So, coffee…and quick, someone hand me a pen so I can write it all down before it’s all gone and all I have left is a headache. That’s a filthy lie, I need a keyboard, because there is no way that my hand can go fast enough to write all that is brewing between my ears.
It is still amazing to me that some of the most important lessons in life can be packaged in the simplest ways. Often I expect a huge moment, an epiphany, a light bulb going off and a dramatic and sudden understanding. But the longer I am alive and do life with Jesus the more this isn’t at all how things happen.
One small and dramatic moment may in fact happen, but then it calls my attention over to all the small, seemingly mundane moments preceding it, all the seeds, the breadcrumbs, the accumulations that gave shape to this mountain of understanding.
I had one of those moments recently and it suddenly opened floodgates of understanding. Again, the moment was not in and of itself remarkable, and it also wasn’t really just one moment. It was one long string of days when my eyes and heart were opening, and things suddenly making their way from my brain to my heart. And it is still happening. And I am caught up in this tide of swirling new, exciting, stimulating, liberating new ways that Jesus is showing Himself to me, and it is extending to what He is showing me about all that surrounds me.
I see things differently. Today I could not wait to get out of bed to start making a list of all the things I am noticing for the first time as intricate and delicate parts of a larger and remarkable scheme. But I can’t. I can't really make a list, because these aren’t “listable” things.
It is life itself.
And if I were able to describe life itself with mere words, well, it wouldn’t be as captivating and amazing as it actually is. I can’t describe what my heart is grasping, because it has nothing to do with my brain, where words are organized neatly, and where concepts can be explained rationally.
I am opening my eyes and I am seeing -maybe for the first time- the sheer amount of love that surrounds me, and it almost literally takes my breath away.
I can’t explain all that is happening, but there is one thing, one specific thing that completely delights my heart in an almost completely new way. The amazing women in my life. See, I have been a fairly social person for my entire adult life (ok, ok, stop chuckling) and I have always enjoyed being around people. But it was always more of a taking for me what I was lacking inside myself. I was kind of a parasitic social person. I was around people partly because I enjoyed them, and partly because I “NEEDED” them to make me feel like I was something. I was always taking more than giving, I was needy, and found a mostly acceptable way to survive. Notice, I am using past tense, NOT because i am no longer like that, but because I am finding and learning new ways. I will probably always struggle with this aspect of my personality and heart.
For this reason, the women in my life have always been important to me, and friendships have always been an absolute lifeline for me, becauseI have always enjoyed rich relationships.
But then…I had never realized that I had never truly learned to be vulnerable. And I had never really learned what love entails, because I had never felt safe enough to allow myself to let down my protective walls. Interestingly I had convinced myself I was vulnerable, because I was “ open” with others, and was always wiling to share about myself. But I was really just hiding behind my walls of humor, loudness,and “openness” enough to truly let anyone inside my heart, where it was cold, dark, and lonely. That journey began years ago, and it has been slow and full of sometimes highly frustrating lessons, dry and fruitless seasons, but it has made way for all this new understanding.
And it has made way to this moment.
The moment when I felt safe for the first time in my life.
Safe enough to let a wall down or two. And it has changed everything. And I owe this to Jesus, His persevering pursuit of my soul, and to the amazing people He has filled my path with. Many of these people are amazing, beautiful, remarkable women. And they have made a life changing difference. Because when the walls came down, I could finally SEE THEM.
It is so ironic. I spent my entire life demanding that others MAKE ME ok, while keeping them at an impossible distance, and when I finally allowed Jesus to melt my defenses and was willing to be vulnerable, one of the first things that happened was, I was able to forget myself for a bit. AND SEE. Ladies in my life,
I could see YOU for the first time.
And when I could actually see YOU, I felt loved.
I am sitting here being FLOORED by this realization, literally tingly with excitement over this one small concept. God has made LOVE to be this way! He has made it so that when I feel safe, and I am willing to be vulnerable with you, I will see YOU, and that alone will be enough to feel loved by you.
I was motivated to finally get over my fear, and share myself, because I WANTED SO BADLY TO BE LOVED. But as soon as I felt safe and loved, I saw that you, YOU also really want to be loved. And You are also offering parts of yourself, You are also needing to be seen, known, held, smiled to. I could see you as you are. And women….YOU ARE LOVELY.
I sit here contemplating the amazing women in my life and now, a LIST does come to mind!
Tender, Kind, Strong, Powerful, Gracious, Giving, Motivated, Protective, Caring, Self-sacrificing.
You have smiles that light up rooms, laughter that melts hearts, voices that calm storms, arms that hold broken pieces together.
You have the power to bring life with you wherever you go. You extend yourself and stretch out arms and hands, and hold out hope, and trust Jesus with your life.
And your love has restored me. Your kindness and pursuit has melted my stubborn heart. Your laughter has kept me company, your smile has made me feel known. And I desire to know you, and laugh with you and smile knowingly, and make YOU feel known. Your joy has become MY joy, your sorrow, MY sorrow. Your desires mine, and your prayers, I hope to never forget to pray them for, and with you.
You MUST know, that you have brought hope to a hopeless one
you have brought love to one who felt unlovable
you have brought light where there was darkness
You have brought LIFE. You have inspired life.
Sweet amazing kick ass woman. Do you know the power that lives inside you? I pray you do. And because I am me, I will be loudly obnoxious about it until you KNOW, without a doubt, about the incredible power you hold inside. Because YOU have changed my life.