Traveling Soldier

I have been traveling around the US for the past several weeks, visiting family and friends. At each stop, I’ve been more and more filled with gratitude. For healing, for peace, for stability. For love.

Having lived outside of my home country for seven years now, I wondered if there would be any sense of belonging anymore, or if I would feel like an outsider.

I’ve been amazed to feel a connection with each person I’ve spent time with–a sense of common humanity and a welling understanding of how great our redemption is. When I meet a person, I can feel whether this same grace is center stage, or waiting patiently in the wings, or still in the understudy dressing room.

Experiencing healing this year has been so powerful. My sister says she noticed a difference–I seem calmer. I notice a difference, too. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’m not worried about offending or being offended or saying the wrong thing. I know some of the depth of my weakness–my desire for approval, for example. The way I strive for self-worth as if it were not already a given. And the depth of grace that is more than big enough, so I can rest. So how can I give offense when, having seen the availability of grace, I have been given this new openness, this new compassionate interest, this lack of judgment?

I realized in words this morning that healing is an identity issue. Anger and depression and mania and sleeplessness are there when things seem to be about the personal ME, and creating enough space for myself–a defensive use of elbows to make room for this person who must be OK, who must be understood, who needs to become significant.

But when my identity is to be fully loved and accepted and forgiven, that childishness disappears. The sharp elbows are not needed. The connection is there with others, who are the same–whether they see it or not. Freedom is there to be a blessing and to provide understanding, patience, listening. And freedom to receive that blessing and care from others.

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