Last night I went through boxes of books, sorting them into “keep,” “give away,” and “relocate” piles. I came across 10 or 12 journals. Before I set them aside, I read a few excerpts from some of them. A few of the poems were surprisingly good. Some of the journal entries made me laugh at my 14, 17, 21, and 25 year-old selves.
James stood in the doorway and asked if I was ready for supper.
“Yes. But I’m so sad.”
While reading the journals, I had what felt like an out of body experience. I was reading about some poor girl, someone who had tried to keep a positive outlook despite some devastating losses, painful realizations, and crushing blows to her expectations that life was good, that perseverance conquers all, God willing.
Many things had not been conquered.
Maybe it wasn’t God’s will.
Maybe she hadn’t been persistent enough.
Or maybe the world is just broken.
As I read these entries about this girl turned woman who’d tried and tried to redeem situations, relationships, and feelings that seemed beyond repair, I came across a sketch she’d done, coupled by a quote from “The Power of One.”
“Deep inside me, the loneliness bird laid a large stone egg.”
Then tears fell. The girl is me. The woman is me. The person striving so hard to trust God despite every circumstance pleading with her to do the opposite is me. Reading my own thoughts and feelings now, I see things so differently. I see that I was too hard on myself. I tried to right wrongs that were never going to be right. I carried burdens that no one should attempt to carry. I listened to people around me who told me not to let things die that I should’ve buried years before. I believed that God expected me to suffer rather than separate myself from the sources of my misery.
After James listened to me explain all of this, he dried my tears with Kleenex and held my hand.
“You know, considering all that, I believe I’m a miracle.”
“You’re my miracle.”