"This is a good sign - having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something"
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love
I am beginning this blog at 3:57am.. blogger says 1:57am but it is a LI-AR! The posting times are never right on this thing... Short story with long to follow...counseling this morning, lunch with Patrick at the UP building, work from 1-4pm, dinner at Tanduri Indian Cuisine, Eat Pray Love, conversation at Anne's house until 1:15am, met Kelly and Emily at The Foundation before closing at 2, and then talked in a parking lot a block from my apt until 3. And now I am blogging! The city is so beautifully calm at this hour...
Where to begin?
I tried Indian food for the first time tonight! EVER. EVAH. And I liked it - I loved it. Mint chutney. Meat samosa. And get me some more of that Chicken Tikka Makhani, please! Seriously people, I think I am becoming a foodie - but mostly in the food discovery kind of way. My momma would be proud!
I shared this amazing meal with five extraordinary women who all have their own story to tell. And it was incredible sitting there at times and just listening. I was taking it all in, and then it happened. This thing that happens every once in awhile. You have to be in the moment and be aware enough to recognize it. It happens when you're sitting around a table with a group of people, and you're soaking in the moment, and all the stories, and the laughs, and the hurts, and the dashed hopes, and the new hopes - the moment it hits you that this is life, and we're all going to be okay. It's so real, that you feel the need to close your eyes and burn it into your memory that in that moment, you realized "we're going to make it." And the "what ifs" and the "whys" don't really matter much anymore. Because there is incredible hope in God's promise to restore that which was lost.
For the first time in over 18 months, I am reading my bible daily - and with a completely surrendered soul. With this has come unspeakable joy, despite pain and confusion and loneliness. God has revealed Himself to me in ways I have never experienced, and I can feel the ways in which He is molding my heart. The other day I thought about how God continues to show up in the most unexpected ways and places. But then I posed this question: is it that God is showing up or is it that He is already there and refocusing my eyes to recognize Him in all facets of life? Overwhelmingly, it must be the latter. Because God is Sovereign over all things, and He is omnipresent. And how can my human eyes see His greatness if He has not played a part in helping me see Him? This is what God is changing in me.
I am reading Velvet Elvis again by Rob Bell, and it somehow resonates with me more today than the last two times I read it. The talk about building community, healing by the hand of God, what real restoration of a broken heart looks like; I can't help but feel like I'm living this out each day that I am here in Omaha. Rob Bell said this in the chapter called Healing:
"It is possible to be a good Christian and go to church services and sing the right songs and jump through the right hoops and never let Jesus heal your soul...I am learning that very few people actually live from their heart. Very few live connected with their soul. And those few who do the difficult work, who stare their junk in the face, who get counsel, who let Jesus into all of the rooms in their soul that no one ever goes in, they make a difference. They are coming from such a different place that their voices inevitably get heard above the others. They are pursuing wholeness and peace in Christ, and it's contagious."
Have you been there, though? Where you go through the motions and yet your soul is just dying for a drink of water. And the things you try to do satisfy for a fleeting moment but the thirst just lingers. Eventually, you come to a breaking point. And I have experienced that. And now I'm letting Jesus into all the rooms of my soul, and the peace of Christ that transcends all understanding (as talked about in Philippians 4:7) is invading my heart. What good am I to others if I am an empty vessel? Or worse, I've got stuff that I need to stare straight in the face but choose not to deal with it. Yes - broken, fearful, confused people have been used by God to change the world, and that is the point! The process in which He transforms those fears and the brokenness and confusion is what will lead others to Him. And lately, I have found that when I am delighting in the Lord and following His lead for my life, there is joy in the midst of pain. There is laughing in the midst of crying. There is comfort in the midst of longing. And there is SO much to look forward to.
5:14am and I'm ready to wake up again.