Monday, March 26, 2012

Past, Present, & Future

I take a deep breath as I pull open the heavy metal door.

Every time I walk into this room, a flood of memories wash over me.

Birthday parties. Christmas dinners. Youth activities. Work functions.

This space memorializes so many moments over the past twelve years of my life.

The time Steve* and I got into a fight over styrofoam.
The time I sprained my ankle as a youth camp counselor.
The time I learned to make smokin' hot chilli.
The time I felt like a princess at my very own bridal shower.

So as I cross the threshold to celebrate another young woman embarking on her own love journey, I cannot help but think of the crests and valleys of my own wanderings that have taken me across oceans and back again and again.

The changes in my heart and soul have slowly shifted me worlds away from the woman I used to be. The people who sit at the tables inside only know a portion of the woman that will soon walk through the doorway and celebrate with them.

The growing chasm of differences loom greatly like the crossing of the Grand Canyon, and I find myself once more overwhelmed at the anticipation.

Insecurity racks my mind and heart, and paralysis threatens my desire to feel accepted in spite of this new skin, in which I myself am still growing accustomed.

So with another deep breath, fortifying my fledging courage, I enter into the room filled with many familiar faces. My tardiness leaves me at an even greater disadvantage since everyone is already seated and eating, and I wonder where I will sit and if I will be welcomed at that table.

I place my purse close to the food area, praying for wisdom, mercy, grace, SOMETHING to help me, as I pick up a plate, buying time while I peruse the culinary selections.

At that moment, a high-pitched voice startles me from my inward anxieties,
"Miss Lindsey!"

I turn to the sound of the voice to see a grinning six year old with barbecue on her lips, inviting me with her eyes to come over, so I yield and walk towards her table. With beaming pride and a heart full of acceptance she quickly points, "There is a seat just for you right next to me."

My heart melts.
That the reception of a child would fill my heart with such welcome blows me away.

I quickly fill my plate, greeting fellow guests along the way, and finally slid my way into the seat next to the little princess. She smiles and chatters away, telling me about her life and thoughts. Her mom, sitting across from me, opens up with sincerity, "Hannah* said when you walked away, 'Mommy, look how happy everyone is to see Miss Lindsey.'"

My heart beat quickens, and I cannot help but smile.

"Why, thank you, Hannah!"

She smiles as she devours her morsels.

Watching her chew, I could not help but think of how just a few little words could remind me not only of the person I had been, but also of the woman that I still am as well as the soul that I AM destined to be.

I am defeated, and know it, if I meet any human being
from whom I find myself unable to learn anything.
~George Herbert Palmer

*Names changed


Ramona said... Best Blogger Tips

Awww!!! what a sweetie. I love how you painted the picture for us. I could almost see this happening.

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Ramona! Your words give me courage. My writer's heart is so fickle and often weary.  I appreciate your kindness greatly.

Jen said... Best Blogger Tips

I just love children! I also love how God used a 6 year old to come against that insecurity you were feeling. Isn't He so good to meet us where we are?

Stacey said... Best Blogger Tips

That was beautiful! I especially love the last paragraph. Well said.

Brendab said... Best Blogger Tips

I always enjoy your stories. Your post is enlightening, encouraging, and so well written. You grab my heart and pull me along with your experiences.

Julia said... Best Blogger Tips

I really love this. Everything you write is so warm and beautiful and happy and moving :) love you lindsey :)

Gina said... Best Blogger Tips

The part I liked the best is when the six year old girl gave youna seat for your meal at just the moment you were feeling insecure. Lovely story.

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Me too! He is so cool like that...and I just love kids too so I am always open to what they can teach me as much as what I can teach them!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Stacey! I really appreciate it!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Brenda! That means a lot. Do you have a blog? I can't tell by your handle here if I have read yours before or if we are IRL friends.  Thank you for the encouragement means a lot!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Awww..thank Julia! That means a lot that you can find happiness and warmth in my writing in spite of the hard time...THAT gives ME hope that I am working through it and sharing it the way that gives HIM the glory!

Stephanie said... Best Blogger Tips

Beautifully written. Children know JUST the thing to say sometimes, don't they? Such wisdom to be gained in the presence of little ones.

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh they do..they do! And I agree..I feel like I learn as much from them as they have ever learned from me....I might even learn more...what treasures God gives to us in them...and not just in the obvious ways!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Gina! That was the best part for me answered prayer in the shape of a half pint! ;-)

Jana @Grace for My Mess said... Best Blogger Tips

Sweet Lindsey, I know there is pain and questioning behind your words, but I also hear hope and the promise that He is making all things new. Thank you for this beautiful glimpse into your heart, my friend. You are always a blessing.

Lauracpurdom said... Best Blogger Tips

Really, really enjoyed reading this!!!!

Beverly Brumbley said... Best Blogger Tips

With tears in my eyes, I read the story....because I know you were also "that little girl" to so many when you were growing up.  As I read, I saw you in that role.  God knows the connection and the personality we need to reach out to us.  Beautiful story, Baby!  

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Laura! I am SO glad!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips are so perceptive and kind. Even though I have never met you in person, you GREAT BIG OLE heart just shines through in your words. I appreciate you!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank, Mom...that helps to encourage me and makes me realize how it was even more of a past, present, and future colliding moment. God does know EXACTLY what we need!

Kimberly Sullivan said... Best Blogger Tips

What a lovely story, and what a lovely messenger He sent to you.  I have often felt the way you did in this story, and I venture to say that most of your readers do.  We've all felt awkward in some way at some time.

Julie Anne said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm having a comparing and not measuring up moment. :) beautiful writing... So thankful for kids opening their hearts. Also, I've so been there in the fear of finding a seat in a large group... Which is why the thought of actually going to Allume also freaks me out! :)

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Kimberly! She was a sweet little messenger...and just the appropriate one at that moment. I love how God's heart plays out for us!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, Julie! I felt that way last year too...I got my ticket within a week of Relevant/Allume and was staying in a room with ppl I had never met OR even read their blogs. But I am SO glad that I went even though it did feel awkward the first night, I will be honest, but seriously, I made two new best friends...who I talk to via phone as well as social media all the time. They enrich my life! So have you bought your ticket already?

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