Today I am 40.
And I couldn't be happier.
Truly, my joy couldn't be deeper.
The last decade saw me wrestling with quite a bit.
I made some really bad choices.
And some really good decisions.
Mostly, I hope, I embraced life.
Not just an exciting, fun filled, action packed life,
but I embraced what was sad;
living abundantly meant mourning without running away.
I lived the hard.
And now, I hope, that because of sadness,
I know joy.
I know peace because of turmoil.
Richness because of poverty.
Years from now,
when I look back at this decade,
I'll know it as the one when I married
and birthed a child
and carried another.
More deeply than that, though,
I believe I'll remember it as the time,
when He healed me.
My twenties saw me struggling with rejection,
and I carried that pain into my thirties.
I'd also done some rejecting
and I couldn't bring myself to believe
that I was,
in any way,
a worthwhile person.
The summer of 2008 found me spending two weeks in Budapest.
I'd been there once before, 14 years prior.
a long time ago,
the plan was to marry
and live in that fair land.
But that summer, the summer of 2008,
I remembered very little of this epic place,
I'd visited all those year before.
Still, visiting brought back memories
and : denouement
I took many walks while I visited.
Meditating on these words:
"I decided to heal him, lead him, and comfort him, creating a new language of praise for the mourners. Peace to the far-off, peace to the near at hand," says God- "and yes, I will heal them."
If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other peoples sins, if you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourself to the down and out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will alwaysshow you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places- firm muscles, strong bones. You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You'll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.
I Corinthians 13:13
Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Song of Solomon 2:4
He has brought me to His banquet hall, and His banner over me is love.
I'll make a list of God's gracious dealings, all the things God has done that need praising, all the generous bounties of God...compassion lavished, love extravagant.
Since before time began no one has ever imagined, no ear heard, no eye seen a God like You who works for those who wait for Him. You meet those who happily do what is right,who keep a good memory of the way You work. (lavishly and extravagantly...)
from The Message
And one evening
I stood on a bridge
that covered the Danube.
Buda on one side,
Pest on the other.
The water glowed,
the city glimmered,
as the sun found her place in the day's late sky.
How could I not remember this?
When it's all spread out like this, glittery and golden?
And He said:
I've spread the banquet table out before you just in this same way.
You just don't remember.
It's for you.
This life, My love,
it's all spread out before you.
Could such a thing be true?
The time of mourning is over.
Tears came and I heard:
I will give a new language of praise to those who mourn.
on a bridge on a glittery evening,
I felt my life had come to its true beginning**
and I was spreading out and opening up to receive and welcome what He had placed before me.
I breathed this deeply.
I had no idea,
what this healing
and this vision of life being spread before me meant.
I simply knew
my time of mourning was over.
I would return to my home in Romania
and begin dating the man,
6 months later
would be my husband.
And in another year we would welcome a baby girl,
a baby boy.
the point is not
how I've been blessed beyond anything I could imagine.
it is how
He so intimately showed me,
I was worthwhile.
And through a husband,
my beauty as a woman.
And through a child,
the intimacy of calling.
I breathe this deeply.
**These words were borrowed from Wendell Berry and the book The Memory of Old Jack, page 122.