It's been a while.
I am sorry.
I think I've been waiting to post anything until I had something worthwhile to post, some sort of explanation or justification or even just a bit of resolution to my recent wanderings. But I can offer you none of those things. I'm writing this because I'd rather talk to you than wait. I miss you.
Ever since I left the ship, I've been experiencing my own little "dark night of the soul." It's a season of dryness, a feeling of distance from God, that scares the poop out of me whenever I think about it too hard (which is pretty much all the time, because I am never not thinking too hard). I feel like I'm wandering around in a fog. People keep asking me how things are going, but I can't even tell if I'm advancing or retreating.
Back when I first considered leaving the ship and coming back home I had this mental picture of myself sitting in a huge tree, blithely sawing away at the very branch I sat on. I suspected I might be headed for some sort of tumble, but I figured that if God was asking me to fall then he would take care of catching me (or picking up the pieces). And maybe he is doing that. I just didn't think it would be so humiliating. Or hurt so much.
I'm alright. Really, I am. I know it sounds terribly dreary, but there have been moments of sweetness and beauty too. My niece Zoe knows who I am now--I mean really knows me. We have our own little greeting even. I say, "Hey Z!" (Z for Zoe) and she says, "Hey A!" (A for Auntie Lala--that's me). I've had some really great conversations with my brother, my sis-in-law, my parents, my grandpa, uncle, cousins, cherished friends. Things I could never say on the phone were wrestled out in person, and relationships are better for it. I have been welcomed into homes, fed, ferried around, cared for, prayed for, included in friend circles and family routines. I am deeply and profoundly loved. For reals.
And I'm so, so grateful.
I just wish I could give you all some sort of return for the many ways you've invested in me.
Someday I will.
Or maybe I'll pay it forward.
Love is like a micro-loan. You give yourself to someone in need, and when they're back on their feet, they do the same for someone else.