Grief. I am not sure what I am still grieving. I miss the kids still. I miss my nephews or x-nephews whatever you are supposed to call them. Maybe its the fact that I have had to set so many strong boundaries; I have had to walk away from so many people while I simultaneously try to navigate which new human beings to let enter my life. I wonder if the work will ever be worth it. It feels like that saying, “Two steps forward and three steps back.”
I saw an evil thing come out of my mouth a few days ago. It was her. It was her and how she treated me and I treated someone how she treated me. I didn’t realize it was her until last night.
I ponder my mistakes. I say I am sorry. I try to shift my perspective. These are my strengths. She is still in me. I hate it! I cant help but to have that jealousy fall on me again. Not everyone had to have that but me I did. I get to do all this work to recover as some have other things they get to think about. It is my choice though. I have to see that. I choose to heal my character. I choose to heal my soul. I choose to relinquish any resemblance of ugly. All the ugly. The tar in my stomach. The colon must clean. Her words are the shit that fills the colon. Her version of love.
I listened to a sermon last night by Kenny Chinn. He teaches in Wilmington North Carolina at Northside Church. He talked about forgiving others. He said, “If you haven’t ever forgiven others then you can’t possibly have ever forgiven yourself.” The love of God forgives. He does. I know I still want retribution. No, I want them to say they are sorry. I want them to hug me and tell me they didn’t mean it. That is never going to happen. Its not. They are all justified.
God help me learn to forgive. Show me your love. Show me your grace. In these next weeks show me who is this Jesus.
I always believed if something were true you couldn’t walk away from it. Back when I was soul searching it made sense to me that God may have a name. If he had a name I wanted to know what it was. It also made sense to me that his name may not be what I wanted. I wanted him to be a universalist buddhist. I liked that. No hell. No Jesus. Me like! There are many things in life that are best for me that are not what I would want, choose, or agree with. What if God was also this way?
I saw two scriptures in the Bible. One said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added onto you.” The second scripture was, “Those who seek me diligently will find me.” I looked to the sky. I cursed. I screamed, “God I am about to walk away from this Bible because I hate it! If your name is Jesus. If you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then I need you to show me!!!”
And he did. He did. I could tell you so many stories. I will tell you one of my favorites. I don’t want to bore you. You don’t know me. You may not believe me. You could be like my agnostic dad and reason your way around things. I am okay with that All I know to tell you is from the bottom of my heart, this is what happened.
They say to start at the beginning. I was depressed. I lost a man that I had deeply loved. He looked into my eyes, “I look at you and you are everything I would want but I see in your eyes you want forever and I just can’t give you that.” I will always respect his honesty but oh the hurt. I went to a bookstore. This older black man sat beside me. We started to chat. I told him of my heartbreak and he told me of a book to read named, “Ishmael” I think. He walked me to my car which I would not normally allow any stranger to do. As I was about to get into the car, he went to put his hand on my head. I dodged him at first. I didn’t understand. He was Pentecostal. He wanted to pray over me. I understood and let him the second time. He placed his hand on my head. He spoke in tongues. He looked at me and arrowed in on my eyes, “In two weeks your life will never be the same.” “I’ll let you know,” I yelled as he walked away.
A few weeks later I visited a dear friend in Wilmington North Carolina. I was still heart-broken. I went to the beach. “God please heal me. I am going to sit at this beach until I’m not sad anymore!” I fell asleep for four hours. It was November. It was cold. When I woke up, my heart didn’t hurt anymore and I never looked back. That boy and I still spoke some but my heart was free of him. One on the scoreboard for God.
Months later I did move to Wilmington, North Carolina. I was working at the International House of Pancakes. “God I just want to see a miracle. You don’t have to show me but I want to see one. Please!” A week or so later I was in the restaurant bored bored bored! It was dead! An older black man came in with a cane. He had the grimmest look on his face. I had to walk away. Between his grim face and his walker, he had a turtle-like quality about him. My mean imagination! I started to laugh! Yes, walk away walk away!
I walked back over to him after he sat down. I served him. We chatted. He had majored in theology. He was in his seventies. I had seen him before on a Sunday with his wife. He walked slow then too. When it was time for him to leave, I heard a voice in my heart that wasn’t quite mine. “Is this God speaking to me?” “And even if it is this guy majored in theology surely he knows this all ready?” “Well, why not tell him just in case.” The man was standing up to leave. He was putting on his coat. “Sir,” I looked into his eyes. He was tall. “Sir I think God wants you to know that even through your pain your life is still meant to help others.” He looked at me and nodded like a man might and he walked towards the door.
My body froze. Something didn’t make sense. I put my hand under my chin. I stood in the walk-way staring at his back trying to make sense of what didn’t make sense. My eyes looked over at his seat. My eyes zoomed in on his cane! I grabbed it and ran after him! Thats what didn’t make sense! He didn’t have his cane! I ran for him at the door. “Sir, you forget your cane.” He looked at me. He didn’t say a word. He just smiled. He walked outside. The presence of the Lord was so strong I couldn’t speak! I watched him walk to his car. I was waiting for him to fall over. He didn’t. I couldn’t speak clearly for the next thirty minutes or so because the presence of the Lord was so strong. For the next few hours anyone I told got those chills all over their body! I went to this one taco place I frequented.
The guy who worked there was always high. I told him what had just happened. He looked at his arms covered in chills, “Woah!,” he said. “I think thats the Holy Spirit baring witness that what I am saying is true.” I worked at that restaurant with that guy a few years later. Its easy to see things and still wonder if it really happened. Its a theme both in the Bible and real life in general. I asked him one day, “Hey, you remember that time I told you about the guy that got healed when I was working at the International House of Pancakes?” He was high as a kite then too. With bloodshot eyes he responded, “Yeah.”
I wish I could tell you I saw that man again. I’d like to tell you I knew what was wrong with him in the first place. My dad has come up with his own ideas. He knows me to be a magical thinker but never a liar. I also don’t exaggerate truth. I believe truth exaggerates itself. He knows this. He scratches his head and denies me all the same. Deep down he knows and he know one thing for sure because he knows his daughter well, his daughter wouldn’t lie.
I’ll tell you more stories. My journey to find the truth. My desire for you to find yours.