I wonder if I’ll always ask this:
What was it about that year? That season that started with a handful of women and ended with a cluster of hearts knit together forever.
Do you always know when the Holy Spirit is moving? Do you always know when a big move is taking place? I’ve spent months and years of my life, hoping, anticipating that maybe just maybe something was on the move – but in this case, I didn’t feel anything special or tingly. Really, I felt the opposite of tingly, I felt dusty and grimy and stretched out like a wet wool sweater.
But when I look back on it, I can’t see that year in anything but the precious, holy glow of the lights strung in Marilee’s backyard. It all looks so holy. Not overly-righteous, but touched and set aside by Him. So covered in His blood. And you know where there is blood covering something, there is sin. There is pain. There are tears and breaking. And now, I’m just overly grateful for the tears and pain of that season.
I came to Seattle a straight up punk of a woman. I thought I knew everything, maybe not everything – but I thought I knew something. I thought I could minister to these pregnant women living in my house and run my tight ship of a family and be a blessing to this great big church that had been given a name by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I was in Washington maybe six days before I saw the mountain in front of us, hundreds of miles higher than the view of Mt. Ranier we could see from our front yard. A mountain made of self-reliance, self-acceptance, and just straight up selfishness.
What I found in Seattle was the gospel. The good news that though I had absolutely nothing together and never would, God – in His great love for me, had sent His son Jesus to die for ME. Not just for the 15 year old me who relented to a relationship with Him, but (maybe more so) the 22 year old me who found that she’d bitten off more than she could chew and was just realizing all the “lies” she was trying to slough off were truer than truer. Worse than true.
And so I spent my time in Washington doing very little ministering to anyone. I changed diapers and I ate turkey burgers, and I tried so hard to press my hands over the massive gaping whole in my heart, until finally I let myself just bleed out all on you ladies. At playdates, at starbucks, on your couches. I’m pretty sure I left few places on the Eastside void of my tears. And ya’ll cried with me and held my face when I was crazy and loved me tough and loved me tender. Most of all, you offered me nothing short of, and nothing more than, Jesus.
And today I’m flying back to you. And my little heart wants to beat out of my chest and I wonder – will it feel like it looked when I looked back on it? Will it feel glittery and pulsing and like when THAT one worship song gets played right when your heart needs it? Or will it feel like it did then? Normal days and normal girls and normal struggles?
Either way. I don’t care.
I’m on my way and I am praising Him for those seasons that look different than they feel and fruit we could never have imagined.
I’ll see you tonight girls.
I love you.