Spring snow crushed into ice packs encasing pavement. Morning hues of daylight barely dyed the grey wall-clouds. Even the big man machine strained for forward momentum.
Why was I going? What dream was this grandma still chasing? Was it folly? What was wooing me to the center of Nebraska when my own family had so many needs calling out?
Eventually, the roads gave up their crusty coat. But as the prairie retreat unfolded, the insecurities of the kindergarten girl that knew only her two Sunday School classmates came out of hiding. Soon she was joined by the pre-teener who knew she wasn’t pretty enough, and couldn’t see anything special about good grades and playing piano except that it made her different. And then the young mom whose baby cried and only got phone calls from the bill collectors decided to attend, also.
I struggled to keep the six-year old and the middle schooler and the young mom who never had a coffee date in check for most of the weekend. As usual, when there was a schedule and a place to be and a way to act, all was well.
But free time, and just before bed, and anytime someone asked how I liked the weekend, my trio wanted me to bolt. If I said what I felt, I’d be rejected. So I observed. I didn’t have the right responses. In fact, I hadn’t even thought of the right questions.
I felt abandoned—not that I wanted to admit that. This is the broken place inside of me I’d prefer to ignore. Though I am created in the image of God, who would value me, or my words?
Yet God keeps lighting the writing fire in my heart. I keep pushing back against it, as writing is hard, quiet work and risk. He has given me insight about growing up in judgment and learning to break free. But I am still broken, scarred, scared, with walls of defenses that pound in my head. Being surrounded by beautiful, gracious women who speak their heart with crafted, loving words, and yet on the fringe of it remind me of my spirit’s torment.
Worship barely scratches my soul, not deep enough to draw blood or tears. I question this coldness. When is the last time I cried in worship? Or at all? What am I locking up so tightly? God’s healing balm can sooth me, but the wounds are buried. Or is this new environment showing me that they are not healed yet? The old comparison devil laughs in my face.
So I walk to relieve my physical angst. And I call out to the Father about my abandonment. And pray that He heal me, somehow, someway.
And then a sister confesses her icy blockaded heart. And another comes alongside me and says, “Shall we start a new table?”
Maybe there is hope, Lord, for this little lost girl who lives in a grandma’s body. The tear coursing down my cheek may moisten the God-sized dream that is locked in my heart.
Does a new environment help me step outside my box?
What helps me embrace or evade change?