As I walk through this season of life, I find myself more grateful than would be expected. In the initial months of my separation and ultimate divorce, I was so lonely and sad. It was all I could do to get through the day and not cry. I was uncomfortable everywhere. I would drudge through the muck, only to retreat to my closet and sit in tears, in the quiet, at the end of the day. I never anticipated the depth of sadness I would experience or the gravity of the loneliness that threatened to set in. And I believe that I ran the risk of staying in that place; I ran the risk of never coming out of the funk. But God knew where to meet me. Love languages are how you feel love, in the depth of your soul. And that love changes you, moves you, speaks to you and sustains you. God knew my love language was words of affirmation.
As an introvert, stepping out and finding the love language my soul desperately needed was something that I, in that former state, was unable to do. I thought I needed to be alone to push through the muck, but God knew differently and he also knew that my deepest desire was to not stay in the muck of desperation and despair. So, a little over a year ago, God placed me in a wonderful job, perfectly suited to my skill set, where he knew I would experience a building up that would sustain me and move me forward, out of the muck and mire that threatened me. He also introduced people into my life that would draw out the current woman and the woman I was meant to be, not the one huddling away from the world, attempting to make it on her own.
Many years ago, we had the opportunity to visit a redwood forest. Redwoods are beautiful and massive trees. They can grow up to 2-3 feet a year in ideal conditions and there are some so large you can drive a car through their carved out base. What is surprising is that their root systems are actually quite shallow, which could make them prone to weather, wind, and conditions that would cause them to topple quite easily. However, these trees grow in clusters. Under the surface of the soil those massive trees have roots that extend over one hundred feet from their base, all the length intertwining with the roots of the other redwoods. That collection of roots, the connected-ness, is what keeps them up and what helps them to survive and thrive against the elements.
God created us to be in community. In Genesis 2:18 it says, ‘Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper as a compliment.”’
This introvert needed community, and my community is now overflowing and that is why I am the grateful, spirited, happy (yes I said happy) person that I am today, just 20 months after the wind was knocked out of me. I find myself in the midst of a variety of communities, all of which I have rooted myself in and have allowed myself to be known, honestly and without pretense. I have a work community of people who are funny, real, concerned, and committed. I have a church community of people trying to work out what it means to follow Jesus in an honest and authentic manner. I have a community of old friends who have seen the depth of hurt I experienced and take the time to affirm where I am today and how I arrived here. I am also blessed with a community of new friends, who only know the woman I am today, in the aftermath, and who I enjoy honest, truthful, and sincere conversations with. I have a community of volunteers at work, who I understand because I sat in their shoes and I garner so much joy in seeing them pour into their children’s lives. I have a community at our horse stables who have seen the story and who encourage and draw me back when I need to ‘get back on the horse’.
I may be busy, I may get overwhelmed with the schedule of being a single parent working full time and I may at times still want to curl up and ignore the world. But my communities won’t let me. My busy, my pace, and my schedule is my lot in life and it is from God. And He provides all I need to sustain it.
Ecclesiastes 5:19b-20 says, “To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life – this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.”
I share a root structure with many different communities and for that I am grateful, overwhelmed and can’t help but giggle at the awareness of how God sees and knows me and provides in over abundance. Most days I am too busy enjoying my communities to brood over the past and how could one not be grateful for that?!?!
By His Grace