I cried a lot today. Today is Valentine’s Day and I don’t have a boyfriend or husband, but for once that had nothing to do with my tears. I cried today because after three days with my niece, I had to leave again. I also cried because I know my life is changing.
My niece is two years old, and she has totally charmed me. If I tell her I’m going somewhere, she gets a concerned look on her face and insists repeatedly, “And me. And me!” She wants to go along. This morning I packed my bags and put them by the door. I told her I had to leave, had to go back to my house, and I’d miss her. Instead of saying, “And me!” she said, “Stay here. Please stay here with me!” And my heart shattered into a thousand tiny little pieces. As little as she is, she understands the difference between a short errand and going home. She understands that she won’t see me again for months. And today she further understood that her charm will not always get her what she wants. It broke my heart that I’m the one to teach her that terrible, but necessary lesson.
My life is changing. I’ve been blessed with 3+ years of stability, proximity to my family, a stable job, and relative calm. I know this time has been a gift from God and I’m thankful for it. But something is stirring inside me. I wish I could articulate exactly what it is, but the only thing I know to call it is CHANGE. God is changing me. He is stretching me. He is challenging the commitment I’ve made to total obedience, trust, and love. He is asking me to give up things I’ve held to tightly, to open my hands and offer them to Him, with no visual of anything to replace the cherished.
I cried today because letting go is so hard to do.
Even though I believe God has something more for me, it’s so hard to let go of the comfortable and familiar. For a moment I berated myself for being so emotional, so dramatic, and for indulging in self-pity. Then the thought came to me, “If this isn’t worth crying over, then what is?” So I let the tears come and didn’t try to stop them. I cried myself out.
Lent begins on Wednesday, February 17th. This year I’m taking the time to purify my heart, mind, and body. I’m emptying myself before the Lord. I’m looking forward to standing before Him, ready to be filled by His truth, justice, mercy, and righteousness. I’m also dreading the days ahead when I will likely feel the gamut of my emotions with nothing to soften the rawness. I’m giving up my comforts so I may learn to look to the Lord alone for comfort.
Anticipation of the results is what will give me the strength to do it. Love for My Lord and Savior will pull me through. And yes, I plan to be radically changed. I’m ready. I’m excited. Today I mourned the loss of the familiar, but my tears weren’t without hope. Through my fear, I face my blindness regarding the future and trust God to guide me to a place of bright color and beauty.