But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
Get out your sundress and run- no, dance– in that field of forgiveness. Let the flowers get lost in your hair, embrace the warmth while it kisses your skin, and enjoy the grass brushing against your knees, girl. The only thing keeping you away from shouting freedom is yourself.
Acceptance.That’s what I was waiting for. I spent so long waiting to feel something more than just being happy in the moment and deeply saddened at night. I wanted the spirit of love to breathe into my body and flow throughout my veins. I wanted to feel loved, most of all by God. I wanted to feel like it didn’t matter what I said or did, because I’d be accepted, anyways.
Well, this weekend I figured out what it meant to truly be accepted.
It took years of praying and a lifetime of hoping, but in a convention center in Tennessee, I found what I had been looking for all along.
First, it started off on a horrible seven hour bus ride, where irritability was at it’s finest and although I was surrounded by those I care the most about, I just wasn’t feeling myself. Or, perhaps, it was myself, since I had feeling unbelievably bitter most days, then. Love had not made an appearance in my heart. I was, again, feeling unwanted and ashamed of myself for simply being who I was.
Then rest of the night declined completely, with feeling left out in many areas, although I’m sure it was my fault. You see, when you feel unloved, you start to act as if you were, no matter how loved you are. You act as if nothing is really worth it anymore and you start treating people differently. Well, that was me, not just that night, but all the time. For months, I had truly felt like this world was doing everything it could to bring me to the floor.
On Saturday, a woman I had stayed
with in the hotel came up to me. She told me that God wanted her to let me know that He was pleased with me. “Pleased? With me? How could that be possible?”Those were my thoughts. I told her of my doubts and she explained that I had no reason for doubt and that He had a purpose for me. Again… Me? I know that Jesus brought a purpose to the least of these, but I out of all people did not deserve to be one of them. She said I had inspired her by the things I had spoken in just a day and that later that night God wanted me to know I would experience worship on a whole new level, and I found myself unable to stop thinking about her words. But I still wanted more. I still hadn’t felt that assurance.
Later that night, we had an amazing worship service. (She was definitely right.) It started with praying at the alter with loved ones and I was talking to God with my struggles. I found myself whispering “I’m just not worthy of Your love. How could I ever possibly receive it?”, and I heard a boy that was praying with me saying “She is.” I knew him, but definitely not well enough for a soul tie to have formed and connected my thoughts to his words. Honestly, I’m not sure who he was talking about; it could be me or anyone else in that room, but I knew one thing: In a room filled with noise, God spoke to my whispers. He got through all the loudness and reached through to someone who was barely audible, even if you had your ear against her mouth.
But God wasn’t finished with the process, yet.
After service, we had worship and God had definitely made me feel assured, so I decided to stop asking and start giving Him the praise He deserved. I found myself sinking in His spirit; at first, resisting the urge, but then I caved in. First, I was on my knees, but then I found myself completely on the ground, just worshipping. I felt hands on my back and beautiful prayers being spoken. I was being prayed for acceptance to be felt. I heard exactly what I had been needing. The words acceptance were repeating, sounding more beautiful every time being spoken. Then, the spirit of acceptance made it’s way into my heart.
I knew God had used three events to touch my heart. He cared so much to assure His child that He had done so much just so she could feel better and gain confidence.
The sad thing is, acceptance was there all along, I just had to find it. I tried for so long to find it in others or in situations; when instead, it was with me right along. I had it everywhere I needed and God was trying to show me that, but I didn’t listen, because I had to find it in myself. I put up this blockade that separated me from the links that connected me to the love of the rest of the world. I was imprisoned, trying to find ways to escape; when all along, I was the jailer. I was trying to put a bandaid on everyone else’s wounds, when I had injuries of my own. I spent my time trying to find ways to spread love onto others, when I needed to show myself that love, too. So often we forget that, we too, are people that need to be loved and cared for.
Acceptance was right in front of me this whole time, I was just searching in the wrong places.
Whenever I see you; I think of all the little moments we’ve shared, though you may not have paid much attention to them, I did. But who would? Unless you were completely infatuated with the person, and I’ll admit to that.
I sound so cliche, but what else can you expect from a wide-eyed girl that met the perfect individual of her taste?
Some of my most treasurable moments are because you made them that way. Perhaps, I wouldn’t have remembered them at all if they were with someone else. They’d only be small fragments. But these? They’re vivid.
But there’s a moment that maybe you’ll even catch on to. I hope you remember that moment, like I do.
There was a warmth in the air, a light in your eyes. Though it was quite chilly outside and the sun had already gone down. Only you could do that. I don’t know how- But whatever you did; it worked. We laughed. We sang. We played like little children; and quite frankly, I felt like one.
I even remember when we were children, and you first caught my eye. You weren’t aware of the world, only of God. Giving Him your all. Even at that young. Unlike anyone else, despite what they said. That’s my favorite memory. My first one of you, actually. I cherish it as much as the new ones, the ones that are even as little as me catching your gaze upon me. You seemed as if no other has been given such a lovely present from you.
I was falling. Hard.
And you knew it, too. But you swept me up off my feet just in time, and made me think something was going to conjure out of all of this. We floated off the ground, hand in hand, unaware of anyone else’s being. A slight kiss on the cheek, not caring who may have saw. I felt a gust of blood rushing to my face, embarrassed of my blush. Everyone could see it in our eyes, how lovely we felt. How infinite.Unlike anything else. I was convinced that our feelings were mutual by this point, whereas you were acting different towards me. This time, a good different. Not that wishy-washy stuff you tend to do. Don’t get me wrong, we did and still do have those awkward ones, when I could’ve swore you were going to say something that would reveal that you, too, felt the same way and I changed the subject fast out of fear for what may happen. The ones we still have are where we can’t really talk to the other for reasons that only God knows, and we don’t even act is if these moments have happened at all. I don’t particularly enjoy it. But hey, maybe it was just me that felt this way, and you completely tricked me into thinking I meant something to you, somehow.
Or perhaps, I was longing for this so much that I tricked myself. But no matter which one it was, all I can remember are those days combined to create one moment. That moment I speak of is every moment we’ve ever shared clustered into one. The moment appears whenever I see you, and of course, those restless nights when you consume my thoughts. It’s a truly infinite moment. All of my favorite ones combined. I hope you keep this moment with you, too. There are plenty more, but I don’t know if I’d be able to stop writing about you if I mentioned them.
Things are different now between us, and Im not exactly sure why. Maybe we use those moments to separate us, in fear of what may happen if we use them to draw closer. Maybe you feel the way I do; writing and singing of me, secretly. Maybe you are afraid of how I feel, not knowing any better. Maybe you lost feelings, if you ever had them. Maybe you just don’t care and didn’t think anything of these things I have brought up. But no matter what you think or may happen, these moments won’t change. They’ll only be added on, for better or worse. Only time can tell. And until then, I’ll cherish The Moment I conceal with me wherever I go.
I pray that you do, too.