Heard It with My Eyes

God is still speaking

Waiting on a Best Friend

Have you ever moved? Likely. Have you made the move fairly far away from family and friends? Probably, college is pretty common. I haven’t lived in the same place for more than two years since I was 18. That is ten years. My husband can boast the same except for him it has been 16 years.

Now here I am having moved again about twenty months ago. I still feel like an outsider looking in. Almost every place I’ve moved I’ve become close with someone. In some cases I have even felt what I call “the click”. Anne Shirley, the famous fictional character from L.M. Montgomery, calls it kindred spirits. I can’t perfectly describe it for you, but it is something within you that just knows that this person relates to you, and you won’t have to wade through small talk for very long. I have yet to find that person in D.C. I’m frustrated by that. Many people have been perfectly amiable and spent time with me. They are even in similar life stages but something doesn’t line up. It isn’t that I don’t like these people; I just don’t feel the sweet connection I have felt with others thus far.

After four weeks back in my native city of Chicago all of this is amplified. I cried to my husband after our first night back that I wanted to go home.

“Like back to Chicago?” he said.

“Yes.” I replied. “And no. I want to go to the place that my heart will rest. My heart is tired.”

The old saying goes “Home is where the heart is.” As cliché as this may be, I don’t think it is far from the truth. My heart is restless because it doesn’t have a home. If you asked anyone, many people would cite their family as that place, but not everyone has the luxury of living close to family so when they leave or you do, there goes home. Others can’t even say that about family.

I had a conversation about this with a friend recently at a wedding. She has moved to Michigan from Illinois. Her husband asked her after conversing with her about relationships, “So basically you are just waiting for the perfect one?” Yes, was her answer.

We know it exists too, she and I, because we’ve had these friendships that click and go deep before we’ve said a word but time and space and marriage and babies and moves have changed those friendships. To be quite honest I want someone close by and the many women who I’ve had this special closeness with are now married and far so naturally they have become close to their husbands. Staying in touch doesn’t come naturally. It is work on both ends. Furthermore, there is nothing that replaces nearness. I have one friend that is an exception and I think it is because we so intentionally stay in touch.

Today, as I was cleaning the kitchen, I felt a sudden relief because God spoke to me and said, “You don’t need to depend on those people, or places, or special click for rest Anna. You have me.”

My joy does not rely on this earth and my home is not here. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still want those friendships but it reminds me that those friendships and places are only a shadow of my true home where my heart will sincerely rest. I’m not saying that you or I should give up the longing for intimacy with others. Keep it. But instead of looking for someone that perfectly fits you, abandon that and be friends with whoever, wherever because the person that gets you most made you. You may come across those “click” relationships again, but dear heart you are free from needing it. Free to be friends with people of all sorts, kinds, and types. In the meantime, while waiting for the click your life will be enriched by the effort it takes to get to know someone who is not like you. It won’t be easy. It will be hard and “the hard is what makes it great.”

I confess, it will often feel like you do need that super special connection or you can’t go on here or be happy. While you are thinking all of that, time is slipping by and you are living somewhere else with someone else in your head.

*I’m not trying to do the whole Jesus is your best friend thing, but he made you. Created you. No one knows you better so know one can fulfill you better. Even Jesus got sad and lonely and missed home because this earth is not our home. Our heart is only home when it is with the Father.

A Young Mother On Campus

Can I change my image of what a poet and writer is?
I picture a young woman, whimsical, dancing with every inspiring thought,charming the flowers and trees into words that sink into people to teach them beauty.
She sighs.
She sits alone and hides secrets with a grin until they are all ready to be spoken.
Her worries are minimal.
She thinks about what to wear.
My imaginary poet doesn’t change dirty diapers or research how to save money.
She doesn’t sing “Wheels on the Bus” for babies.
She’s vivacious.
She naps because she wants to, not because she has to.
Not because she nursed a crying baby three times last night.
My poet is sharp.
She doesn’t forget things, especially not groceries because she is not concerned for three other tummies, and she most definitely doesn’t use the word tummies.
This writer drinks tea and blended coffee because that is the drug beatnik poor artists use.
She doesn’t drink Earl Grey to stay awake or ask if the coffee is decaf because it might affect and eight month old sleeping.
She carries pens in her purse, not crayons.
She finishes sentences.
If my writer is a wife, she decorates with antiques that make her home feel like a sanctuary of colorful creative rooms. The details she has worked into every rug,curtain, and coffee table combination make guests jump to admiration.
There are not things as common and plastic as Bristle blocks and fake food.
She doesn’t have to hope for a clean table to serve dinner.
It is cloaked with a seasonal table runner that she made and dried flowers rest in a carefully chosen glass vase.
My poet is not a mother.
She is not pregnant or sore from carrying babies.
Her nipples aren’t sensitive because they are changing.
They are young and unstretched and feel untouched every time.
Her feet are dirty because she was running in fields of summer flowers
Not because she stepped in soggy cereal milk.
She does her hair as she pleases
Not as a toddler asks her to.
There are earrings and broaches adorning my poet’s ears and sweaters
Bought after carefully scouring thrift stores with her spare time.
She doesn’t have to hide her jewelry in drawers and at the back of dressers.
She wears flowy skirts and scarves
Not practical gym shoes and replaceable jeans.
She doesn’t fear stains.
My poet smells like spring
Not like laundry detergent.
My poet woman has time to make love.
Quickies are for flirting, not for necessity
But. But.
This woman does not know what it is like to see a baby clap for the first time.
Or open her arms to the tiny person that wants to be comforted by her alone.
She can’t write or understand what it is like to love a man by bearing his child.
She has not felt the swell of milk for a hungry mouth.
She has not been through a day where her goal is for others to live.
She has lived to be looked at, not to care for.
This poet doesn’t know the joy of play-doh or a playground.
That poet so far away is unaware how wonderful it is to see the pincher grasp mastered.
The relief of a sleeping child.
The ability to be romanced by dish washing.
To believe that she is beautiful with mismatched socks and white baking flour in her hair.
She doesn’t know about the richness in responsibility.
She thinks those things are caging.
She knows love to be charming and flattering, not bare and vulnerable.
But she will learn that trial and sacrifice and what she thought common are more poetic than perfume.
She will learn that flowers bloom more fully after much rain.
That mud is life giving.
She will learn that a poet can hold a pen and a baby.
A poet can wear one ring from one man as her only jewelry and not lack.
She will learn to hold hands with her husband and push a swing with the other.
She will learn.
She will change her picture of poet, and she will learn that it is more peaceful to live a poem written by Someone greater than to write her own.

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