it's almost midnight and I am sitting on a train traveling from new york city back to dc. after two weeks of traveling from one coast to the other I am finally heading…home. yes, I just called dc home. it feels sort of weird. anyway. lately, words have come and gone at the strangest times. they have eluded me when I most needed them and then have filled my mind to the point of over-flowing when I most needed to do things like sleep. and so it is now. I would love to sleep. to have this train rock me to sleep as we pass through new york and delaware and maryland. yet words and sentences keep coming to me with such force that it is all I can do to type them out and give them a permanent place to rest. tonight, only writing will do the trick.
in the past 10 days I have traveled from one coast to the other. dc to san francisco to dc to new york with a few stops in between. I have spent more time than I care to count in transit - four airports, two train stations, and one white mustang convertible driving down the california coastline. I have walked through chinatowns in two cities separated by 3000 miles. I have seen the golden gate bridge and the brooklyn bridge within seven days of one another.
in the same way, and with similar velocity and speed, I have traveled from one emotion to the next. the calm of peace and joy before the storm of confusion and grief. extreme cities that have overwhelmed my senses. extreme emotions that have knocked the wind out of me and hit me from all sides all at once. and I am tired. tired in the way that sleep won't fix. I am fighting to keep my head above water but survival mode really is an exhausting way to live. of course, there is always someone to blame. but let's be honest - there is really no one to blame. we are broken people. this is not what we were created for. but this is where we are.
and yet. in the midst of our despair there is always an opportunity to experience something outside of despair. with my heart feeling like stone and my stomach like jelly. there is always hope. there is always the odd moment of beauty that reminds me that I was made for more than this. we were made for more than this. we are broken. but it won't be this way forever. we are grieving. but one day joy will come and it will not leave. by the grace of God. we are a glorious ruins.
and if there's one thing I know about all this, it's that I just have to thank my lucky stars for all of the people who have loved on me like it was their full-time job over the past two weeks. because thanks to them just as there have been lots of tears, there has been a whole lot of laughter too. and while they have encouraged me to face the moments of pain and confusion, they have also made me embrace the moments of silliness and joy. laughter truly is the best medicine. especially when it's because of something ridiculous and nonsensical.
so here's to you, friends. those of you who have sat with me and cried with me and let me use up all your kleenex. who have given me excessively long hugs and let me pick the movie and even have ice cream for dinner. who have let me turn up the heater and made me dinner and baked pumpkin pies so the house smelled delicious. who have helped me notice little bits of beauty that still float all around and pop up out of nowhere like fireflies. who have called and emailed and prayed from thousands of miles away. I may not have called or emailed back, but please know how incredibly thankful I am.
because here's the thing: all of it fed my soul like water. every single word and gesture and hug has lifted me a bit more out of survival mode and a bit closer to healing. even when you didn't know what to do or say, just knowing you are there has made all the difference. that has been more than enough. and I have been completely blown away by how God has shown me his love through you. I am overwhelmed. in the best way.