Wanna come over and chat doubt? I texted my friend, Amanda.
Truth be told, yesterday was hard for me. And I didn’t want to puke it all out over text to Amanda. So I tricked her! I lured her in with conversation and a cup of hot tea. She said yes. And I thought #winning.
I quickly ate a bowl of Frozen cereal. Like legit, the Elsa and Anna Frozen cereal kind with marshmallows and everything. I ate a Loftis cookie too (with sprinkles of course!) and some Swedish Fish because Swedish Fish bring me more delight than most things this world has to offer. But I can only stomach about 6 of them. By the time I’m biting the head off the seventh Swedish Fish I am nearly dead from sugar crash and my teeth are in dire need of a solid brushing. But it’s soooooo worth it.
I slipped my feet into slippers. Because I love making my feet cozy so much. My feet might be the thing I tend to most on my body. I hate dirty feet. When camping I keep my feet covered with socks and shoes at all times. IF, by chance, they get dirty I find the nearest source of water, wash them and then quickly cover them up. Gawd, IDDA done so awful in Jesus’s time, all those dusty roads.
OH! And I love nothing more than new socks -- new socks and Swedish Fish -- two things that are just absolutely manna from the heavens! But you guys, SLIPPERS! Slippers, are more than manna. They are a goddamn feast for my feet. I feel like the red carpet has been rolled out, the Thanksgiving Turkey set on the table and the Christmas morning loot placed under the tree has all been combined all into one cosmic miracle bestowed upon my feet.
I awaited Amanda's arrival. My belly satisfied, my feet anointed in their own right, but my soul and heart feeling a tiny bit empty and not so much shiney. She arrived and gave me one of her most-especially-special hugs. And it all felt a little less dark.
We cozied up on the couch and chatted mmmm-like maybe 5 minutes of doubt. But then seasons came up. We talked lots about the season we’re each in. And you know, something rings true of all seasons; and it's that we want to control the timing of them. There is a deep, deep sense and ache to reach out into the future and pull it in towards our hearts so that we can hug it and not be so scared of it.
Amanda, I said. I’m starting to wonder more about this idea of control. Like I got out of the shower yesterday and was thinking about it. Showers are my sanctuary. A shower creates such a safe, quiet space for my heart that fears the hard of the world and my mind that runs and runs. Somehow in the shower, the shower runs instead of my mind. I’m still me in the shower, just a slower version of me. And so I had been thinking about my recent counseling session when Doc, my counselor, had called me out on my control:
You’re a strong woman, when you know what you want. Doc said.
Sitting on the floor in a little phone booth we have at work for calls, with knees to my chest, I buried my face in my legs and laughed out loud so hard I didn’t know what to do with myself. Completely called out. Caught red-handed in the middle of my pursuit of control.
I don't want to wait for what God has in store in my next season. The part of me that because life isn't happening how and when I wanted, well, I was now finding myself doubting. I was now finding myself yelling, screaming and begging God to move or move me. I've even found myself dry-heaving over a toilet bowl so upset. And Doc, well he said I wasn’t grieving. He thinks maybe the dry-heaving, was just how badly my body wanted control, frustrated and angry; fighting for that control:
And so I shared with Amanda that as I was hopping out of the shower, a still small voice stirred in me and I heard “Love is patient.” And dammit, it finally made sense. I think the Bible writers got it a tiny bit off, I think they should have said “Love is present.”
Love has no time. It is just here. And so if my goal is to transform into love. Well then I better be heeeeere (my hands open in a receiving sort of way as I say this, my eyes looking down so as to acknowledge the presence of my open hands).
Waiting. Waiting is hard for me. But for all of us, right? And waiting is, in and of itself, a season and seasons fall within the limitation of time. But love has no time. So love is patient.
I never imagined that the antedocte to control was patience. I mean, I did. But I thought patience was unattainable for me. Like I didn't have much of it and that maybe if enough testing of my patience happened in life then I'd maybe learn it - but the idea of me learning patience is almost near laughable! I hadn’t thought of embracing patience as a gift of love, an active-living-breathing present version of love. Of God in and around me.
My daughter put the seeds in the dirt
And every day now we've been watching the earth
For a sign that this death will give way to a birth
And the rain keeps falling
I think sometimes when we’re waiting, we’re actually getting rained, even poured, on. Grace, mercy, transformation, growth. It’s all there. Hidden and happening in the dirt. Doc told me I was scared of the process. Well, dammit Doc, you win again. And perfect loves drives out all fear and so I'm going to let my seed stay buried for a bit and trust the process. And IMMA be okay with that. Because I maybe can't see it, but that seed's shell is gonna crack! And slowly, ever so slowly... that thing ALREADY growing, already in process, well I'm eventually gonna get to see just how beautiful it is as it bursts through the earth, sprouting new life.
This summer I added “dance in the rain barefoot” on my 40 before 40 list. I know, right? BAREFEET. I hate bare, dirty feet. But I googled 40 before 40 ideas and when I read that one it made me smile and I knew I wanted to do it.
Because you guys. We are stuck in today. We have no choice otherwise. So may we stand with open arms catching it all. May we dance in it. Or maybe we just stand in it and give ourselves our very own hug, embracing the now. This is patience. It is love.
Peace be still.
Peace be yours.
And this, click on this thing below. I don't know how to hyperlink yet so I mean, this is all I got; to click on that little blocky thing below: