This past weekend we traveled back to a place that used to hold the marking of home to us, for a wedding. I suppose in some ways it still does, it’s where we come from, where we have been, where we grew up. But in other ways it has come to feel foreign to me, and that isn’t on anyone but me. It feels foreign because my heart has changed, the rhythm of it holds a different cadence just as much as my step. In the past years when we would travel home I have wanted to hide, stow away in a corner to not be seen or the opposite; looking for opportunities to justify or prove that we are good, or share in the hopes that others would understand and see. Some of that has come from not wanting to explain where we have been or where we are headed. Some of it is because I felt a tad ashamed of what I had been before; how I carried myself, the motivations of my movements and the cobwebs in my story. I can speak to the pressures of being back home or I can speak of my own sin and how it lends itself to conform.
This past weekend though was different and I noticed it from the moment we drove up the hill that leads into town. I felt my chin turned upward, I could feel my heart excited, and although there were some that I didn’t feel like running into, it wasn’t for the same reasons and I truly wanted to soak up our framily (friends that are family) that surrounded us.
As my head hit the pillow each night, in the time before my eyes closed, I would find myself speaking to the Father in question of the change. Where did it come from? How had it manifested? And why now? Why hadn’t I expected it?
As my husband tucked himself beside me in the church pew before the ceremony began, I felt as if a light filled my heart anew. I realized that I no longer felt a need to prove, I no longer needed our story to sound good, or for others to understand. I knew with every fiber of my heart that we had been ransomed, rescued and redeemed. And it was all to Him. That is why I hadn’t recognized it or anticipated it, because it had very little to do with me. My identity had taken on a new flesh that is found in Him.
Proving and striving rear their heads still. I can easily find myself looking for approval. I can look around and wonder what others are thinking, begin putting words to their actions. But this weekend, I felt Him tilt my chin and I recognized His touch and instead of shrinking, I let it bathe me in light. And it felt good and it felt safe and it felt true.
In the previous ten years, I had spent a lot of time handing out savior cards to many. Giving others license and ability to determine my okayness, my worth. Looking for them to justify my movement and my ability. If someone else wasn’t ok, I was not ok. If I had angered someone, I too was angry at myself. If someone was confused or judgmental of where we were at, I worked hard to prove them wrong or justify the path we were on. But most of the time, I just worked real hard at just not being noticed at all; if we could just be good enough and quiet enough we wouldn’t require even notice of anyone.
In the words of my dear friend, “we are all just dirty rotten sinner faces.” And I will lay claim to this, that definition is not one that has fled from me. I am nowhere near to where I am going but He has a plan for where I am. And that plan includes chin tipping, redemption, contagious smiling and peace, friends. So much peace.
John 14 : 25-27 ESV
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid