Rebuilding your life after a hurricane tears it apart takes time. It only takes a drive through my old neighborhood to remind me of that. I woke up early this morning to drive the 35 minutes from Katy to Houston to see my former home. Last night last year was the last night I would have spent there, and I didn’t even know. It’s a tragedy that one doesn’t know that memories are being erased. As I sat outside my home, I stayed long enough that I only cried, but didn’t weep.
This past year has been the greatest unwanted challenge of my life. I have been vulnerable in the best and worst ways, and I know it is still not over. The same feeling, I had towards my birthday last year is the same as I have now. Why celebrate? I don’t have the lightheartedness needed to supplement the festivities. I survived, losing my roommates, home, and things. I survived, living in a homeless shelter. I survived failure that near ruined everything. I survived, living in 3rd Ward and moving to Katy. I survived another challenging year of seminary.
I survived and I’m grateful, but when do I get to go back to living? When does life start once again? All of the pains and perils of prehurricane are still present. I still want to root myself in Houston, but I don’t know when or where. I still want to have someone to companion with, but who and when? I still want to know why I’m in Texas. It will always feel easier to start anew that to remain where you’re planted, but remain I must. When will life feel like it is settled again?
One thing that I am confident in, is that God is faithful to me even when I am profoundly unfaithful. God could have and should have left me this year. It would not be unwarranted. He didn’t though. He used people, His people, to love me in ways, I didn’t know I needed to be loved. I have been loved at my worst this year. I have been loved when filthy and writhing in my detestability. I have been loved in rebuke and counsel. I have been loved in discipline. I have been loved with people’s time and money. I have been loved by a child who brings praise and his mom and dad. I have been loved by a girl filled with beginnings. I have been loved by an Equa-Nore couple who God has just used in simple and profound ways. I have been loved by my pastor and his wife. I have been loved in settings where I get to place my feelings on a canvas. I have been loved by my family in Atlanta and my family in Katy. I have been loved by classmates and roommates. I have been loved by former coworkers. I have been loved by a woman with a shy dog. I have been loved through the Spirit, from the Father, by Jesus. I have been loved by God.
Hurricanes destroy things, but they help us know who will be there to rebuild when life falls apart.
Thank you for uprooting everything. I mean this sincerely and sarcastically. I know there are some things I would have never uprooted if You hadn’t plowed through, but I’m grateful you did. I am exhausted. I’m always exhausted. I’m grateful for another year. I’m hoping and praying for a good one next year, but if sorrow comes once more, I pray I would be more faithful to you than before.
God thank you for loving me when I was unlovable. I don’t deserve it and never will. Thank you for knowing the depth of my failure and still allowing me to know You and be associated with you.