Today it is raining. Not just light, damp rain, but drenched to the skin rain. It’s leaking through the roof and keeping me inside where I am listening. I am listening for my heartbeat. It was John Ortberg in “The Me I Want to Be’ who wrote of God’s plan for each person to be “you-ier”. I have always had a very strong sense of identity linked to my name, and to me, my name described who I was ( and just to be straight with you from the outset Caiobhe is the name under which I am writing but not the name by which I am known to family, friends and colleagues) . So the idea of being me, but more fully and intentionally, and for that to be God’s desire and plan and path for me, was liberating. It allowed me to embrace the contrasting aspects of my personality and character. I began to believe that it was ok for me to love intellectual argument and work, whilst at other times doing ridiculous things in the company of my children, causing others to ask “What age are you?”. I no longer feel silly or inappropriate at those moments, but can accept that I have been made to enjoy laughing with my children and my friends until my stomach hurts, and I enjoy it even more if I have been the cause of the laughter. I come alive with books, and music and art and film and emotions, but I am also analytical, logical, reasoned and rational. And I now believe that God really meant me to be like that.
But In recent years I’ve forgotten some of those things, and life has not worked out so well. In this season of hope I am trying to listen for my heartbeat again. I want to connect with the eternal life which is there already. Last night I sat late into the night as a friend shared deep pain; I heard the heartbeat. I have been made to listen, and to care. And failure in some areas of my life doesn’t mean that I must relinquish those parts of me as some sort of penance or self-flagellation. This morning as I talked to Mums at school, and planned food for weekend guests I heard the heartbeat. I have been made to connect with people, and I love feeding them! Then as the rain fell and I found space in my day, I heard the heartbeat. I have been made to love solitude and quiet reflection, and it is in that space where I can listen and feel the eternal connecting. And so it goes on.
Today there is hope, because I heard my heartbeat once again.