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?

Is He a better restorer than He is a creator? Or else how can it be that I am more whole now than I ever was?  Or is it simply that the creation itself, the original design has been so distorted by other voices that long to make me in their image, that this process of restoration is actually just the process of revealing the creation?

I have been unearthed somehow.  Each essential thing that has been torn away has someone made me more me.  And that is hard to understand, because they were beautiful and glorious gifts, these dreams, these people, these character traits that I have lost.  Breathing in and out, learning to survive without them was like learning to live without a vital organ.  But in their absence, my other senses have grown stronger to compensate for the loss.

Or maybe not.  I don’t know.  Maybe that is wishful thinking, or hope talking out loud.

All I know is this moment’s miracle: as I sit here and type these words, I am all here. I am full.  All of me exists.

I know that does not feel like the case for so many of you today. I know that it has not been the case for me in so many moments and I’m tempted to point out the wounds still marking my soul so that I can show you – you are not alone in feeling unraveled, in feeling that these limbs you have lost are too to move forward without. You are not alone in that feeling.

All I can do is tell the story He is writing in me today, and today – maybe just for today – there is a truth that feels so tangible and I cannot help but be shocked by how real it is: maybe suffering really does produced an endurance that will keep you going long enough to unearth your true character and maybe that character will give you new eyes.  Maybe when you endure, when you survive your loss, when you face it and grieve it fully, maybe you will find yourself full at the end of all the emptying.

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