Life is strange.
i was born with a fire in my belly... but i remember being eleven or twelve and becoming in a season, lonely for death. Life felt heavy, and for whatever reason, i felt overwhelmed by it.
i was so little - and even now, i wonder what it was that bruised my young heart to make me feel something i've never felt - even briefly - since then. Whatever it was, it increased my ability to empathize with others who have felt a longing for endings in longer lasting seasons than i ever experienced, and for that, i'm grateful. Before that short lived season of 'ending', and after it... i've felt nothing but a passionate hunger for life: i don't want to miss any, i want to learn, think, see, hear... i want to do, to become, to grow, to laugh... In a lot of ways, i see life the same way i've seen my fertility: i'll never be the girl who said, "Well, that's enough of that..."
i think most people think about the timeline of their life at big milestone birthdays... "i'm 40... if i live to be 80, that means i'm half way there..."
So, in the shower i whispered to God words that are truer than any whispered anxiously in that season where i didn't understand that God had a purpose and a plan for tiny awkward me, and that i needed to be here to fulfil it. My voice sounded strange and soft as the steam rose around me with the sound of cartoons babbling incoherently from my bedroom, "God? i know you know what you're doing... but i need to say it out loud..."
No kids came running at the sound of my voice. Praying, or singing, shouting and rapping are all accepted practices in our showers - and i'm grateful for the grace afforded in this accomodation. Dancing is frowned upon, but mostly for practical reasons. Nobody wants a concussion... My sister tells me that God often hangs out in her shower too... This doesn't surprise me - that He would be available in the vulnerability that comes when a mother finds herself - if she's lucky - alone for a moment. We reach for Him like our littles reach for us, and find Him willing. Today there were no operatic trills or growled spoken word versification... It was just a thought; one that i felt it was important to share with the One who breathes life.
"i want to live..."
& i know that He knows this already, because i often tell Him how grateful i am for my life, and how much i enjoy the work that He's allowed me to put my hands to.
"i want to live till i'm really, really old. i want to work hard and be fruitful... i want every breath that you'll give me, and if i get a vote in the matter... i just want it to be on the record that i told you how much i want to live."
i waited for an answer, a fluctuation in the temperature as the water ran over me, baptizing me into a new decade... washing away my fear, pulling away the fingers from my eyes as i discover this new me... whose evolution is as exciting as it is disconcerting.
i felt that familiar fire build and glow in my belly. A longing and a desire to live fully, to become like Him, to surrender completely. It's a fire i once ascribed to youth, but now recognize as my purpose. The fire grows with me, unhindered by the age of my bones or the remaining elasticity of my flesh. He put it there, and my faith has stoked the flames and allowed them to grow over time. It's not leaving me, but instead, through Him, it leads me.
And no matter what He chooses for me, it will be best - and i? i choose Him.