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Monday, March 10, 2014

Living Like I Am Dying

Moments ago, the life we lived in Marin County changed into an elegant pattern on the horizon, eventually a dreamy spec, disappearing into a silent, white mist filled with light. Marin is a rich memory now, living in my soul. A memory that has transformed me, like the horizon, and filled me with light.

These past weeks as I packed our lives away to move our family to Fairfield County, Connecticut, the layers of loss have been whispering to me-- loss of a quiet, light-filled home surrounded by open space, of curvy, mountainous backdrops, a perfect climate, laid-back clothing, healthy fresh food, a lush vegetable garden, bobcats, hawks and quail, slow-moving cars, dramatic beaches, and endless trails for me to run, bike and hike on.

But thank you God for showing me that saying goodbye to the people I love is deeper, richer, and much much more painful than the loss of the rest of it. Those Marin people have forever transformed me. 

In the past few weeks, I felt surprisingly free. I started living more passionately, less guarded. Leaving felt a little like part of me was dying, and so I craved one last chance to hike with a friend, hug the person I had been too afraid to hug, have that big party I never made time to organize, and lunch with the moms whom I admired. I needed to tell the truth-- Tell people why I loved them. And what a miraculous experience this telling became! I lightened. And the deep pain of leaving had a surprising joy in it. I could see how blessed I have been, and how much goodness, how much God there is in people. 

There is God in the nanny who lovingly helped me bathe my children, brainstormed with me weekly about their challenges, patiently followed my insane schedule, courageously endured the echoing noise, the fights, messes, moods, tantrums, my forgetfulness; and still she responded with kindness every single time I needed her. 

There is God in the homeschool teacher who came to my house for three years to teach my boy just exactly the way that worked for him. The woman who created lessons to meet his needs, stepped over cats and dogs to get to her "classroom," who cut apples, endured bugs and reptiles, hugged me and reassured me on the days when his challenges were eroding me.

There is God in the friends, particularly in my diverse faith group, who shared their doubts and fears, who trusted me enough to ask for help, who offered me theirs, who encouraged me to grow, who accepted me despite all of my inadequacies.

There is God in many more teachers who loved my children, supported me, drove across bridges, went beyond the extra mile. God in the naturalist who nurtured an awesome love and understanding of nature in my children. God in the grocery store check-out clerk who aways grinned though her hands shook from disease, in our therapists, and in the moms at the soup kitchen who graciously shared their lives, teaching me about suffering.

I pray that the Marin in my soul helps me to continue to aim to live as though I am dying-- that every day I can see and share how God flows through the special people He places in my life. And I pray for a free heart for you and me, a heart that sees the God in people, glorifies all that is good, shining the light for all to see.