Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Treasure of Words and the Gift of Dependence

I want to tell you everything, to repeat every kind word and every heartfelt moment from this past week, but words cannot contain all that is in my heart. My mind cannot wrap around it. Perhaps I finally understand what it meant that Mary “pondered these things in her heart.” 

I have been filled with so much encouragement, so much love, gifts, joy, and change, that language does not even have the capacity to express their impact. My brain cannot process, cannot contain, cannot express. I have received so many words, blessings, and prayers, and all I could do was place them close to my heart and let them absorb. In the center of my being I pondered the beauty that has surrounded me and the words and encouragement has seeped into everything that I am. As the words of faithful friends wrap around me they have fortified me, and I am overwhelmed. My heart is the only place that can process all that I have received, and it is a beautiful and overwhelming feeling.

I am blessed beyond measure to have the strength of others holding me up. And I have come to understand what it means to treasure up words and ponder them in your heart. It is to have your heart so full that pure words cannot reflect the power of what you have received. 

All the blessing of the past week I have received because I am in transition. One year ago I drove across the open roads of California and Arizona headed for the first time to the White Mountain Apache reservation, armed with a “fierce sense of independence.” Over the past 2 days I drove the same roads, this time with my car a little more full and my heart a little more heavy. The miles passed much as before as I headed to my new home, but as I continued to ponder everything in my heart, I realized that I no longer possessed the previous summer's independence. 

That fierce sense of independence had been replaced with an overwhelming sense of dependence. Gone was the girl bent to do things on her own. Instead the miles passed with an overwhelming sense of need. Not a single mile was traveled without the words of my friends running through my head and giving me strength to keep on. Not a single moment passed without remembering their blessings, their love, support, and encouragement. Every mile I wanted to turn around, but their support spurred me on and held me up as all my strength left. I could feel them pushing me onward with their prayers and thoughts, and as I crumbled, they carried me. I relied heavily on the words of Fuller friends spoken to me over the last few days, and I was only able to drive with peace because I was reminded that angels had hemmed me in, protecting my journey. 

And in those hours of driving I realized that what I had been fighting for for so long I no longer wanted. It was not independence that I was made for, but dependence. I have had to lean heavily on my Fuller community, and in this God has strengthened me, lifted me up, and given me the ability to do what I cannot. It is only through dependence that I have been able to make this transition, and I am beyond grateful. For even though the days ahead are uncertain, I know that I am loved, that I am cared for, and that I am believed in. I know that my strength comes not from me, but from the people who have been active examples of God in my life. 

I could not have done it without all of you, especially my Fuller family. Thank you for being my strength, and for making me feel more loved than I ever thought possible. I am beyond blessed, and I will never stop praising God for placing each one of you in my life. 

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