It is interesting that when God shows up, we calm down. Not that He wasn't there before, but that we forget to look at Him and take a deep breath. When He was in the boat, the disciples thought that because He was sleeping, He wasn't there. He was. And still in control. But there is in us, the need to see Him. To know.
That song that kept repeating in my head - one I had taught a small boy years ago, and one he sang to me now. A simple song, but one I loved when I taught small kids because it had a truth that I so needed to know. God is there, able to listen to me no matter what is going on around me. The simpleness of that truth sang over and over in my head as I traveled giving me peace again. It's ok. I'm here.
Things did not go like I thought they would. There was conflict where there was supposed to be rest. There was disturbing where there was supposed to be peace. There was sadness where there was supposed to be joy. There was silence where there was supposed to be talking. There was more conflict where there was supposed to be sharing feelings.
But God was there. He was. Still there. Unsurprised by it all. Not at all rocked, not at all taken off guard unable to meet in the situation. Still there.
When I turned and saw Him there, I calmed down. Still hurting, still raw, still sad, but calmer. He's here. He's listening to me.
I think later, if I had to go through something like this again, I hope I would remember to expect conflict. I wasn't ready for that. No one had told me it was normal. And there was no one outside of the situation able to handle that or able to help us see that it was normal and help us find the way back to the path.
But I traveled that day in relative peace. I napped and listened to my mp3 player. When I wasn't listening to that, this little song played over and over in my head.... "talk to God... tell Him you need a friend...pray... believe..." Slow warming of the isolation that I was wrapped in.
During the time we were with family, on the few times I had internet access, I was able to talk with two friends. Just being able to say what had happened, what was happening, was a relief. To be able to share even a little of how I was feeling. To take a breath and talk! And to get their letters back, to have someone hear me. It was a good thing.
So I traveled back with a lighter heart. Also knowing I was finally going home. I wanted to get home - missed my babies, missed my friends, missed "normal". What I came for, I did not get. But now I was going home - at home, things would be better... And I was heading back to see some friends for one afternoon. Hopefully a good time there.... maybe even we get to talk....
I love traveling when I can see things around me. I love traveling alone where I can look out and see the world. The day was full of watching early spring with its bright greenness and new baby animals. Watching people, but feeling absolutely no need to talk to them unless I wanted. Not needing to smile unless I felt like it. Not needing to pretend, not needing to care for anyone around me at all. Just rest and watch the world out of the windows.
Then I got back to my friend's house. It was a bright sunny day, if a little cold, and it was nice to sit outside and have some tea. But when I heard about their day, I realized that they had spent it talking... and they were tired of talking. Ok. So I did not open my box. Just leave it tied together and packed up. My two invisible pieces of baggage still traveling with me.
But it was still a good day. To have peace again, to go outside, to eat, play games, and pray. And it was here where we read the story of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. And here, quietly, God whispered to me... "look at how Jesus treated His disciples when He saw them again..." This is how I will treat you - with gentleness... And I began to smile... All that had gone on, and all that was going to go on next that thankfully I had no idea was coming, is not from God.... it is not how He would treat someone. I could trust Him, look to Him in all the confusion and hurt and silence... He treated His disciples with gentleness after what they had been through, and He would be a place of gentleness for me to run to.
So I rested, and began to smile. Still injured, still carrying a bucketful of unshed tears and a box of packed up feelings, but knowing that God will be gentle with me and I can trust Him in the middle of all the incapabilities and failing and mistakes of people around me.
I was going to need that knowledge more than I knew in the week to come.
This day ended in peace with prayer, and I was glad I had come - even if no one could still see what I was carrying. And I left more ready to face what was ahead.