These past few weeks have been hard.
Over Christmas, I went “home” to California to visit family and friends. It was a hard visit, with hard truths realized and new understandings reached. I am still processing those, and what they will mean for my life going forward. But regardless, they have left me with a sense of grief, and have changed the perspective on things I thought I saw clearly.
Following that visit, 2017 was ushered in, a new job was offered, the painful chapter of my last job officially ended, and a it felt as though a new page could turn. The truth is, the page did turn, I guess I had just been a bit optimistic in my expectations of what would be on that page.
I started my new job 2 weeks ago, and to say the transition has been difficult is putting it lightly. I didn’t quite realize the hope for healing I carried into this new chapter until the transition felt like I had been dropped into a den of wolves. I don’t hesitate writing that because the staff I oversee have used those words exactly.
As we have worked together to move things forward, and come out of the hard transition, my body and my spirit have taken more hits when they both needed time to just rest. Anxiety, hurtful actions and words, misplaced anger and resentment, and the weight of a new leadership role- possibly the biggest one of my career- all sat on my shoulders.
Then, this past Friday came. The day I had been dreading, and frankly denying, arrived whether I wanted it to or not.
My alarm went off on Friday morning at I awoke to a pit in my stomach and a feeling of nausea that I could not shake. As the day went on, and we confirmed our new president, my body continued to feel “off.” This coupled with the issues of the past two weeks coming to a head, the pain in my stomach gave way to headache and being cold. I am NEVER cold.
I got home, and crawled into bed. Freezing. My body had reached its limit. Plans to go to Austin, to march with my partner, our friends and my colleagues were cancelled, and I resigned myself to the fact that my body was crying “Uncle”. I slept, and slept.
When I woke up Saturday, the pit in my stomach was gone, but the exhaustion was VERY much present. My partner took me to breakfast, and then, back to bed I went. Then, something amazing happened.
Grace broke in. Grace broke through.
As Saturday passed, more and more news of the amazing marches going on around the world came through. And bit by bit, I realized that I am part of something bigger- something bigger than my job, my struggles, my needs, my fears. I am part of something bigger than the petty rantings of the man seated in the oval office.
I am part of something that calls us ever forward, that unites us, even when the temptation of division calls. I am part of something that allows me to see and hear you, even if we don’t look the same, or believe the same things. I am part of something, not created by me, but the something that is IN me, and IN you. I am part of Grace, of Love, of Truth, of HOPE.
I had to laugh that my body felt like it was shutting down, like something died, on Friday. It is a fitting day in my faith tradition- for it is on a Friday that we remember the death of Christ. And Sunday is the day we celebrate His rising again.
But Saturday. Saturday is where Grace breaks in- in the inbetween, the now and not yet. Saturday is where Grace found me and took hold, breathing new life, and new focus , back into me. Saturday is where Grace lives.
I am still tired. But I am no longer weary. There is still MUCH work to be done, but I know I don’t face it alone. There is a lot of anger, but more than that, there is an upswell of LOVE all around. I don’t know what is next, but I am no longer full of dread. There is much to celebrate, much to hope in, and much to be grateful for. May you find grace today, tomorrow, and every day. But when you are in need, may you find yourself renewed one quiet Saturday by the Grace that pursues us endlessly, even when we are too stubborn to give up the chase.