HE KNOWS EVERY DAMN HAIR ON MY HEAD.
I yelled at my mom with tears pouring down my face.
AND HE CAN’T DELIVER ME?
I scurried across the green circle of grass that centers my culdesac and snuck a little note into my neighbor’s mailbox. And I giggled as I did it. I felt like a little love ninja in the late of the night; delivering wishes of wonder for their daughter’s wedding that weekend. As I was running, I thought about my other neighbor, Wanda. What could I do to love on her a tiny bit too? I thought. A HUG!!! I can ring her doorbell and give her a hug.
So that’s exactly what I did. I pitter-pattered up her driveway and after the ding-dong, waited with open arms.
Selfishly, there may have been a slight chance that I wanted to go hug Wanda, because maybe I just wanted a hug. Because Wanda gives really great hugs. Wanda also prays over me and anoints my forehead and my hands with holy water. I have wept on Wanda’s couch. I have experienced deep depths of peace in her embrace. So maybe, like there’s a pretty legit possibility that my desire to love her was in full response to the love she selflessly pours into me.
We hugged. And then she asked about my heart and there in the doorframe as the light of her home poured over me, I in turn, poured out how I was stuck, how I was praying for a miracle. How there was no escape. That God wasn’tgiving me an out. That I had explored all options of escape and nothing would work so I had resolved to sit on the rock. On a rock in the depths of the ocean. Isolated and in my own prison cell of sorts. We have free will, sure, but somehow no matter how much free will you have, you can’t always change your heart. I shared that I had finally surrendered.
With a smile on her face (Ms. Wanda always glows when she’s about to deliver truth. It’s like her smile is a sparkler that she holds next to my heart and lights up my dud-sparkler heart that keeps forgetting to shine. She lights me up, and and then the twinkle in her eyes says: Now that feels better, doesn’t it?)
And she referenced something she had heard: that God could have brought the Israelites into the promised land a lot sooner than 40 years but maybe God took them out to the desert to get the Egypt outta them.
[INSERT MIND BLOWN]
I had just figured they were horrible with a map. Or that maybe the land was truly a 40 year hike. But let’s re-think that: Creator God probably could have given them a closer promised land, am-I-right? OR MAYBE THEY JUST REALLY LOVED TENTS! (but probably not. probably not at all). And so God knowingly ships them out into the desert. Not because he’s withholding, but because he’s preparing. If he would have delivered them into the promised land too soon they would have just been Egypt. Not a whole new nation. He needed them to go find themselves. And Gawd, you guys, this season of my life is exactly that. Finding Kaylee. Learning to love Kaylee. Discovering my desires. Creating space to know who I am, apart from everything I was told to be and do but to stand strong in who I am, who God lovingly knit and put every hair on my head to be.
And then there’s this: Right after I filed for divorce, I asked God to teach me compassion. I felt this inkling in my heart that I needed to revisit compassion, what it meant, what it looks like in my life. I thought he’d take me to orphans and villages and to places where all they eat is rice. Compassion was definitely a plane ride away, I mean, right?
Upon sharing this heart cry with sis, she noted: well one definition of compassion is to suffer with. (I have no idea, truly, what I thought compassion was – again, think rice bowls and dirty drinking water – but I had never put it into two simple words: SUFFER WITH.)
IT STARTS WITH DAN. God whispered in my heart. The first person God asked me to have compassion for, invited me to have compassion alongside was my husband, to see his pain as we navigate the waters of divorce, to think on behalf of his heart – to suffer with. Compassion started with those closest to me.
As I was yelling at God in the car the other night. Telling him how stupid he is. How much I hate his plans. How I hate being stuck. How I feel like it’s a complete and total prison. A PRISON! my heart screamed.
Do you see? Do you feel it, Kaylee? Do you feel this? THIS is what I want you to enter into. Prisoners. Orphans, Yes, them. ANY PERSON STUCK. TRAPPED.. And yes, Kaylee, people who CAN’T get food or who have only that dirty drinking water (I knew the dirty drinking water was part of it all along!! I just knew it!). To feel this ache. This longing. Do you, Kaylee? THIS. This is to suffer with….MAY YOU NEVER FORGET.
I could have fell to my knees in awe that very moment but well, DRIVING.
And so instead I let the weight of his truth pull my chest into the seat of my car as if it was his very hand that was directly touching and pushing my chest down in surrender. HE, was changing me. HE was healing me. To have compassion is to be whole. To suffer with is to be human. TO KNOW and feel even if but a bit of another’s suffering, well it’s the biggest gift I could have so that my story can be a story of courage and compassion. HE TOOK ME TO THE ROCK, my own desert, to "get the Egypt out of me." To help me find my heart; a heart made in his image and that longs to think, feel, know and be a whole lot like his.
HE KNOWS EVERY DAMN HAIR ON MY HEAD.
I realized with tears pouring down my face.
AND IN HIS LOVE, HE WONT’ DELIVER ME UNTIL I’VE SOAKED UP EVERY BIT OF THAT WHICH HE WANTS TO WHISPER TO MY SOUL.