As I sang along to every song, I couldn’t help but remember the first NEEDTOBREATHE concert I attended. It was only a week or so after receiving news that would change forever my family and future. Things that I thought would never change quickly became unstable.
I was living in the tension of love and loss, feeling deeply the pain of mourning.
Yet, weeks before I knew my life would change in the blink of an eye, I had planned a trip to surprise my sister at her initiation into my beloved sorority, Phi Mu, and a part of that surprise was a ticket to the NEEDTOBREATHE concert.
The night of initiation, I hid behind friends until just the right moment… and then my sweet sister and I locked eyes and grabbed each other into the biggest embrace… An embrace that had words of it’s own.
It screamed that our lives had changed. It whispered that we were so unsure. It spoke of our fears.
But more than anything, this tight hug spoke to our togetherness in this life of uncertainty and brokenness. And I am not sure that I can think of a more precious and sincere moment in all my life. Because that’s what pain does: it makes us feel things more fully and genuinely, both the good and the bad.
Pain makes us honest and real. It brings us into the present moment. We feel the past pain but grasp frantically for that moment of hope and joy and love in the present.
And that’s what I felt when I held my sister in my arms that night. Pain, yes… but an even sweeter joy that told me this world is broken… but God gives sweet gifts to remind us of His presence and His future that is never uncertain. He gives us sister hugs. He gives us a night to remember at a NEEDTOBREATHE concert (we met the band after!). He gives us moments of grace, tenderness, and honesty.
And all of a sudden, in the midst of pain beyond belief, things that seemed so little, maybe even normal, like a hug after months of being far apart… these things suddenly fill the heart deeply with love and hope. For these things, I’m surely grateful.
~ It’s my first post of my gift counting in a LONG time, but I’m still counting to 1,000 and so grateful for the gifts He gives me. Here’s some of my list lately... ~
746. God’s Word in the Psalms, spoken over my heart
(I’m listening to the Bible on my way to and from internship!)
747. Finishing my first 5k!
748. The comfort of rain showers
749. The smell of fresh rain
754. Beautiful skies this week
755. God things
760. Beautiful music with beautiful friends
764. Pink cotton candy fluff
765. Cotton candy sugar sparkles
770. Darcy’s velvet nose
(don't you just want to kiss it?)
771. Chocolate chip handfuls
772. Breakfast for supper
Have a blessed week, my friends!