Sunday, June 04, 2023

We change

 We change. We all change with time, through the experiences of life, because of lessons learned, in joy and in heartache, and we change because of the people in our lives. 

On Saturday 20 + volunteers from Urban Hope Church came to help our neighborhood prepare for the predicted flooding again this year. These people stopped by our place last year when I was knee deep in mud laying down sandbags and asked if they could help us. They came the following week and helped us and countless neighbors to reinforce our properties against the water, place sandbags, move rocks and even build our very first gabion walls! This year they helped again to get our neighbors ready for what may come. We placed more sandbags and built rock barriers and gabion walls. It was intense work and everyone worked with happy hearts. We were all filthy and exhausted when we were done, but we accomplished more than I had thought possible. It was such a delight to me to work alongside these precious people who gave of themselves so fully. People need people. Thank you to each and every one of you for the way you have blessed this little community and encouraged us by standing alongside us and giving so much of yourselves to help through this difficult season. 

At the end of this day, I spent a lot of time reflecting on how these things change us. For me, knowing that we are not alone, knowing the unconditional love of others expressed through concrete (in this case, quite literally concrete :-) actions, and finding the profound joy of working hand in hand with others is building into me strength and courage that does not come from inside me. In this past year, especially, through the various struggles and heartache, I have come to know in a very honest way, the goodness of the One who has created it all. I have started to SEE and though my sight is not unlike that of a newborn baby, I know that until this borrowed breath is no longer mine, I will continue to see (and perhaps one day actually understand the) beauty in people who reflect it in the unexpected places, who shine the brightest through the sweat, dirt and tears. The journey is still very much in progress for me, but I am grateful for the time I'm given to be a part of it. 

Today, we had a visit from two people who have become family to us. It was never in our plan to meet them three years ago, but I believe we were Providentially placed on the path to find each other. Our plans for a family backpacking trip never included a helicopter rescue and the subsequent culmination of a beautiful friendship, but alas, it would appear that life is so much bigger (and ultimately better) than we plan. We most often don't understand in the moments of pain, trauma, fear... but sometimes, in life, especially with the passing of time, we can see all that is incredible and miraculous, that which is born from these events, these moments of struggle and even horror in our lives. Seeing "Jacob" and "Sadie" today was nothing short of a miracle to me. I wanted to laugh and cry all at once. I wanted to shout and dance! There are these moments in life which I cannot fully understand, but I ponder them and hold them deep in my heart as a reminder that there is much to hope for, and even more to be thankful for. 

Tonight, my heart is full. 

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