So May ended in a pretty shaky way. I’m not quite sure why (tiredness and hormones probably played a part) but I was feeling all the feelings and had a definite moment when I thought about following the path of Delia, the protagonist from Anne Tyler’s ‘Ladder of Years’. Delia is a woman who walks off the beach and into a different life, without so much as a backward glance.
I would have ridden my bike to a train station rather than jumped in a motorhome with the plumber as she did. Our motivations would have been different. She felt unnoticed, undervalued, uncared for. I felt too much. Too many things have been thought about me, felt for me, and I have felt and thought too many things. I have been left with many unresolved threads which somedays form into thicker cords which begin to choke me. I don’t want to live like that. So what if I just stepped away from the now, and into something new?
Tearfully and shouting curses to God I turned in the direction of my home. As I cycled in to the drive I determined to engage as fully as I could with all that was there. I sent out an SOS to those who support me. Two lines. No details. Please pray. That was the essence of the message. They did. They prayed, and witnessed my turmoil. They accepted the reality of my situation. Without question, judgement or suggestion of how to fix it.
This song was emailed to me.
This photo was sent
They held Hope for me. They reminded me of who had brought me this far and who would lead me on.
I was sent this song and in the midst of all I was doing and feeling I sat to listen to it on my phone.
“There is a love that never fails.
There is a healing that always prevails,
There is a hope whispers a vow a promise to wait while we’re working out.
So come with your Love and wash over us.…. Make us whole ….”
Needless to say there were tears…..But then there was the most extraordinary peace and joy that came over me as I let those lines permeate my being. I now recognise the Holy Spirit coming. How amazing. Joy, real, genuine smiling joy in the midst of a truly awful day.
I stayed. If they believed it I could too. For a day.
This morning I read my bible – in Luke the story of the road to Emmaus and the appearance to the disciples. Even while he is standing with them they don’t believe that Jesus is there. HE’S IN THE ROOM EATING FISH AND TALKING TO THEM AND THEY STILL AREN’T SURE.
That made me feel better. I’m not the only one who forgets. Who doesn’t see.
He was there. As I rode my bike. As I chose to return home. As I cleared my house of rubbish as a way of investing in my present life. As I recognised that I can’t do this alone.
I need the other disciples around me. With their doubts and weakness and flaws and vulnerabilities. With their love and strength and faithfulness. By existing closely with each other we see the real of each others’ lives, No pretending.
I have found my sisters to travel with and to show me Jesus in the room, when I can’t see him.
Post script (Last night I lost my thumb ring again. It disappeared whilst I was cleaning. This time I smiled. It felt like God was saying, ‘ It seems I need to remind you of what you learned only 14 days ago.’ Empty handed but alive in His hands. How quickly I forget. How quickly I close my eyes even when he’s standing right there beside me. I’ll let you know if I get it back again…..)