And so it began
If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, the one I was taking from my car to her front door was one of my longest. I wasn't reaching tentatively toward a stranger’s doorbell.
She loved me - as I did her. I'd known her for years, long before her marriage. I smiled, thinking about God’s mysterious ways and the Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau Odd Couple movie.
The ‘odd couple’ image reflected my thoughts about getting together as I walked through the door..
She’s an amazing woman, really. Beautiful, yes. Compassionate, talented, creative, courageous. Resilient.
And almost 40 years younger than me.
Now, after discovering his 'past issues' with porn weren't in the past during their few years of marriage, she felt utterly broken. After all, he was the man of her dreams, one she had every reason to believe God had brought into her life.
Instead, those past issues were very much present, and catastrophically impacting her everyday life. I’d only discovered recently that we were sisters in a sorority no woman seeks to join. After approaching me the previous Sunday in a secluded church corner, we arranged to meet at her home.
Although I’d learned a lot about sex addiction and its impact on partners, my own healing journey was still relatively new. Our discussion today would my first-in-depth conversation with another partner. And hers. I discovered again the wonder and healing that comes when we speak and listen to others with empathy. The perspective we gain when we are vulnerable, comfortable sharing as Brene' Brown proposes, our gifts of imperfections.
God showed up that day, as He always does. He melded two hearts together for journeys that would take us different directions but keep us united. I walked … and grieved deeply with her - through and past the end of her first marriage. She wrote the following during the last pages of that chapter.
Now, more than five years later, she’s remarried to a wonderful, empathetic, man. One who consistently demonstrates empathy by gaining an understanding of her journey. My earliest thoughts about A Door of Hope: Peer Facilitator Training evolved during that season of our lives.
The following reflects her heart - and God's presence in her life - as she moved through an open door of hope.
Ready... January 26, 2009
With a battered and bruised heart
I will move forward.
I may be small,
But I am strong…
I am wiser than I once was,
Leaving the shadows of my childhood
Dancing behind locked doors.
I am ready to take my first step,
To leap into the unknown
And learn the shades of gray.
I may be small,
But I am strong…
Tasting the bitter remnant of change, I trade my ashes For honey and roses Shoulders back, Head held high, Shiny and new. Breaking down the doors, All pieces are united. Past, Present, Future, Glow. The pain was worth the change. The pain was worth the beauty. I may be small, But I am strong…
Creating Mosaics Reflections of a Receiver February 26, 2009
God is at work. God is moving. Will I join Him, or watch His work pass me by? With every gift, there is a Giver and a Receiver. What new gifts have I been able to receive from Christ? What does a Giver even look like? I see one now.
A person who is not tall in stature, but mighty in stance. A person who is confident not in their own rite, but in the awe of Christ. A Giver does not just open their arms and receive a gift, but they are a vessel…a tool used to receive and fit the task and purpose at hand.
Why is it so hard to receive my task, my purpose? My arms are wrapped so tightly around my dreams…shattered dreams that I wish I had…visions that still dance aimlessly (and without warning or pretense) through my mind. What are these shattered dreams?
Dear friendships lost.
Expectations for my future.
I see myself now…not a receiver at all. Clinging tightly to my past, what I wanted, what I hoped for. I cannot receive with my arms full. I must let go. He (Christ) is before me now. His eyes are tender but certain. There is one shattered piece I cannot let go of. I can feel the piece of glass. The rigid points gliding between my fingers.
Looking down, I see it is bright, hard to look at…cobalt blue. The loss is overwhelming. I must let go of who I once was. Let it go, and allow Christ to transform me into the vessel He needs me to be. With my eyes closed tightly, I drop the blue treasure into His hand.
Suddenly, a beautiful mosaic is before me. Thousands of pieces of shattered glass all intertwined into a glorious work of art. The 3 colors- cobalt blue, emerald green, and royal purple are circling around one another. Each piece is significant and necessary. The art would not be complete without it. The vision is clearer now.
Three colors- deep sadness (blue), growth (green), and love (purple). He takes the piece from my hands and places it, confidently, into the masterpiece. A perfect fit.
Without all of the pain, none of the beauty would exist. I’ve never seen my life as beautiful before, but now it is all too clear. All trial, every tear, every heartache, and heartbreak has been meticulously crafted into one beautiful life. A vessel, a servant, ready to receive.
Ready to move.