Four years ago I entered a tranqil room with misty green walls, a church nursery with no babies in sight. For a year a group of women sat in a circle emblazoned with late afternoon sun and shared our hearts. Wounded sisters whispered fears, entrapping failures, shame filled secrets, hissing lies and eventually tender new hopes. We wrapped each other in warm acceptance, gentle love-spoken truths, fierce loyalty and uncompromising encouragement. Their love changed me. And my love for them changed me. Even now I can pick up the phone, as I did Saturday, and choke out “Help. I’m drowning in my own emotions and I can’t see a way out.” and they are there. They have my back but don’t spare my ego. They are priceless. And I pick up their calls.
The love I received from them allowed me to open up and trust the God whom I had worshipped and served but did not truly believe could or would heal my broken heart or protect me. I learned to trust Him and receive his healing in this sacred circle of trust.
His love allows me to cherish those college spokes still connected to me in a whole new way, focused on giving not getting or keeping. It welcomes new women into my life as friends, in a posture of openness. Love gives me the sweet joy of encouraging a few precious women who are just now stepping into their own new sacred circles of trust. It gives me the courage to reach out and embrace, pray for, and love on you, women and men, friends I only know through your words and pictures afloat in the blogosphere. This love, like rushing water even compels me to accept, shield with forgiveness those whose own wounds lead them to lash out. I cannot heal. I will not hang out to be abused. But I will allow love to rush out and soothe rather than dam the flow, turning fresh love into stagnant pools of resentment. And so much of this I learned from Him in them.
If you have time, I highly suggest reading Ann’s post today. I bear witness to the truth of her words.
Linking up with Em and friends