEANtime means I am devoid of gratitude, my ability to see and nurture blessings lost in the sensation of licking wounds and sharing my misery. Surely this time feels MEAN to God as well, appearing stuck in a railcar with Dementers who remove all joy from my soul, a crushing weight in the darkness that I select over the possibilities of  walking the trails filled with autumn reds and oranges and the sharp cries of bluebirds. Yes I have used this in between time to be mean, to fail to see and amplify His glory, to shout and sing about those flowers that emerged without my efforts and the sun that rises in spite of me and the gifts of the owl calling in the trees outside my bedroom as I drift off to sleep. Paul tells me to be content in all things, Paul doesn’t notice MEANtime, he rests in joy moments that are surely filled with aching muscles and tired eyes and too many days working without rest and yet he speaks only of contentment, of each moment as if it were the most important of his life. Paul has shared some time with Dementers as well, he is actively choosing joy. He doesn’t seem to be experiencing any MEAN time, even in prison.

I am stepping into his journey, this discovery of what the moment holds and what God wants me to hear. I am seeking out the gift of this day, this one right now, and praying that God’s timing allows for reconciliation as well. I am a work in progress, I still have my dreams. But I did notice the mums on the front porch today as Plum and I waited for the school bus and I lamented that he is soon to be 7. The flowers were shining bright yellow into our day even as the sky was overcast. Also, he may have a better appreciation of time, this child who squeezes out every second of playtime before the bus takes him away. I told him it is crazy, it is ridiculous that he is going to be 7 in only two weeks. My sweet little grandson, the child who brings me joy, replied, “But Gran, it is just an age.”

This is just an age, it doesn’t have to carry any other weight, it can just be what it is. It doesn’t have to be the MEANtime unless I choose that. Today I am leaning into the holy space of Magnificenttime. I pray you find your moments and seconds are filled with kindness and blessings today.

 

When a B marries an A+

Today is Chef’s birthday, the single most anxiety producing, shame infused day of the year for me. See what I did there making it all about me? Our opposite natures show themselves most vividly when an opportunity to give gifts arises. I avoid all mention of my birthday, I prefer the shadows to the limelight. Chef never fails to make a big deal of my birthday, against my desires. The enjoyment I show during the event is interpreted as  confirmation that his way is ultimately the best. Then, in a ploy I can only consider sabotage, or maybe he is trying to ease the burden for me, every year on his birthday he is either working or he has smudged up the calendar with outside events. He makes it damn near impossible to celebrate his birthday in like fashion. I know from reading “The 7 Love Languages” that we give what it is we hope to receive. Thus I know he wants a party, I want to allow the day to slide into the next. Each year I struggle over the perfect gift, his tastes are quite exact. I struggle with making a cake (is he preparing for a marathon or off sweets this year?) or finding the best meal to offer up as my gift. I just seem to fall short and each year gets worse as failure becomes my norm and the anxiety grows. I know this is not all about me but trying to measure up and show my love sets my insides to quivering and my outsides to frowning. Frustrated thoughts float freely in my mind: Why can’t he plan his own party, he is so much better at it, Why should I even try, I am going to fail.

I recognize that this is how I approach all of my most important relationships, especially with the One who gave me a birthday in the first place. The problem I think is in the very construct of wanting to show love to gain love. That isn’t pure unconditional love, no agape there. That is a contract, an exchange of services. Grace does not live in those deeds. Trying to be worthy, tying a gift or a meal to my value, I will never succeed. How can any material item encapsulate my fondness for his gentleness with our grandson, my appreciation for the care he shows in feeding me, my hope for more walks and quiet talks and years of watching him from across a room as he laughs? The parts of him that I love are entwined with his soul, his very charismatic nature that draws all the energy in a room, that cause the light to shine just a bit brighter over him. I ease back into the edges of the celebration, finding my comfort in his joy, I get warmth from the light he brings. I am reminded of click-bait stories that say did you know that this celebrity is married to that no-name person, the one no one has ever heard of or seen, yes, married to HIM! I often wonder about that “not in show business spouse, how she or he copes with never being as adoring as all the fans, how do they share their love in a way that counts?

