Longwood

I am full [even though I only had one meal today] on good food, good company, good vibes, and abundant grace.

[fear] when I woke up and realized it was in fact 1:46 in the afternoon and that I did not have time to do quiet time. Fear and ambivalence all the same because I woke up weary, tired, and sick. I could have easily done quiet time. Skipped the shower, canceled the lunch. I could have easily done it but I threw it out the window in my rush to get dressed.

[nausea] the cold hits me hard; my eyes are swollen, my nose is stuffed, my stomach is empty [my soul is heavy] and all I want to do is pass out. I am so tired at this point [even though I had 11 hours of sleep] I don’t care what happens to me. I look at the sky; it’s cloudy again and I mourn the absence of the sun.

[Jesus] I call his name repeatedly in my head, in my heart, in my soul. I’m terrified of not being rooted in Him first thing in the morning so I just call his name every quiet moment I have. Jesus, help me. Jesus, heal me. Jesus, thank you. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I remember you. I remember you.

[peace] washes over me; contentment fills me up the moment we pull over to type in the new address to the restaurant (we’ve missed our reservation at terrain in the rush of traffic) because something speaks in my head, “He really loves me.” Where did it come from? Maybe because Melissa asked me if I was okay. Maybe because Maria caressed my cheek. Maybe because even though all our plans were falling through [and all my infirmities shined through], I could remember; “God is doing this for a reason.”

[life] enters me when I eat. The food fills not just my stomach but also my soul. The nausea and dizziness disappears.

[giddiness] because the cafe is orange themed and everywhere I look, it makes me happy. Orange. It’s the best color in my solid opinion.

[joy] the lights. the lights. the lights. I immediately am thankful that I did not cancel. Longwood Gardens is worth it.

[wish] we each throw in our penny; I do not believe in wishes anymore, only prayers. I settle on one specific prayer that has been with me all week; that I would remember Jesus always [for every waking moment]

[pictures] I still get surprised when someone wants to take a picture with me. So when Melissa consistently asks for me to take a picture with her, my heart melts. I am more comfortable with smiling; it no longer feels forced.

[warmth] Sandra, Maria, and Sonnya take turns throughout the night holding on to my arm, pushing me in front of the camera, asking if I’m having fun. They say “bless you” every time I sneeze [many times do I sneeze] and I mentally thank God for loving companionship.

[I don’t quite know how to describe this one] I have been out of sorts. There’s numbness, apathy, confusion, and weariness and I’m really not sure how to counteract it. I’ve been devouring the Bible [Genesis is fascinating and eye opening and all sorts of good things] in my need but I still feel….I don’t even know. Something’s not right with me. Surprisingly, I am not worried. There is a small sense of satisfaction knowing that I am now mature enough to patiently persevere instead of asking God to take it away. In fact, at this very moment I’m suddenly smiling like a maniac because I have finally learned to rejoice amidst suffering. Aw yes, growth.

Joy came, healing happened. In my physical afflictions and emotional suffering, the Lord drew near to me. It was a muted sort of joy that I experienced today, too tired to receive it fully and express it out loud, but the wearing down of my soul has ceased for a day and I am thankful for the brief reprieve.

My favorite part of the day was not the lights, not the orange, not my sisters in Christ [although they place a very close second] but Jesus alone and the fact that He was near enough to me that I could not forget His presence.

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