The wind lashed at my umbrella as I leaned into the force of the gale, determined to complete my morning walk in spite of Mother Nature’s wrath. When I turned the farthermost corner of my journey, I walked past a church. A young choir inside sang, their voices spilling out onto the sidewalk. I stopped and listened, forgetting the weather. Their voices filled my heart with such sweet innocence, that I was transported back in time–before the hurt, before the shame, before my hardened heart.
My heart ached for all the paths I’ve wandered that took me away from God, away from my goodness. I shivered standing there in the rain.
“I have loved you anyway,” God whispered as the tears I was fighting won and chased my regrets down my face.
“What?” I asked, raising my face to the rain.
“I knew you’d break my heart, but I loved you anyway,” God said gently.
“Oh God, how could you?” I could barely get the words out.
“I created you. You’re mine. How can I not love my creation?” He answered.
“I’m so sorry for all of my mistakes. I’m so sorry I lost my way so many years ago.”
“I know you are. I’ve forgotten all about those years. I wish you could forget them too. Tell the others that even though I know they too will break my heart, I love them anyway,” God asked.
“Yes, of course, I will,” I answered.
Here is that message: God wants you to know that He isn’t a keeper of wrongs. He loves you, even when He knows you’ll break His heart. You are still His precious innocent child. No matter how far down the wrong path you have journeyed, you can always turn around and come home, back to His arms, back to His heart.
I dried my tears and pushed on, each step propelling me towards home. I savored the company that I was now aware was walking with me—had always walked with me. “Thank you, God,” I whispered, full of gratitude for a love I can only appreciate, never fully fathom.
I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Nevada City, California last week. When I arrived at my new destination, a dear friend called to check in on me. It was good to hear her voice. She congratulated me on my new chapter in life, emphasizing the opportunity of a new beginning. I agree with her. There’s a freedom in striking out on a fresh journey; a sense of being able to get closer to your true self, your true destination. But we can all start out on a new journey, every day, without having to move, or to make big changes in our lives.
Every sunrise offers us a clean slate we can fill with curiosity, wonder, creativity, gratitude, service, etc., or we can fill it with fear, worries, anger, resentment, victimhood, martyrdom, etc. The choice is up to us. True, we are often pushed along by our negative emotions and our beliefs, old patterns of thinking, and unhealed trauma, but we can give those things to God to heal.
If we make a conscious effort to live in “full bloom” every day, we have the same new beginning that changing locations affords us. Here’s to the morning’s sunrise. As it warms the day, let your heart and soul be warmed by God’s desire for your highest and best expression of who you are. Be bold. Be bright. Shine!