Grace. I believe grace is the key, the central point that makes it all gel. With grace God tells me that I am good enough, that I will never be deserving but I will always be worthy. I cannot gift my way into a love affair with God, He has everything already. My efforts will come up short every time. So what is it He desires of me? Nothing but my all. And when I offer up a kindness to one of His other children, He smiles and says well done and sprinkles grace filled sunlight on my shoulders, telling me it is enough that I showed up, that I am trying. My mother’s words often echo louder than God’s, I am learning to hear Him more. My sense of not being quite good enough was cemented when I proudly brought my report card to my mother, sure I had achieved greatness and worth in her eyes. Showing her my A’s, waiting for the praise, I was destroyed when she asked why I didn’t get A+’s. I know God is not expecting such perfection, I hope my Chef doesn’t either. When I give to be evaluated, I am no longer giving of me, of my heart, out of rejoicing for the recipient.

To that end, this year, for my Chef’s birthday, I selected silly ridiculous gifts that may completely miss the mark. Hoping his sense of humor will rule the day,  I think I selected gifts that will bring out his smile and cause his eyes to light up. If I totally bomb though, rest assured I have 364 more days out of the spotlight to really show how I feel. Join me in celebrating him today, won’t you, and pray he is filled with grace as he walks through this day.  When you are an A+, the rest of us B’s need forgiveness.

Happy Birthday Rock Star, I am blessed to stand in your shadow.

I Think I am Falling in Love

Remember that time when you first fell in love, when your body felt light and your eyes sparkled whenever the object of your attraction neared? Remember how even the very mention of their name brought joy, a sudden smile? Remember how you spent time writing their name, dreaming of your time together, took immense care of your body and appearance? Falling in love takes us all in, no reservations, a stumble into relationship that begins with seeds of trust and the overwhelming desire to know more, and matures into sanctuary and intimacy. Maintaining that initial attraction through the valleys of life, through challenges to your very relationship, that is the stuff of a solid marriage. Yet dark times come and how we respond to those is key. Do we back away or huddle closer? Do we look for others who might recreate that loving feeling? I am asking because I think I am falling in love.

I am on the verge of falling in love with God after a lifetime of watching His goodness all around me. God and I are dancing, a slow waltz that allows us to alternate who is leading, allows me to get comfortable with Him being so close. Having always noticed His presence all around me, I am considering asking Him to be my life partner, knowing I will be committing myself to this love forever more. Exploring this new territory, like a trip to foreign lands, my senses are alive and my body is awake, I rush about noticing every detail. A veil has been lifted, a curtain of lies that distorted my view so that all I saw was a wall between us, ways that I did not deserve His love. Whispers of the enemy told me He did not love me like He loves you, like the girl with an unattainable crush, I was outside of the circle, I watched from afar. But now God and I are dating. He is bringing me flowers of hope, candy boxes of sweetness, showing up with the consistency of a lover who knows just how skittish I am. Remember that feeling of knowing you are desired? I know now that my God has desired me with that ferocity, with patience He has waited for me to notice Him, that He has carried a crush for me long before I knew His name.

I am learning about this God who longs for more than coffee with me in the morning, this God aches for intimacy, for my thoughts and dreams to include Him all day. At the beginning of all relationships, we evaluate how much to trust, what secrets to tell, how much of our life to share. Entering into this love relationship with God, I am discovering He knows all the bad parts and actually walked alongside me during those. When I wondered where He was because He wasn’t stopping the horrors, I missed that He was crying as well. He couldn’t control the devastation but He would suffer with me and wait for me to turn to Him for comfort. I know He can’t control the ugliness that we inflict on each other if only because then we lose our ability to choose Him, our need to select this relationship above all others. I am reminded of the remote control car my Plum has maneuvered about the house, making the car crash and come back to him. The car has no choice to avoid the accidents but neither does it choose to return to its master. God is not controlling any of us, crashing us about our world and into each there and then bringing us back home. I see now that I have the glorious option of choosing, a gift beyond all the others that He has given to me. I have been violated to the point of crushing my soul, yet He will not breech my boundaries, He will not take ,only give.

