You may think this post is about me loving others. Actually I want to write about the times when people loved me when it was so difficult. Partly as a way to say thank you but also to give encouragement that when you choose love it makes a difference.
August 2013 I moved to a new home. A family welcomed me with open arms to have a seat at the their table, a room in their home and a place in their hearts. There were children to delight in, a piano to play and three free meals a day. I was walking distance from both of my siblings and I had a job in a nearby city. What a blessing.
Sadly, I did not have the capacity to enjoy such blessings. There was a storm raging in my heart and mind more complex and intense than I could comprehend or deal with.
Apart from a few good days, one of which I met Forest (!), I spent a good part of the day sleeping or wandering around the house with a dazed look on my face.
There was so much pain in my heart that I hadn’t processed and brokenness in my mind that I did not know how to mend.
I sat stone faced at the table and on the patio as my friends tried to draw me out in kindness. There were so many times when I thought This is it. They must hate me now. But still they responded with love and open hands. Especially the lady of the house who fed me and tried to make conversation every day. I regret missing that chance to build a friendship with her.
This family represents one of the many families, including my own especially, who reached out to me in a time of mental, spiritual, emotional crisis. My parents, siblings and friends visited, provided, listened, prayed, paid, and never gave up.
I would not be where I am today, or maybe not even around at all, if not for that.
Looking back, I feel some embarrassment at how I acted but mostly gratefulness. As much as I have received I want to give.
Being a parent is tough. My daughter is not in crisis, thank God, but she is so very vulnerable and, at times, demanding and sometimes I wonder how I will make it to bedtime. Rather, how I will make it from bedtime to morning.
Unconditional love is so very powerful. It is that love that brought Jesus to the cross and back again. It is that love that compels me to reach out with open arms and freely give. Knowing that I am safe, cared for and beloved.
I don’t want to end with a sappy cliche so that’s all. Hope that you are encouraged. ❤️