I'm still in awe, just a bit, of how God works out the little details of our lives, the things that we think about but might not say. The hopes we carry that sometimes feel like the world on our shoulders.
Sometimes when it hits me, just how much He cares, I think, "Really? REALLY?"
I'm falling in love, you know. With Jesus. In a real way that feels like a real relationship. And, yet, it's not in any way at odds with the love I feel for my husband. In fact, it serves to make me love Pierce more. And others, too. Loving Jesus breaks down walls I have in all my relationships. It gives me more confidence to be the kind of wife my husband deserves, the kind of friend whose absence is grieved, and more. Much more.
I know that's hard to understand, especially for people who aren't Christians. But we all tend to box God up into a particular denomination, or we only think of Him in terms of Old Testament vs. New Testament (I prefer New, if you must know), or we balk at the idea that He has a personality with fully-formed desires and emotions. But if we're created in His image, it only makes sense that we would be like Him, right? We want relationships that thrive. We long to love. We tell stories and heartbreaks. We look for empathy and acceptance. And He gives it to us in the form of a circle, a community, a group that looks into the heart of the individuals who make it whole and strives to meet those needs. God has given us everything we need by giving us each other.
I'm leading a small group of women right now. We just started meeting a few weeks ago and, at first, I know some of the women were hesitant to participate. It's always a little intimidating to jump in with a bunch of people you don't know and share things you aren't sure you want to share. I wondered, too, how all these personalities would fit into one place and still give others room to breathe. But we have. We're still breathing over here. In fact, we're laughing. We're crying. We're filling up the space with tales of uncertainty and fear and hope and joy and generosity and compassion. Hand gestures dominate while eyes watch and mouths form words of encouragement. And hearts fill.
I love these women. Some of them for a very long time, and some of them for just a few days. But I love them. And what's even better is that I know they love me. Already. Because He first loved us.