This is me. At age 26
Sleeping on a futon mattress on the floor of my friend’s boyfriend’s studio apartment, with brick wall views in one of the lesser parts of town. I’m fearful every night that someone is going to break my car windows. I start every morning with ice tea or old coffee. And I am in love.
All of this, these pre-determined memories of simplicity are reminding me that I am loved. Life has been a whirlwind of you didn’t see this coming and what the hell, but even with the dust still settling I have felt God surface me, bringing me up to experience these moments of more than peace as if to say “I love you for you”. Which has honestly been the sweetest gift. To know that as you are, broken and all, you are accepted. Maybe it’s simply the state of my life right now that has enabled these moments, these gifts, to be as fulfilling as they are. They have allowed me to reflect on and acknowledge the moments where I haven’t been accepted. Where I’ve been berated or accused of falling short. Where I haven’t met expectations. And then there’s God at the end of that revelation with a quiet solitary morning or a warm summer drive or healing laughter reminding me that I’m okay.
And all of this is so ethereal, right? So oh that’s sweet but you’re just seeing what you want to see. Am I blind? Blind from not being able to deal with my own terrible nature? Certainly. Sometimes. But I think the opposite side of that coin, the reward at the end of acknowledging how selfish I am, is someone knowing me so well they are able to give me thoughtful gifts, gifts that speak to me on a heart level, so that when I receive them I hear you are loved. I’ve always believed gifts are not my language. I enjoy giving them sure, but I’m not good at receiving them; they don’t speak to me in a meaningful way. I would rather have time, moments of a person, intimacy. And then I realized those are gifts too. Gifts for me. Not too different from other kinds of gifts, not that these gifts are superior, but these are gifts from the Gift Giver to someone he loves. And how sweet it is, after knowing how short you fall, knowing how loved you are.
This is my haven. This is where I return to when the world is a mess I can’t wade through and life feels like a bully screaming you need to fit or else. I can come back here. To God in the moments he gives. In the train rattling me awake at night, and in the sunlight, and it a cheap delicious glass of wine- not because he is those things but because he created those things and knows are happy they make me. He is the giver of gifts and the creator of desires and the knower of hearts. And I am in love.