life, My Faith

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This morning I woke up with joy. I know that sounds weird because you know what I’ve been walking, and it was the opposite of joy. But this morning I think I finally know what it means when Annie spoke and said, “you can never feel the fullness of joy until you feel the depths of grief.” (Annie F Downs in case you don’t know. But you should. Also read Remember God. Ok back to the story.)

This morning I could breathe, and the weighty pain in my chest was gone. Yes, I’m sorry to admit, there was actual physical pain there. And yes, I know. I’m a nurse. Part of me was concerned, but most of me didn’t care. Physical manifestation of hardcore grief is all I can say. But it’s gone now.

I laid in my bed and looked at my phone and processed. I was excited for the day, and that felt weird. This was the day I was receiving the blessing of my house. I sent the money on Friday, which was probably good because I didn’t care about it at all on Friday, making it easier to wire a large sum of money around. Today I was going to write my name a bunch and pick up keys.

Y’all….I LOOOVE to write my name. There are entire notebooks that I filled with my name, written a million different ways, growing up. Sometimes I even spelled it differently because I thought I needed more letters. I’m extra like that sometimes. But my mom told me I had to leave it spelled like it was spelled. (She said “that’s how your dad spelled it” which I don’t know if that’s true or that’s just a good way to try to make me behave. It’s probably true though. She also once told me I couldn’t play football because I promised my dad I wouldn’t, which seems like an odd conversation for a 5 or under but whatever works right? Lol). So writing my name to receive my House was just an added bonus.

I just felt extra grateful today because I know what God brought me through. I know people who know me in real world were concerned. (I mean let’s be honest, if I cared I would have been concerned. And the fact that I didn’t care, well. That’s not a good sign really.).

I am grateful for my people and the way they loved me. I told you that last night. I tell you that a lot. This morning I felt compelled to tell them that. They can read this, and I hope they do, but to tell them is different, especially coming from a person like me. I love that our group text is almost like an ongoing conversation. It breaks off into sidebars sometimes, but it’s wonderful.

I was full of all the excitement, joy and happiness this morning. I even curled my hair and put on real clothes this morning. It felt that important.

God brought joy to my heart this morning. And what’s the first thing Satan tried to do after I left my house? Steal it. Yup. For real. Jerk.

I was driving to TJ Maxx because I had over an hour til the walkthrough, and I need some things, notably a shower curtain that goes with green. I was driving down the road, and something caught my eye on the side of the road. Right there, in front of Academy Sports and outdoors, were a line of I don’t know how many tree stands set up. Big ones. I stopped (I mean the stoplight was red). I stared at them for a minute. And then by the grace of God I knew what was up, I said “No sir! Not today Satan. I’m only receiving blessings today.” And I meant it.

(For the majority of you who don’t know the hows and such, my dad died after an accident where a tree stand malfunctioned or broke or something. So seeing those things out there, in the past, would have been no good, especially after this past little bit.)

I took a deep breath and drove on. (Also the light turned green.). And I thanked God for His blessings. Oh, grace. I have purposely not driven that way again today, even though it’s the most direct route from that way to my new house, because I’m only receiving blessings today. I’m choosing joy. And while I think I can handle the sight now, I don’t want to press it, and I don’t love to see it either.

My house is my house. It’s beautiful. It’s God’s newest blessing to me. I realize that people feel nervous and all the things when they buy a house. I also realize it’s odd that I don’t because that’s not even normal for me. I invent things to worry about. But I felt calm, peaceful and just plain excited as I promised to pay all the money and do all the things.

It’s been God’s blessing for me from the beginning, from the blue door forward. God had a plan. I prayed today for him to bless my house and use it to minister to and bless others. I can’t wait to see how that plays out. (Of course I need to move in first.)

Even packing seems exciting, I mean more than before. I’m never going to jump up and down at packing. Obviously I’m procrastinating right this second. I cannot wait to do all the things and make it so beautiful and welcoming and mine.

I bought a couch and a chaise today. I went for a sectional, but I fell in love with a chaise because I told you I’m extra.

In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled all night with an unknown man and demanded a blessing. He left that fight with a limp and a blessing. For the rest of his life, the limp showed where he’d come from, what he’d been through. Annie wrote in Remember God that maybe sometimes the limp is the blessing. And maybe that’s true. I’ll always know it’s October (or February…another rough time). It has forever given me a limp, but now I think also a blessing in a weird way. It has shown me so much about myself and other people. It has brought me closer to myself and to them. It’s the limp and the blessing.

I declare today the start of a new season, and I think God placed His stamp of approval on that declaration. I’m receiving blessings, I’m choosing joy and I’m giving grace, or trying to do all those things. There will be hard days ahead; there literally always are. I will try, with God’s help, to look for the joy and the blessings more than the curses and hardships. I will figure out grace. I will accept grace from others and return grace to myself and others.

I, too, will try to learn to ask for help from my people and accept help from my people. This will take some doing. But the amazing thing about my people is they know that, and they’re gonna keep doing it anyway. I couldn’t have made it this season without my people.

This season has been literally 6 months of ugliness, sprinkled with God’s kindness. 6 months of hard. 6 months of change. 6 months of learning who I am and who God is for me, to me and in spite of me. 6 months of people who have come along side of me and held my arms up when I didn’t even care to anymore. I cannot, no I WILL NOT, do life without my people any more. I am not enough, and I don’t have to be. There’s freedom in that. They are what I need, what I lack, and God has what we all need.

I admitted Sunday afternoon a secret dream I had. I’m not repeating it here, not yet. But my people know (and are hereby sworn to secrecy for now). Probably the only reason it got voiced was because I was so broken I didn’t care and I was with my people. But as soon as I said it, I thought, oh gosh. That was out loud. Don’t tell people that because if you fail…if you never do it…if you’re not good enough… And if I’m not and it doesn’t, then that’s fine. But what if this season brings that or the courage to try? After all….

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