Sunday, July 28, 2013

Meeting Brian

Yesterday I drove to Malone and sat parked in the wrong place for almost an hour (thanks a lot Google maps....yeah, let's blame them) and then drove back down the street, found the right place, pulled into a parking spot next to a huge black truck filled with three teen-agers and one beautiful man.  I jumped out of the car and he stepped out of the truck, and my profuse apologies were smothered by the biggest hug I have ever had in my life.

And I was home.

Odd, to find home in an embrace that I had never been in before.  Odd, to feel several months of soul sharing and laughing and crying and emails and phone calls and skype chats and pictures and prayer and longing and singing and talking and talking and talking, all compress into one warm, safe, lovely hug.

I felt myself relax. It reminded me of  yoga class in the beginning, when we would end our classes with a relaxation time. I would lie on my mat, totally secure in my relaxedness. And then the instructor would begin to talk us through our bodies.  And bit by bit, I became aware of how tense I was.  I would literally feel my body sink into the floor, by inches, when I had previously thought that I was actually already on the floor. Shoulders, relaxed...who knew they were all tensed up around my ears? Breathing, large, deep breaths. Relaxed. Not the short, nervous sucking of air that I so often do, suddenly, startling even myself. Breathe, woman, breathe!

I felt myself relax into the embrace of this wonderful bear of a man, a man that personifies the protective, nurturing, loving power of God.  I remember well the gentle whisper of God, when faced with the knowledge that sometimes He frightened me. "I fight for you, child, not against you." My bear is like that.  Wrapped up in his strength, his power, I am secure, confident, even bold, because his power is for me, not against me.  I am free to relax.

So we had lunch. And the offspring were delightful. And funny. And smart.

And I met Brian.

And I was home.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Feeling safe...

The other day I was on Skype talking to Brian about some painful incidents from the past, and as I described what had happened, without even being aware of it, I started to become upset.  I didn't realize it until Brian, with a look of concern, gently interrupted me and said, "Kelly, it's okay. I'm not arguing with you. You are safe now."

I had worked myself into a self-protective, defensive, wounded state. When Brian reached through the distance and touched me with his gentleness, I stopped and just blinked at him. I wanted to cry. I was surprised at how upset I was. And I realized that I was safe.

Usually when I talk about difficult things from the past, I can do it with a fair amount of detachment.  While healing and forgiveness are on-going, I have welcomed the process and have been walking towards healing for quite a while.  One of the reasons forgiveness is often a process and not a one time thing is because the memory of hurts from the past can continue to hurt.  Every time I feel the hurt, I have to choose to forgive again. The number of people that I feel that I can safely talk to about these things is small and I cherish every one of them.

I know now that the reason I had such a strong emotional reaction when talking to Brian about my past is because I do trust him.  I felt safe.  That is a wonderful feeling.  The past two years have been a journey towards this time in my life, when I can feel a sense of security and safety, probably for the first time that I can remember.  I have been growing in my trust of God's care for me, and have been learning to relax in His love and provision.  All along, God has used people to help me see and feel His care. Dear people who listened to me, prayed for and with me, helped me in practical ways and beyond anything I could have imagined, people who guarded me and loved me, encouraged and supported me and reached out in love to my daughter as well.

Ultimately, though, when adrenaline ran through my veins, when the past flowed from my lips in words of memory that triggered anxiety and hurt, when the kind green eyes and gentle, loving words invited me to rest and be safe, the moment came when I had to make a choice to trust. To receive the love that made me safe. To be safe.

I am safe.  I still don't think I grasp it fully. Safe. Wow.  I know this doesn't mean that nothing bad will ever happen. I also know that I have found a place to rest my heart, a place that has been prepared for me by God, a place that I love being, that makes me laugh and sing and feel loved and beautiful and silly and if not whole, then certainly close to it. And on my way.

And I know that more than anything else, I want to be a safe place for Brian, too.  I don't receive this gift lightly, and I pray that I never take it for granted.  I am feeling very grateful tonight. Grateful, and safe.  Nice.
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