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Baked spaghetti

My feelings are a tangled mess that seemed to sort themselves out over the baked spaghetti that I layered into a pan for this evening’s dinner. As the tears brimmed, my heart ached.

I spoke to my mom about plane tickets as I boiled spaghetti noodles. I complained about prices and traveling but really I was just saying, “I really miss you.”

I reluctantly attended a Bible study this morning. I procrastinated in every way possible. My heart was already boarded up, hoping no one would take the time to converse with me or ask “real” questions. I felt like an outsider. I was. I had only been there twice (counting today) and the things these women talked about and the connections they had were deeper than my two meetings. There was a woman at this meeting who was moving far away. My head flooded with memories of my people-my family and friends-this time last year gathering around me in prayer. Those tears shed today were such a beautiful reminder of community and fellowship and it hurt so badly. I miss that deep connection. I know I’ll find it, I’m finding it slowly, but it was like rubbing salt deep into a wound.

There is a bittersweet tinge to this season. I get to a point that feels “right” and then suddenly like a gut punch, I miss all that once was. I miss my old life, people, all the things. Maybe there is a bittersweet tinge to all of life’s journeys. We leave one thing behind to pursue another, we move forward and have to let go of the past. I guess every one of us is on a journey, we just wear different shoes.

So the question is, “What is God’s purpose in this journey?” If I dwell too much on the “me aspect” of life, I miss it-completely. My melancholy spirit and selfishness leave no room for healing, no room in my heart, no open spaces to explore, no place for true joy and peace that comes from Jesus alone.

I don’t mean I don’t grieve. I don’t mean I don’t feel sad. I don’t mean I don’t remember or cry or get angry. I just mean I have to walk forward with my hands completely untethered so I can balance on this path that Jesus has put before me. This is a daily choice. Some days are hard and others, easy. Some days taste like honey and others taste like molasses, not quite to that sweetness I’d prefer,with a tinge of bitter metal tanginess.

So here I am with open hands to Jesus, walking forward on this path, with a baked spaghetti casserole to serve up to my family tonight. I’ve heard food served with love is good but I think food made with shed tears may be even better.

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