teedbits because I have not written in forever and I feel I am long overdue in giving praise to Jesus;
“How do you know you loved him?”
Mel stares at me as she thinks through her reply. She says it’s hard to put into words, to describe what love is. At last, she puts her hands down and pats the pillow in front of her softly – “Okay, this is the best way I can describe it – when you think of the other person before you think of yourself.” She looks at me and smiles; I treasure her words in my heart.
Jesus has taught me this over and over again; again and again, I need to be reminded that love looks like the cross. Sacrifice, suffering, and salvation intermingled into one.
“There’s a difference between loving someone and being in love with someone, right?”
Melanie nods. “Yeah, I agree. You can love someone but not be in love with them.”
I turn over her words in my head and wonder if I’ve ever fallen in love with someone and determine shortly after that it is entirely impossible. I think about my relationship with Jesus and ponder what it is like to be in love. I want to be able to say with all my heart that I not only love Him but that I am utterly and hopelessly in love with Him. Before anything else, I want to fall in love with Jesus first.
There’s a certain kind of peace that rests upon you after you’ve had a good cry – another sort of peace that falls upon you when you wake up from a good nap and lay still in contentment, awake but still dreaming.
In my dream, the partners call me to the front of the room and I know even though I didn’t mess up intentionally, I’m going to get fired. As I stand up and take my place on trial in front of the whole firm, I feel strangely at peace. “I trust you, Lord,” I whisper in my spirit and suddenly, I am no longer afraid.
“You guys can’t be in here, c’mon. It’s a restricted area.”
We lower our heads in somber dejection and filter slowly out of the room. Before the last of us can make it through the doors, the attendant shakes his head and waves his hand towards us. “Forget it, just stay. Y’all are too cute.” We shoot each other delirious smiles, pat each other on the back and frolic about the room, celebrating the good fortune we’ve come across.
We watch the darkening of the skies with the fading of the sun and take our respective window shots, hoping to manufacture our next picturesque cover photo. I look at the city lights – golden orbs and diamonds and rubies – and decide that I would most probably never tire of sitting on the window and peering out at the evening sky.
“Thank you, Jesus,” my heart sings. For guiding me here, for gifting me a home and a people to call family.
“You’re glowing, by the way.”
I read Michelle’s text and chuckle. There has been an abundance of peace in my life and with it has come abundant joy.
As I cross the street, I happen to meet eyes with a passerby. He regards me with a rather peculiar expression; I continue on my way and I hear a loud “wasabi!!” drift in and out behind me as he and his friend pass by. Loud snorts of laughter and guffawing ensue from the two and I look up at the sky and close my eyes momentarily. I wait for feelings of shame and boiling red heat to fill my soul (and cheeks) but there is nothing. No bitterness, no frustration, just a small tug on my heart and a conviction to pray. “Jesus, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re saying (literally[?]).” I end up laughing at the absurdity of it all and realize it’s the first time I’ve experienced such a thing happen to me in the city.
A couple of months ago, I would have stewed for hours over the comment but today, I sighed and let it go. I am not so easily hurt anymore, I determine for myself and do a small victory dance in my head. Praise the Lord.
The words come out in stutters and breaks; I put my hand over my face in a pointless attempt to hide my tears – the dark already provides me cover and it is the hitch in my voice that betrays me. In bewilderment, I marvel over how incredibly disconcerting it is still for me to lay myself bare in front of another and how it is possible for me to still be in pain. “Why…does it still hurt, Jesus?” I ask Him silently, unthinkingly. How long does healing take?
He doesn’t give me an answer, only imparts on me an ill (or well?) timed feeling of awake-ness at 4:25 am in the morning. I end up staring at the ceiling and listening to Mel breathe beside me for a good half hour and let the comforting weight of peace envelop me. I realize I don’t need an answer – because why does it matter? would it change anything? – all I need is to know that as much as I am hurting, God is also healing.
Even if You should break my bones and shatter my soul, still, still, I want to praise You with all the leftover broken pieces.
In a desperate attempt to quell all my anxieties before I step out of my apartment into the brightness of the sun and the trials of the day, I beg the Lord to speak to me in prayer.
“Anything. You can tell me anything, it doesn’t even have to be about what I’m asking for. I just want to hear from you.”
I see myself kneeling before the throne of God as I had seen before last winter, my spine curled into itself in weary defeat, small and tiny in the darkness of the room. He urges me to stand and come – I shuffle up to Him and He stands and towers over me. When He embraces me, there is no longer darkness, only the whiteness of His robes fill my vision and everything is light. I feel so incredibly loved and cared for in that moment – so tiny and small in comparison to Him, lost in the ocean of His wide arms and flowing robes – I am the only thing He wants.
Beyond loved – too often I forget that I am but oftentimes more, He reminds me in His great display of unending patience and steadfast faithfulness; I am forever thankful.