recipe for restoration

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they say time heals all.

and while i think that the passage of ticks on life’s second hand certainly aids in the restoration of wounds, i can’t help but believe it’s never truly that simple. like the recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie (yum!), it’s the precise combination of specific ingredients that is essential for success. this “success” being a “good as new” mind/body/spirit and maybe most importantly, a hopeful heart.

i hate to speak in purely metaphors but for the sake of those involved, i’ll simply refrain from names and too transparent of details. if you know me personally, you know my story -my struggles, my triumphs, the light, the dark, and everything in between. for those who don’t, just simply know that my journey has been scattered with just as many bumps as it has blessings but for those i am grateful.

i just realized that 27 is literally knocking on my doorstep. and yet i can’t help but to feel that it was just yesterday that my birthday candles totalled 26. how did this year pass by so quickly? and how do i still look like i’m 17? i’m pretty sure the answers to those questions are “i don’t know, time is funny like that” and “be thankful for that, girlie, you come from good genes” but i’m not here to crack jokes. okay, maybe i am a little. i’m here to hopefully, maybe, round-about-ly make a point. tell you a story. reveal to you a part of my life that, while at a time was gnarled and messy and locked safely away, has since been transformed. the ashes of which it came have produced breathtaking beauty. a testament of time’s passage, yes, but of so many other things, too.

of grace and of the Lord’s providence and strength. of opportunity and life’s circumstances.

of all of these converging as one.

and of a softened and willing heart of yours truly.

for a long time i nursed apathy like a newborn babe. instead of pain there was a numb indifference of which though i could not find pride in, i also could not find shame. it was grey. neutral. neither love nor hate. it was just there. like a dust bunny i kept swept under the rug. if i believed it wasn’t there, somehow perhaps its existence would simply fade away.

but that is no way to live life. a life so rich and full and so graciously gifted to me again and again with each rising and setting of the sun. and so i began to pray. pray for a hunger deep within. for a longing so strong that its voracious appetite would simply devour every morsel of my apathy. and that one day i would feel again.

but coupled with this prayer was an earnest asking for opportunity. that a force bigger than my own would initiate the change. for i knew i was far too weak to push that boulder into motion on my own. if the centrifugal force came from beyond; from the hearts and minds of the ones whose relationships i so earnestly sought, i knew things could be different this time. things could truly change. a true revival could be achieved and healing could officially begin.

and so while i waited for the Lord to soften their hearts, i prayed for a softening of my own as well. that i would make the decision to embrace the change not out of obligation or guilt, but because i truly desired it for my life. that when that time came, i would come forth with an open and willing heart. no strings, no clauses, no hanging chads. simply a clean slate and a reset button for our bond.

love is a choice. it is also a feeling, yes, of that i’m quite clear (it’s kind of the best feeling, that love thing) but it’s more importantly a choice. because with a choice comes ownership and ownership accountability and finally with accountability, responsibility. and responsibility requires commitment. it is not to be taken lightly. it separates the men from the boys (the women from the girls) and in turn, can only be solidified by someone whose heart remains as open as the ocean is wide. it is a conscious effort. it is a choice. “fake it until you make it” need not apply. there must be a transformation in your mind, body and spirit. and then, and only then, can restoration truly be offered the chance to take root and bloom.

well, my prayers were answered. in more ways than one. i received that olive branch about one year ago today. and i can proudly say that by no efforts of my own (that was all Him) i came forward with the most softened heart my 26 years have ever known. and what began as a simple step has gained the momentum of a wild gazelle. it has blossomed organically, like a spring bud, its petals have opened slowly, gingerly. cautiously. but fueled by plenty of sunlight and water, its roots have remained firmly planted, deepening by the day and hour.

these past few weeks have been unprecedentedly filled with blessings. so in these “cup runneth over” moments, i can’t help but to shout from the rooftops the amazing work i feel as though the Lord is doing in my life. i tell my co-workers, my best friends (of course), heck, i’d even tell a stranger in line at trader joe’s if they were willing to listen to my babble! and amongst the group of individuals who remain privy to my daily happenings have become these people. these cherished loved ones who have so richly reentered my life. and i couldn’t help but to reflect upon this incredible concept as i lazily lay on my couch last night amidst the latest episode of survivor.

if you had told me a year ago, even two years ago that my life would look as it does now, i wouldn’t have believed you. i would have told you that it was a nice story but that my hardened heart might not be capable of defrosting one last time. but that’s the beauty of time.

and of grace. and of the Lord’s providence and strength. of opportunity and life’s circumstances.

and the perfect recipe of all of these ingredients combined.

because they really do heal all.

and i get to go about my days as a living example of that.

so to the bearers of that olive branch and now, the bearers of my heart,

i love you more than words can say. i cannot wait to share my life with you today.

and every day henceforth.


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