So what does falling in love with God look like? I think I am called to bring Him flowers of hope as well, as I care for His other loves: my friends, my enemies, strangers and neighbors. I am asked to share candy boxes of sweet words and encouraging messages to those who are unsure and aching and experiencing loneliness while He waits for them to notice Him, to see Him sitting close by as well. God wants my love, all of it and then together we will sprinkle glittering grace to His people. Make no mistake, committing to this marriage to God means I am forsaking all others, I will put no one or thing above Him, between us. A momentous decision, I am moving carefully in allowing Him to have all of me. The colors of my world are growing brighter, light is shining in to dark places and truth is replacing lies. The windows of my soul are opening to fresh spring breezes even as autumn is surrounding me. I am dating God, a heady time of getting to know each other, of feeling the rush at the sound of His name. Please excuse me if I seem a bit giddy, blushing like a school girl, caught daydreaming while we talk. I think I am falling in love.

Opening the Door When God Knocks

My earliest memory is watching myself from above, separated from my body, apart from what was happening to me. I have used that strategy all of my life, breaking away from emotions, disinhabiting my physical being, creating compartments for good and bad and scary as well as events and relationships. Knowing I am broken, knowing I crave restoration means finding the courage to stay present, to be in the moment. I don’t always have the correct affect, I may not smile or cry when everyone else is merely because I don’t experience the same event until much later, in the safety of my solitude. There my emotions run freely, as I reexperience and find a connection. Sadly, because those moments are solitary, I have been described as cold and aloof. Each time either of  those two words have been hurled at me, I have wondered how my true self could be perceived so inaccurately, why are they missing who I am? Yet the sheer number of times they have been applied lend credence to what I have shown to the world.  Today I found a way back in, to me, to relationships, to wholeness.

Children who are sexually abused believe they are dirty, unwanted, unloveable. Unlearning those devastating messages about ourselves is a life long endeavor, at least for me. Connecting my faith, all the promises of God that just don’t seem to apply to me, with the truth of who God is, has seemed an insurmountable hurdle. How can God love me, as defiled as I am? Why didn’t God make it stop? If God doesn’t love me, how can I ever believe in the love of anyone else? At my very core, my broken relationship to God means broken unstable distrusting relationships with those around me. I heard God’s love explained differently today and my world exploded.

As infants we learn what the world means, who we can trust through our earliest relationships. When safety and love and nurturance are reflected to us, we gain strength and courage and explore more of our world. Infants who do not experience this constant consistent love, shut down, minimize the amount of stimulation they allow in, lose the brightness in their eyes as they shutter their expectations. They learn to distrust. God has put us in relationship immediately upon our entrance into this broken world so that we can begin to learn who He is, so that we can have God reflected to us. Our healthiest relationships reflect God, reflect that we are cherished and adored and valued and loved. That is how we learn the nature of God, through relationship. Thus abused children struggle and push and fight against relationships and ultimately distrust God.

My earliest memories of relationship include the deepest violation of my self. I learned that those around me would take without asking, would use me without care for my needs, would offer me to others as a commodity. I learned I am disposable and unworthy of adoration or respect.  I learned to expect those around me to take my body, my heart, my mind and do so with force and with manipulation and with conditions and finally, with judgement. I did not learn to trust God, to believe that He cherishes me. Yet what if God is different, if those relationships have not reflected the true nature of God? I have looked for Him to bust through my emotional walls, to take my soul and let me know He is with me my whole life.  I expected God to violate me as well, to break down my boundaries.

Because I have experienced a quiet God who continues to show who He is all around me, I misinterpreted his patience. Rather than saying I am unworthy, He was surrounding me with His constant, consistent  presence.  I knew Him in the love of my grandson, in the giggles of my children. I knew Him in the flowers and the birds and the praying mantises, yet I never realized He was there for me too.  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”  Revelation 3:20   With the force of an earthquake, my soul opened up as I realized that God is knocking and waiting for me to invite Him in, that He will never push and hurt and take. He is love. He has been with me all along.

Maybe you already knew this, maybe you are wondering why it took me so long, yet this message has changed my life, I have cried most of the last 24 hours.  God does find me worthy and is waiting for my invitation. The respect I have sought my entire life, that my gifts should be offered and not exploited, God has shown Himself to understand.  His patience in waiting for my invitation, who else but God can wait 53 years to have relationship? I am that worth it to Him, that He has waited. My world is rocked today as I fall into this love relationship, as I shift what I have known as true into the lie category and begin to open the door of my soul to the One who made me.  My far away look, my distractedness today has nothing to do with being aloof, I am busy getting to know my God. I finally joined the party, friends, the one that includes acceptance and joy and the beginnings of self-worth. It truly is Christmas, receiving of the greatest gift ever.