Saturday, 2 August 2014

A long overdue letter to a friend

It’s been so long since I last wrote, I can barely remember what life was like at that point. The world now looks very different: different home, neighbourhood, job, office, flatmate, commute…. a lot of different.

As I write this now looking back on 3 months, it’s like looking out to a nearby mountain peak, with a small chasm between. I feel like I’ve been crossing rockier terrain to get to my new look-out. But it’s nice here. Just different. 

I’ve been reminded of things I thought were behind me; fear raises its head and looks for a new home. But I’ve also made stronger friendships; relationships built on lazy evenings watching television and drinking tea.

I’m convinced that there has been growth; I now use both my brain and my heart at work, which is a privilege (although sometimes doesn’t feel like it on a sleepy Friday morning). I feel as though God has brought me to exactly where I longed to be for the past year; and yet it all looks so different from how I imagined it.

There has, undeniably, been loss in different forms. Freedom. Friendship. And a godmother who so faithfully prayed and cared for me, remembering every single baptism anniversary and birthday, constant in faith and always believing that I could be, that I could manage, that I could achieve.

However, I’ve very slowly been learning, something that’s probably taken me far too long to grasp.

Life – any life – isn’t meant to be all roses and happiness and sunshine. Well, perhaps it is, the other side of death. But right here and now – the crap times aren’t just crap times that we must skip over, hurried through ‘til we get to the next good bit. The crap times are also life. And yes, sometimes it’s easier for me to say than others. 

But I’m slowly realising that I can’t wait until all the chains are broken and all the cancer patients are cured and all the rifts are healed before I embrace this thing called ‘life’.

I’m realising that ‘life’ is not just waiting for the happy bits, rallying against the crap and wondering why this storm is getting in the way of our day of sunshine.  Life is broken cracks as well as the sunny days. 

When I next feel low or anxious or fearful, I can assure you I won’t want to embrace life. But this is it, right now. In all its glory and beauty and sorrow and brokenness. This is what I’ve got.