10 years. {the first decade}

My life is about to change drastically. Where I live, where I work, what I wear, what I do, all of it. I am thankful for these impending changes and all that they imply. A little anxious about the details, but thankful nonetheless. What I wanted to make sure of in my own heart is that the things that are about to change will not overshadow the GREAT changes that have been made already. You see,  just as I am about to celebrate a big life change, I am also about to celebrate, to remember, to weep over, to rejoice in, my first 10 years. The first 10 years since my sunrise. The first 10 years since my life was changed forever and for good.

I have been pondering for some weeks on how to write about the single greatest adventure of my life to date. My chronic insomnia means I have had lots of hours to think, thankfully, on the before and after. As the song goes, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see.” Lost, but now found. Blind, but now I see.

Hateful, but now hate-less.

Sorrowful, but now full of joy.

Unloved, but now loved.

Harsh, but now soft.

Loud, but now quiet.

Unsure, but now reassured.

Cowardly, but now brave.

Self-focused, but now turned to others.

Silent, but now active.

Worn, but now refreshed.

Thirsty, but now quenched.

Ordinary, but now wrecked for the ordinary.

Strained, but now at peace.

Complacent, but now restless and ready.

Lukewarm, but now fiery.

Fearful, but now fearless.

Skeptical, but now certain.

Hopeless, but now hopeful.

Weak, but now strong.

A let down, but now lifted up.

Proud, but now learning humility day by day.

Unclaimed, but now spoken for.

Chained, but now free.

Loveless, but now full of love.

It is these shifts in the heart that matter most to me. I still have my days where I am far more the former than the latter. I still have days where people get too hard and I get hard right back. And yet I am amazed. Amazed to see where I have come from and where I am. Amazed that I was even worth changing, that I was even malleable enough to be made to change. Amazed that the hateful and heartless girl can love at all.

In 10 years, in all the nonsense and low down and dirty things, in all the hard, I am more convinced of the presence and power and work of a good God who loves and saves, not less. It has been 28 years since I first believed. I have not swallowed faith whole and heartily in that time. I have wrestled and fought and kicked and screamed and cried. I have walked away twice.

It has been 10 years since I was made aware of just how deep and far and high and wide is this grace like an ocean. I have still wrestled. I am even more convinced. Amen.

{To Lisa, Lori, Natalya, Lindsay, Matt, Willie, Chris, Pam and Bill. You were the tribe who was gracious with me while I took those first shaky steps through my garbage. How you loved me through it and remained in my life or even wanted to, I will never know. But I am grateful. I love you.}

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