The evening was a breathtaking combination of sunshine and snow as I pulled up into a parking spot at Hanshew, a nearby school that had an outdoor track. Intending to walk and talk to God. I had just listened to a voice message that a friend of mine had left for me. I was completely filled with joy at the sound of her chuckling voice sharing with me a fraction of her day in which I was brought up in conversation because of her comical laughter. Essentially, in a statement, her son made the association that if my friend was in a giggly, fun and in a goofy mood then she must have just spent time with or just got done talking to me. I loved it!
Proverbs 15:23 “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!”
Before I got to the snow covered lanes of the track, I found myself filled with emotion. I felt that my heart may just explode with this deep and wonder-filled gratitude at realizing, in that moment, the gift of God’s presence in my life.
I was thinking about how much joy my friend brings me.
I was thinking about how much she has been a living example of the love of Jesus to me.
I was thinking about the way her life shows me the importance of tenderness, boundaries and health,
I was thinking of the impact of her beautiful acceptance of people…of me.
Philemon 1:7 “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.”
As I walked and shared my thoughts and heart with God, a thought dawned on me—I was positively amazed at how freedom is the natural overflow of living a life that is beautifully focused on the heart and will of God.
I walked with tears falling down my face, I was just overwhelmed. My words and emotions gushing out of me from a place of deep gratitude and my heart just wanted to worship. I do believe this was the first time I used the word limited instead of inadequate as I failed to find words that were big enough, felt deep enough and could capture my thoughts and emotions. That may not sound like a big deal to know that I would change one word in my joy-filled time of talking to God, however, it was tremendous in my own head and heart. To me, saying that I was limited was giving myself grace to not have it all together. Whereas, inadequate was a word to describe my feelings that were more associated to a place of frustration or shame and not being able to be good enough. All I knew at that moment was that my heart was full of profound gratitude and words that I had associated with condemnation and shame didn’t feel right to be used to describe my heart.
Isaiah 35:10 “and those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”
So, I walked. I walked in the beauty of the day…I felt the light embrace of the sun’s rays—God gifting me with a kiss of warmth. I could feel the cold air lose its chill as it filled my lungs each time I took a breath…and I was amazed. I knew that as I felt the gentle breeze touch my cheeks, it was a gentle reminder that God is with me and I smiled. I let my legs carry me on this joyous walk as I felt the intense delight at the gift of intimate friendships. I couldn’t stop (nor did I want to) the smile that covered my face as I giggled and thought, “Wow, what a beautiful day!”
Isaiah 12:6 “Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”