I took a bath tonight.
If I’m being honest, I probably outgrew baths a long time ago. I always go in there with a book or music, and something to drink, but by the time the tub is full, I’m already bored and ready to get out.
Nevertheless, tonight I bathed for as long as it took the tub to get full.
And I thought about Mom. I closed my eyes and remembered being a child.
I remembered feeling my hair sway through the water, while pretending to be a mermaid.
I remembered how Mom would come in with a towel and wrap me up in it when it was time to get out. How my lips would be turning blue because the water got cold a while ago, but I was having too much fun to notice or care.
I remembered cozy pajamas and Mom brushing my hair and Dad tucking me into bed. I remembered saying prayers and feeling Jesus as close to me as the cat stuffed animal I fell asleep hugging every night, my damp hair smelling faintly like shampoo.
And I remembered that being enough. It was enough to have a home and a bed and people who loved me. It was enough. I could sleep and be at peace and look forward to the coming day because I was loved and someone was going to comb my hair in the morning and tuck me into bed again at night and all was well.
Where did things get so twisted up?
At church Wednesday night, someone looked me into the eyes with conviction and tenderness and said, “God isn’t going to let you fall.”
I don’t remember who said it, oddly, but then I think maybe that’s okay because the words weren’t really even theirs, but Jesus’.
If you asked me even just two weeks ago, I would’ve adamantly told you that yes, all we need is love.
But today I looked person after person in the eyes and I thought: “I love you… and YOU love ME. And why isn’t that enough?”
I don’t know.
That’s the only time in therapy that I start to weep to the point of being unable to speak- when I talk about the people I love and who love me in return. I am so grateful and so blessed. But also, there’s no denying anymore that my actions affect other people- people who I never, ever would want to hurt. People love me. And in some ways, it was easier back when I thought I was all alone.
Here I am, loved, and still struggling to want to do life. And how is that possible? I thought love would fix it all…
And shouldn’t it? If God IS love, and God is enough, then there has to be some truth to the “love is all we need” philosophy, right?
I don’t know. I don’t know very much anymore. I am more questions than I am anything else.
And yet, what good will it do to rage against what is (or isn’t), or demand answers, or demand something of myself that I just can’t deliver right now?
What good will it do to panic over the uncertainty of this road I’m walking?
All I can do is surrender. There’s no peace or joy or hope to be found in raging against what is.
So I breathe in the God who is in every moment and I pray He give me eyes to see.
And my brain is on fire with the constant battle, but a brain on fire can’t stop my heart from perceiving goodness and truth.
So I smile at the face of a little boy who affectionately kicks my foot during church, and the woman who bends down behind me and hugs me, handing me a latte and piece of gingerbread that she brought me just because.
I breathe in, with immense gratitude, the miracle of every single “I love you too”, and conversation that comes easy and makes me laugh.
I smile about bear hugs and basketball games and sunny days and silly selfies and happy nights with people I love.
I surrender, as best I can, to this unfolding of my life and trust that somehow, all that I don’t understand, the tangle within me, doesn’t really matter when I can lift my eyes to heaven and say over all of it: “You are, You are, You are.”
It isn’t my job to untangle it or make sense of it. It’s my job to rest and wait and trust and try not to give up.
My brain is on fire, and every day is touch-and-go, but all around me people love me, and my God is still on the throne.
And He won’t let me fall.
And so tonight, I took a bath. And Mom is gone. And I’m not a kid anymore. And no one’s going to be picking out my pajamas for me or combing my hair. But in some ways, things are still the same.
The pajamas I put on? They weren’t picked out for me by my mom, but they were provided for me by my Father.
And the hair I combed? It, like everything else about me, makes my Father smile.
And no one will tuck me in, but I can pull the covers up to my chin and ask God to bend down and kiss my forehead.
I can listen to Arlow snore and smell my freshly shampooed hair and talk to Him like He’s right here in the room with me. I can close my eyes and know He is near. Because a good Father never passes up the opportunity to hear His child’s heart or kiss her forehead.
And my eyelids will grow heavy. And somehow, peace will come. And I’ll know that I know that I know, I’m still Someone’s child.