I admit I can be an impatient person. Even after all these years and all the tests God has used to develop patience w/in me, it is not my preference to wait. But in the world of getting to know new people and developing relationships, I have come to value a person that takes their time.
This summer has allotted me with several occasions to meet new people but no matter the person, the outcome was the same: things moved fast. There were frequent phone calls and text messages and connections made, but always a tone of urgency and even insincerity. This time however I am intrigued to have a different experience. In the short time of our meeting, he takes his time. There is careful balance of showing interest, but not diving in too deep. It is nice when someone can correctly match the emotions and physical boundaries of a relationship with its developmental stage. I have been in so many situations where that was not the case and for that reason I appreciate it all the more.
I heard it said recently that women lose their mystery quickly these days. As Christian women that can be easy to fall into because many of us do not get pursued often so when it happens we can get so excited that we give away too much too fast (I have always struggled in that area). Then afterwards, often the man does not feel the need to earn what has already been given. He does not feel the need to rise to the occasion, because instead we lowered ourselves to it.
I’m trying to learn from my past mistakes. All things are redeemable with God and He makes all things new. I want to use this new opportunity to value myself better, stay true to my identity, and enjoy the slow building in the hopes that taking our time will produce something a little bit more longstanding.
I’m in the midst of visiting longtime friends in a city I’ve been to so many times over the years, but it’s never really stood out to me in and of itself. Instead it’s been the people here–the women here– who have touched my soul in such a way that when I visit, they are all that matter.
But on this particular visit the present collides with the past and as Hope and I sit in a church and listen to those old gospel songs I have flashbacks of our college choir that we warmly refer to as MUGS (Miami University Gospel Singers). I remember those early days when we sang and belted out our love for Jesus and I was on a high of the Holy Spirit.
We left that sanctuary of praise only to make a visit to the hospital. I watched her care and serve and do what I know would be difficult for me. I think of our dreams and hopes for a future that morphed into a present that wasn’t at all what we expected. I think, “So this was my life. To be with these women. To spend 15 years on a path of surrender with these women. To face hard things and difficult situations, but to face them together.”
My friends are amazing. Parents are ill though we are still young and life is fleeting. We make memories together. Some of these are painful, but others are joy, inspite of the pain.
I’m so grateful for their consistency and this gift of friendship. That as a 19 year old I developed covenant friendships that stayed with me even through my shortcomings and fallen nature.
My friends are worthy. They are go getters and dreamers and doers of those dreams. They are a multifaceted group of talent, love and hope. They are my cheerleaders and I am grateful to have that kind of support system in place when life is never what you expect it to be. When the naive hopefulness of the 20s gives way to the slow dawning realization of the 30s.
They are still there. And I know that is nothing short of the grace of Elohim.
There have been a lot of changes for me this year. I posted a collage of pictures from the summer with the title: “What a great summer!” My friend/old roommate commented, “Was it really a great summer?!” 😳 She reminded me that we moved out of our old home this summer and we submitted to the move, both resigned 😑 . “Oh yea, I forgot about that,” I said, but went on to explain that I was only thinking about the highlights.
Contentment is a difficult thing to practice and I have had my bouts with it. God has put me through certain spiritual obstacle courses to develop me in this area but it seems like my humanity continues to oppose that particular fruit of the Spirit. It takes some real effort to focus on the positive when the negative is still present. I think even though social media can be abused/misused it does allow for us to celebrate the positives and the highlights of life. I can honestly say that even though I find this season very difficult with its changes (and with its lack of change), God has given me many desires of my heart.
And even when I have thwarted his gifts and misused his presents He replaced them with more gifts. More presents. The love He demonstrates is a love I do not understand. I simply can’t fathom His mercyand graceand lovebut I have glimpsed it so much in this season that I feel I’m gaining some knowledge.
This weekend I’ll get to promote the books He gave me. Writings that show how He used very difficult times and made purpose out of them. I’ll also get to visit with some dear sisters who I have been on this journey with for 15 years now. I’ll have more opportunities to experience His love and goodness in the form of community and social events. These are things I have desired but did not know that He would so frequently lavish them upon me.
Even in the midst of heartbreak, pain, and suffering, there is His hand. Leading me and guiding me and ordering steps that have been difficult to take. My own testimony shows His faithfulness and how when we are weak, truly He is strong.