Well, Lord, I’ve gotta hand it to You: Well played, Sir. Well played.
Sitting here in the Adoration Chapel with my mom, wracking my brain about how The F am I supposed to write a Valentine’s Day post as a hopelessly single gal, who has left all prospects of love back in NYC when I temporarily moved back to Ohio to help my mom recover from her stroke six weeks ago, and what do You do?
Enter: a tall, handsome, young man (sans wedding ring) into the chapel.
Good grief, Lord, You could have warned me! Why was today the one day I decided to slum it and wear sweat pants and an oversized sweater to the chapel?! I haven’t seen anyone ever under the age of 65 in here! But on the one day I’m a hot mess…Sheesh.
Well played, Lord. Well played.
I’m going to be honest: being back home and helping my mom….dating has been the last thing on my mind. That is, until my mother, (in her temporarily unfiltered state) unabashedly probes as to why I’m still single (and why I haven’t gotten a haircut or if I’ve considered botox)…haha
Being home here, and truly serving my parents during this difficult season, pouring everything I have – emotionally, physically, and from my inner-most heart — I realize just how much I love loving. I really do have so much love to give. Love that I cannot wait to share and shower on my future husband, whoever he may be.
But I think if I’m being really honest, that thought and that notion is guarded in so much fear. Fear that I will have to expose my heart and my brokenness, and that I will be a disappointment. That I will be rejected at my most vulnerable, innermost level.
But there is just so much fear there.
And I wonder, what if I’m incapable of loving someone? I say I’ve got high standards, but jeez, boy’s gotta be Brad Pitt-adjacent for me to be interested. I mean I’m always finding something that is a deal breaker.
I tell myself that I just haven’t met him yet. God hasn’t brought him into my life yet, but I mean, my clock is ticking and I don’t care how Fort Knox my nighttime facial cream routine is, those smile lines are gonna start popping up any day now, and believe me, that will be the day…
But I know I have a lot of love to give. And I love loving another person. Perhaps right now just isn’t my season for romance.
Perhaps this is my season to serve. To help. To love. To foster my mother’s spirit and help her to bloom and regain her life and her memory. Because honestly, that is where I’m feeling so strongly pulled. I have never felt like my life has more purpose than it does right now. I have never felt like my life has more value and worth than it does right now.
It’s funny, I’ve spent my whole life battling the lies in my head that told me I didn’t have worth, and now there’s not a doubt in my mind – all it took was a stroke.
“Above all, trust in the slow work of God.”
I just looked over to a book my mom is reading and that is the sentence I read.
Through my time with her here, one of the most incredible things is watching her bloom after this devastating event. So too, I think, with me. I was a “late bloomer,” which is really just the nice way of explaining why you’re sixteen and still flat as a 2×4. But I digress.
Trust the slow work of God.
I think my life has been one big, gradual, slow as molasses, blooming process. Through my anorexia, I slowly learned to love myself and love God. Now, through this caregiving season, I’m learning how to love another person. And this final stage is going to be to learn to let another person love me. Because it is in letting someone in and becoming vulnerable and sharing my past – my hurts – my fears – failures – how I’ve hurt people and what I still struggle with – that Caralyn…the real Caralyn…is the girl who needs to learn how to be loved.
But above all, I have to believe that I deserve to be loved. Because honestly, that’s the kicker.
And I know, writing that out – and yes, I’ve handwritten all 1000 words with a pen – I know how ridiculous that sounds, but I still think that vulnerable part of my heart still needs work. The part that believes I deserve to be loved.
Trust the slow work of God.
I don’t know how much slower it can get. But I do pray it not be too much longer, or all the “good ones” will be taken!
I think I need to give myself permission and grace to be slow. To bloom at my own pace. Let God work His timing. That’s what I’ve been encouraging my mom with – to not rush the blooming process. It sounds like I need to heed my own advice.
God is at work in my heart. Slowly. Methodically. Deliberately. I cannot see the grand plan. The end game. Only right here. Right now. Right at this handsome man God brought into the chapel tonight to remind me that He hasn’t forgotten me.
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