Because He fights for me.

Because He fights for me.

That is my answer to everything these days. Why do I hug people, friends, family, and strangers all, so very very tight?

Because He fights for me.

Why do I love so crazily and raw?

Because He fights for me.

Why do I find myself having conversations with people I don’t know, people carrying their tired babies in their tired hands, always with their tired eyes fixed on mine?

Because He fights for me.

Why do I listen with such intensity to others’ stories, good, bad, or really really ugly?

Because He fights for me.

Why did I leave a promising career for the SECOND time in my adult life and fling myself into a wild unknown adventure with absolutely no guarantees that it would work out?

Because He fights for me. He always, always fights for this heart. This heart that turned away for 23 years and since that fateful day has never looked back.

I was telling a dear friend, one who has known me over half my life now, what a blessing it is to be reconnecting lately with people I love who have known me both before and after the great divide that neatly and violently split my life in two. I have spent the last several years with people who only know my “after” and not my “before.” While they are lovely, gorgeous souls, they do not know the whole of me. But here, in this Iowa place, my life is daily reconnected to other beautiful souls who knew me before I realized I was being fought for at all. And you know what? Through all that muck and mire, they still got excited when they heard I would be on their soil again and I have been loved and graced by the presence of these people with whom I spent my before. I do not deserve it. None of it. I never will. Nothing I can ever do or say, no matter how much I love and serve, will ever put me in a place of deserving the gifts I have been given over the past few weeks.

And why does that matter so much to me?

Because He fights for me. Because through the love and joy and grace extended daily in this Iowa place, I am ever more mindful of the fact that the battle to keep my broken heart soft is being waged behind the scenes and the people I love here are my proof that the Lord is real and is good and is a warrior keen on keeping me His and making me free. And that love, that grace, that joy, the fact that the battle is even happening, drives me every day to live and love and serve with wild abandon like nothing I have ever known to this point. Because when I’m full of His love, I can’t keep it all in. I’ve tried, believe me. But now I get the privilege to let it all out. Through hugs, through listening, through seeing the aging parents of my friends and being reminded that life is a fleeting gift, through giving, through wild gales of laughter, through crazy outdoor adventures holding tight to the ones who hold me back. All of it. Every bit.

Because He fights for me.

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