Mary has been on my mind for the last few weeks. Actually, that's not quite true. She's been on my mind for the last few years. But she suddenly reappeared in the last few months, and I have slowly disappeared over the last few days. Long story short: my heart has ached for her. Partly for what I did not know, but mostly for what I did. I knew she was lost and lonely. I knew her marriage was falling apart. I knew that it was falling apart because she now needed to protect her children and herself from the man she had married in order to try and save her children and herself. And I knew that when I thought of her and how she had disappeared, my heart sank to my feet and my throat tightened.
After a four year absence, in which I constantly thought of and prayed for her, ever wondering where she had gone to and how I could find her again, suddenly her name popped up on my Facebook friend requests and it felt incredibly surreal to see her face again, even on a screen.
I was surprised that she found me. I was even more surprised that she actually remembered me. See, I have this complex where I seem to think that no one ever remembers who I am. But this isn't about me, so let's not start going down that road.
Anyway, shortly after we "reconnected", I felt myself being led into this time of silence and letting go of basically everything and everyone- where I find myself right now. Not in a dramatic or depressing way, but rather in a way that would allow me to understand the true nature of need. And freedom. And love. And trust in God. And all of the sudden, I found myself in the same position I was in 4 years ago- worried about Mary, and wondering if giving her up was even an option. She had said very little, but told me so much- mainly that she was going through an incredibly difficult time and really needed me.
But I think as much as she thought she needed me, I may have, unfortunately, needed her more- to affirm my own insecurities by being a shoulder to cry on, to receive answers the questions that had plagued me for 4 years, to (and this is the really mind boggling part about it) really and truly be there for her, but in the most selfish of ways, where my genuine care and concern begin to fade in light of how much I just want to be seen as useful and strong by someone- ANYONE.
But I was told so clearly to walk away from EVERYONE- even the people that asked me not to or told me they needed me. So there was only silence between Mary and me for the last two weeks- until today.
Through no effort or planning of either one of us, we found ourselves in the same coffee shop earlier this afternoon- a coffee shop that I hadn't been to on my own volition in months. I had been sitting there for a few hours when I saw her walk in and yelled her name without hesitation. She yelled mine back and ran towards me. I jumped up to hug her, and she immediately started crying. Little did I know, and how could I have even known, that today was the day she signed her divorce papers.
The last time Mary and I had seen each other in person was her wedding day. Four years ago.
There is no other word to use than "purposed", and I must say that I like that word a lot better than "planned". And maybe one of the many things that this time was intended for was to remind me that I am not a Divine Creator. And that the One Who is can still be trusted to create- even to create beautiful moments like the one I had with Mary.
I had to let go of Mary to realize that I could not be what she needed. I placed her at the foot of the throne of a God who loves her and knows what she needs. And today, He knew that she needed to see me, though the does not need me. Which is why it is all the more powerful that we did not arrange this meeting- lest I begin to believe myself to actually be what she needs, and she begin to believe she actually needs me. But even still, I cannot be what she needs- HE is what she needs. He brought that moment about. He knows her heart. He can be trusted with her heart. I must believe that He can be trusted with her heart, and then be humbled when He decides to use me for His purposes in the midst of her healing process. But I have to let go FIRST in order for this to happen.
And the extra beautiful thing is that Mary also let go of me. I was not even allowed to give her the option to cling to me in the midst of her pain, but rather, I was taken from her so that she would be able to clearly see the true Healer- and not the poor shadow that I might have tried to be or she might have tried to make me. And so, I realize that as I am learning how to love people by letting them go, the people in my life are learning to do the same with me. They love me by letting me go. And this is evidenced by the fact that they respond by not responding; they give me silence when I have to ask it of them. They don't fret over me. They don't protest my decision. They pray for me as they humbly and submissively respond in love by letting me go. And so we become a powerful circle; a sincere and vulnerable community, full of grace and sacrificial love for each other; never clinging to each other, but always trusting the Creator with each other.
And so I see, once again, that this is why all things must die, in order to be resurrected as intended. When we sacrifice things, and relinquish control, we acknowledge and reaffirm Who is the actual Creator. We are no longer attempting to create or plan out our own days or destinies. The moment that Mary and I shared in the coffee shop was so readily realized as a gift- because we did nothing to make it occur. The Creator was immediately glorified in our coming together because we were so clearly brought together. Now, I won't go so far as to say that I think that this means that from now on I need to never plan anything again, and forever remain intentionally aloof from everyone I care for and love. But what I will do is go on from here and learn from this. And continue to dig down deeply into it, so as to discover more and more truths about this God that just is Love, Himself.
But as for right now, I have come to see, very very clearly, that THIS is why I cannot need anything or anyone more than I trust Him. Because I have not been made to. My heart was built to continually recognize the beauty of the way He has created and still continues to create. If only I will let go enough to allow Him to do so...