I’m starting to think that the ways I’ve changed are pretty apparent, that they show on my face, in my skin. I try not to talk too much about my personal life to my customers, but sometimes it just comes tumbling out… with the safe ones. The ones who also share some vulnerability with me. Today I was talking with a customer who knows a little bit about what happened to me, telling her how I am so much like a man (traditionally) that I need something to conquer or I’m bored. And she said, Well, you conquered the last year.
Yes I did. And this last year, year 30, has been the very best and happiest of my life.
My lessons right now are about living in community and loving exactly where I am. I’ve seen growth in some of my friends lately, that gradual kind, like most growth is, that changes so slowly that you don’t see it at first until suddenly you are looking at a completely different version of the person you once knew. It’s been amazing to watch and walk through. It almost feels like those milestones and changes are happening to me. I imagine it’s kind of how they feel about me, especially looking back at all those months and months where they sat with me, a hollow shell of myself, waiting for the growth to creep into my life.
I had never really learned how to live in community… it wasn’t modeled to me, and I’ve always lived my life so privately, quietly, almost in secret. It’s amazing the freedom that comes from saying things out loud, admitting your fears and your failures and your heart breaks. It’s really easier than keeping it all locked up where it gnaws and claws it’s way to the light.
I can’t help but feel these lessons, and these changes, are some of the most important I’ll ever learn. I’ve come so far… so, so far from where I was. I came from total abandonment and feeling orphaned to a place where I belong. To people who love me and accept me and can argue with me and I don’t have to worry that they will leave because of it. I get the honor and pleasure of walking with them through their journeys, the happiness and heartache. I get to see God be God in their lives, working miracles tiny and large, gradual and fast.
I see redemption happening, the redemption that I’ve longed for so deeply for these past almost four years. Redemption, redemption, redemption… a word that I wrote over and over, a silent prayer that I begged for every day. It doesn’t look anything like I wanted it to or what I pictured it to be, but it is exactly what it should be, exactly what I needed it to be.
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