An end-of-the-year challenge

[My friends and I gave each other an assignment a few weeks ago: the task of writing a letter to a-year-younger version of ourselves, on the verge of 2017. So, below is the letter I would write to the woman who was me on December 31st, 2017.  She sat at her computer, much like I do now, planning and plotting for the year to come, and these are the words I would share with her.]

Dear Fabienne,

Happy New Year! Welp. You made it through 2016!

The darkest place.

Oh, to find the grace that lives at the bottom of the darkest place.

Oh, soul, to find the grace that lives at the bottom of the darkest place is to find the grace that can survive the most unbearable conditions.  It is to find the rarest of all graces, it is to find the grace that very few humans ever touch and see.  It is to find a grace that burns with the brightest light, that is able to glow with no outside influence, that needs no external encouragement or nourishment to survive, but fuels itself without end.

Full.

There’s a part of me that can’t focus today. I can’t do anything, because I’m so caught off guard by this fullness that is bubbling up inside of me.

As I sit here alone in this coffee shop all I can think is that I am all here.  All of me.  And what a shock that is.  After all the loss, after watching the people be taken from me that I could not live without, after feeling essential parts of me be torn out, how can it be that I am all here?

How can it be that no part of me is missing?

Jesus or His bread?

I laid in bed last night and tried to open my heart to Him. I tried to tell Him what I was feeling and articulate what I was longing for or aching for but there was just this sadness.  A weariness.  So I closed my eyes and went to sleep banking on new mercies.

And here they are to meet me.  Not in the way I would prefer, which is waking up feeling good and clear and excited about the week ahead.