This has been hard. I have been trying to seek God out, to be authentic, and give my life fully to him. Not just half way, standing outside the church looking in like a lost little girl. I decided to throw myself in there and surround myself with people who I want to emulate. This has required more openess than I am accustomed to around believers. I have been cautious with my sharing, but being in a place where I know I really do need a support system around me, I have sought out places that are safe enough to be authentic and carefully studied the lines between honesty and over-sharing... these are lines I have never mastered very well. But I am trying.
The result of throwing myself at the feet of my Savior has been twofold. Well, probably a lot more fold than that, but the two most prominent aspects have been a painful and steady stream of trials and tests, and a comforting and constant stream of love, support, and answered prayers to more than combat any trials I face. No, I have not walked a perfect line, but my eyes have stayed steady on the prize, and I plan to keep them there. Sometimes I slip and fall, but I get back up. And more often, when temptation wields its way into my mind I shout it down until it stops. I have no idea how more holy people do it, but for me, a steady chant of "Please God" and "Take away these thoughts" seems to suffice for me. Its a work in progress.
Someday I will blog about the depths I fell to before turning my face back up to His light, but today is not that day. Today I celebrate the wonderful women I have encountered in my Community Bible Study core group. Only God could have orchestrated such a perfect blend of women. I pray that I can be as much a blessing to them as they have been to me. As it becomes clear that life as I know it is in some ways crumbling - though hopefully only to make room for a more Godly life - these women have surrounded me with love, prayers, and support, while also respecting my need for a little space and discernment. There are three particular women who have been instrumental in drawing me back in week after week, even when I have allowed myself to cry and embarrass myself, swearing never to come back again. But a well timed email or phone call always calms me and my leader even goes as far as telling me I had better not bail out on them.
Angel #1 - my group leader. Absolutely put in my life by God himself. I walked into CBS that week with blue hair and tattoos and shame, and some of her first words to me were "Oh I LOVE freaky people." But the way she said it was genuine and I believed her.
Angel #2 - A sweet empath. I don't really know if the idea of an empath coexists with a faith in God, but I don't see why not. She is not only drawn to me with a crazy warmth and understanding that has barely even needed words to bloom into a friendship, but she just seems to feel and know what emotions are festering in me each week. She is also precious to me because she is searching too. She says she has been where I am now, and I believe it. Her confidence in herself is so fragile that I want to protect it with all my might. She speaks out for me when I don't even know I need her to, but she does it because she feels so strongly, and then she retreats back into a shell of berating herself for this or that. I hope that she can build herself up in confidence and if there is anyway I can help her with that I will. Mostly, she just gives the most warm and comforting hugs and pats on the knee. I just adore her.
Angel #3 - Is also quiet and meek. But intuitive as all get out. She writes beautiful poetry and pegged me as an artist before hardly knowing a thing about me. There are many times when I look up from the table thinking my emotions are well under control, only to find her eyes boring into me with love and compassion and all I can think is "what does she know?" "How does she know?" "What does she see?" and "oh Lord God, thank you."
I have never had a single extended conversation with one of these ladies, but I feel like there is a bond there already that I hope will not fade anytime soon. Angel #3 wrote me a poem today, and I want to share it, but I feel like it is too private and sweet. I need to find a safe and special place to keep it for always.
Today I was going to spend time writing about my dog dragging bread up the stairs after stealing it from the counter, or my 9 year old cutting slits in his sleeves up to his elbows in addition to snipping the waistband of his pants. Or the cookie that went missing that I had JUST bought for a class party that is tomorrow morning, but all this seemed so tiny compared to the things God has done for me and brought to me in the midst of some scary storms and paths. I have been down this road so many times before, but never with my eyes on Jesus. I could focus on the "if only's", but instead I will be know that he reached me when I was ready, and is pouring blessings and love into me from so many directions right now. I am so grateful. I am so loved. I have other angels outside of CBS too, but those are for another day.