Create + Write + Inspire
by Jennifer Kelly on February 26th, 2015

​She sits and finishes off her glass of Cabernet.
She is tired and alone. 

​She is thirty-two and divorced. Two beautiful, smart and talented eyes look up to her every day. These precious, amazing kids are in need of love and support and food and provision. And every time she looks back into their eyes, she despises herself.

For not being enough.
Not having enough and not giving enough.
It's never enough.

Every night she goes and tucks her kids into bed. Frazzled, hurried, impatient and wishing she could have another go at it. She tries so hard to get home sooner. Everyday, she rushes out of work to get home as fast as she can. And as soon as that door opens, the kids scream,
"MOM!" - with utter delight.

They wrap all around her in a matter of seconds.
They are impossibly tiny. Completely innocent. Dangerously hopeful. 

Apologizing to the babysitter for being late yet again, she goes to unncork another bottle of wine. She listens haphazardly to the details of the day's activities from the kids. There's too much on her mind. It's so hard to concentrate. She seems to be needing more and more Cabernet to drown out her restlessness. Anything to help her get by, only to do it all over again tomorrow.

She's beyond spent.
She's done.

She immediately closes her eyes and tears stream down her cheeks and chin.
How did this happen?
How did she get here?

She breathes out from pure exhaustion and then back in again from being out of breath. Even breathing is work. She is so, very tired. Tired of not giving her children what they deserve, tired of feeling hallowed out, tired of being tired.

There must be something she can do - someone she can go to?

She heads into her room, only to be reminded by her bed of how utterly alone she is. Scared, un-sure, and frustrated only start to peel away at the surface of her inner turmoil. Darkness runs deep and she has built Fort Knox walls of defense mechanisms around her heart. She is in lockdown mode. She has to be. She must be strong for her children, for her own survival.

But this just isn't working.
No one's even close to being happy or satisfied.
She's just trying to get by.

She kneels at her bed, closes her eyes and tries to pray. Probably for the first time in years. She's not sure - she can't even remember yesterday, but she's hoping today will be different. Somehow, today has to be different. 

And she knows the only way today can be different from yesterday is if she starts to do things differently than before.

She stays quiet at first. Not really knowing where to start. How do you start to talk to God after all that has taken place? She sighs, hesitates, then eventually says the only thing that comes to her mind,

"Please - I mean if You're there - could you?"
"Can you help me?"

And immediately, the flood gates open. More tears come rushing. She can't stop them. It's like something inside of her exploded. All of her fears, all of her failures, all of her mistakes and all of her shame. All she needs is some encouragement, for someone to tell her that she is loved today. That she is enough.

And it's here, in her dark and quiet room, in the restlessness of her soul that she can hear Him.

"Come to me".
Almost in an echo.

She hears Him.
This time, she really hears Him.
Deep down, she knows He's there.

In this moment, she is finally willing to surrender.
And her soul breathes. 
. . .
She slowly walks into the building.
She's eighty, tired and late to church.

Her reliable husband leads her faithfully to the handicap accessible aisle. He carefully points out two seats for her approval and she nods in agreement. Not one single sound having passed between their lips. They don't need words after 50 years of marriage. He finds the perfect spot to place her walker and Bible. Slightly off to the side. Close enough for her to reach when needed, but far enough to give her space.
No detail spared, everything-carefully-analyzed.

She looks at him with those big, grateful brown eyes.

Fifty years of gratitude built in-between sacrificial moments just like this one. What else would he do? He couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

He suggests for her to take a seat - and she declines. His smile turns to worry within seconds, but to no avail. She still refuses.

He watches her stand with all the strength she can muster and finds solace in her resiliency.
She is bent and beautiful. A wonder to behold.

The worship music is magnetic. She can feel it all around her.
Another Presence is drawing her in. An older, deeper and more faithful One than her own marriage. And she can't help but smile. The kind of deep smile that takes time and appears without worry or fear. The kind of joyful smile that comes when the heart is overflowing with love and absolution and satisfaction.

A kind of smile that reflects a journey worth telling.
She radiates a peace uncommonly known in this world.
This Sunday morning, she is exactly where she wants to be.

God's church.
His bride adorned with praise and thanksgiving.
Worshipping the only One worthy to be praised.

She's merely a thread. A bright, shiny thread in a magnificent tapestry. Such a tiny snippet, but intricately, threaded in the most important story ever told. She opens her eyes to take a quick glance around her. To witness the power and grace of God bestowed on broken people is too much. Instantly, she feels inadequate, awkward, old, and so-out-of-touch. She wonders what she has to offer the church?

On one side, a walker and Bible is firmly planted beside her, and on the other, a husband tenderly caressing her hand with his own. She finds herself in-between two fixtures that support her daily life, but unabashedly bowing her head in praise to the One who sustains it all. She can hear Him say,

"Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you"​

In this moment, her weakness is made strong by His amazing grace, and there is nowhere else she would rather be.

She has so much to offer. So much wisdom and love and grace packed into that frail body of hers. She just needs somebody to reassure her and tell her that her life and presence makes a difference! Even at 80.
. . .
She is your mom, your sister, your aunt and your friend.
She is your neighbor, your child's teacher and the waitress at your favorite restaurant.
She is a stranger, an angel, a girl about to make the biggest mistake of her life.
She is a patient, a prodigy, the most beautiful person you have ever known.

She is all around you.
She is near and far.
Flourishing and stuck.
Crying, laughing, smiling and serious all at the same time.

Didn't you know? 

She needs to be reminded how infinitely loved she is. Warmly, tenderly and intimately God is pursuing her - despite her imperfections. The doubt, the attitude, the disease, the curves, the bills, the mistakes, the blemishes, you name it. There is nothing that can separate her from the love of God.

Can't you see?

She doesn't want to merely exist. She wants life with depth and meaning. Full of love and laughter and peace and joy. She wants to make a difference, to help and do and act within a community that needs her.

Don't you understand?

She is always in-between grace.
And every-single-God-given-day, we can either help or hinder her process of being caught in-between who she is and who she's meant to be. 

She would be (and is) so overly lost, alone and scared without the everlasting love of Jesus...
the One that died to call her His very own.

His daughter.
His beloved. ​

Love her today. And not only with a gesture, but radically, and better than yesterday.

​More than you love yourself. Give her what she needs. Tell her that she is important, needed, created for a purpose and irreplaceable. Speak volumes of light and life into her soul and watch her transform.

She needs to be loved today and everyday thereafter.
That's the love story Jesus invites everyone to participate in. The tender and amazing grace the world desperately needs to feel and hear and touch.
The everlasting love of God. 

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Michelle - March 2nd, 2015 at 4:47 PM
Your writing is so incredibly beautiful!
Jennifer - March 31st, 2015 at 2:35 PM
I don't know how I ever let this comment get by me WITHOUT responding, but Thanks so much Michelle! Means so much to me.
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