The power of being WITH someone can alter a life.

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The power of being WITH someone can alter a life.

Love is a hurricane in a blue sky
I didn’t see it coming, never knew why
All the laughter and the dreams
All the memories in between
Washed away in a steady stream

I always thought home was just a far dream; some wonderful concept that no one really lived up to. But I dreamed. And dreamed. And dreamed. Most nights, as a youth, I’d lay in bed and wonder what it was like to be cared about. I would imagine someone sitting by my bed at night holding me, hugging me. I would imagine what the words, “I love you” meant coming from someone who loved me. I’d imagine I was warm and cozy and that my blankets smelled of fabric softener. Anything that would allow me to escape my living nightmare for just a few hours of sweet sleep and peace in my dream world. And as I became a young adult, I stopped dreaming. I stopped hoping.

Love is a hunger, a famine in your soul
I thought I planted beauty but it would never grow
Now I’m on my hands and knees
Trying to gather up my dreams
Trying to hold on to anything

As a young adult, this world, this hollow pain and sadness grew. I mustered all the Christian perseverance in me that I could. I became good at smiling in public and weeping in private. I felt a difference in me, in my life. I looked at the Church and felt something about me was different then most others. I carried a sadness, an ache, a deep need and longing. And I pleaded for years for God to help fill this. Slowly, my ministry, my relationships, the little nook of the world I had created started to unravel. I was grasping for hope and I didn’t know it.

We could shake our fists
In times like this
When we don’t understand
Or we could just hold hands

You and me, me and you
Where you go, I’ll go too
I’m with you, I’m with you
‘Til your heart finds a home
I won’t let you feel alone
I’m with you, I’m with you

I sought help. A dear woman came along side me. For the first time in my life, someone stood near me and wouldn’t leave. She was there to see it through. You see, she’s one of the mightiest people I know. She loves fiercely and often gently. She sees. She hopes. Oh and she prays. On some of the hardest nights of my struggling to find words, to fight the terror that came with memories, the emotional strongholds, the physical flash backs, she sat next to me, she held my hand, she held my heart. She was my Ruth. She was not giving up on me. She wouldn’t let me go.

You do your best to build a higher wall
To keep love safe from every wrecking ball
When the dust is cleared we will
See the house that love rebuilt
Guarding beauty that lives here still

And I fought her at times, I fought her will. I fought her love. I doubted and questioned. I pushed her away, or at least I tried. My walls were high. The cost of letting another in was even higher. But she stayed. She slowly did the work of loving me, of taking bricks down gently, one at a time. She encouraged me in ways I would never have dreamed of, in ways that someone who really KNOWS you is able to. This was not easy for either of us and it was costly. It took sacrifice. It took bravery. It took love. I never knew such a love existed.

Some nights we’d lay in bed and just hold hands because life was painful. She wept for the pain that this life can hold and do to another. She expressed anger. She gave my a right to feel, to feel whatever I did, without a need to keep a wall, no matter how seemingly “ungodly” my feels appeared. She stayed by my side. Dinners, outings, holidays, birthdays, family days, everyday things, church events. She stood near me, often literally. The power of being WITH someone can alter a life. It did mine.

Who can say I’m left with nothing?
When I have all of you, all of you, yeah
In the way you’ve always loved me
I remember He does too

About a year ago, I drove by her old house. She had moved a couple weeks prior out of state. And I missed her terribly. I missed her whole family, a part of my family. It was a place I drew chalk pictures on the sidewalk with her kids. A home I spent countless dinners, lunches, and weekend afternoons at. I discovered new foods in her home. I discovered a new way of life. Her home was small, but it was warm. And I went back that day, just because I missed her.

I crept up the stairs to her old home and looked around her yard, for any reminder that she used to live there, for something to grasp, some memory that it all happened, that it mattered. As if this location held some power.

I looked in the window and saw everything empty. Nothing. I gasped, a little shocked. Shocked that this was just a house. And I learned that day, home isn’t so much about a location, a physical house. Home is a people. A people who get you, who know you and still want you. Home is the place you’re welcomed back into without needing a welcome. Home is a people that hold your heart when you’ve forgotten it somewhere along the pain of life. Home is a people who fill a house.

She gave everything she had to me. What was once used to harm me, doesn’t harm me anymore. Love covered that, revealed it, and is healing it. The love of God through her sacrifices, through her love. I know what it means to have a home. To be loved.

She gave me shelter for my wounds and she stood and held me many times when I was too weak, to shattered to hold my own heart.

Even though Jesus had the 99 sheep, He still would go back to find the one that was struggling. That one is worth much. Each one is worth much. Sometimes the cost of bringing one back is heavy. Oh but people are worth it. So worth it.

Love is rebuilding a home in me. What was once used to hurt, is now being used to heal. She saw beauty in me and called it out. Now I know what a home is.

31 Days of Writing: Home

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