It’s been a long time since my last blog. Yeah, I guess I’m hiding, and an unpredictable internet connection is a great help in running from writing.
I totally skipped blogging about my 42nd birthday. It was a quiet celebration with friends, and a date with my family the next day. Me finally getting to wear a little black dress, which I covered up with a gigantic black pashmina.
Call it prudish sexiness.
Then came our son David Rey Sebastian’s 8th birthday-death anniversary. For the first time in those 8 years, it almost slipped our minds, Irl’s and mine. It was Jodie who reminded us about it as the day was ending.
I guess the grief has finally abated.
My mother’s 6th death anniversary was a rainy day. It marked two things for me: my first mall show hosting.
And the beginning of my sabbath year.
It’s been quite a journey, and yes, a bit wearisome too. Knowing your calling, getting opportunities, then wham! Door slammed shut in your face. The first word that ought to have prepared me for this call to rest had I understood it came 3 years ago:
“Stop giving away what I have not told you to give away.”
I thought that meant no more volunteering, no more “favors.” I had started to understand that what I thought was giving of myself, my mother, when she was still alive, considered exploitation: I was putting in solid work, but was not getting paid adequately, if at all. And I finally understood that it was casting a not-so-good image of “ministry”.
So I started getting involved elsewhere. Writing. Assisting. Still singing too, when asked.
Then they one by one started getting stripped away from me too. But this time, I was ready. I began to see that God my Lord and Father was working things out to give me what I so badly needed but kept forgetting to do:
Not just physical rest, but a Sabbath rest. A rest, not just from the grind, but for enjoying what God has done. Enjoying God. Enjoying Irl. Enjoying Jodie and Roni. Enjoying friends.
And I am learning that all over. God wants me to enjoy Him, which makes it easier to obey Him. “Basking in Your love” was how I used to describe it in my old journals, which I had to dig up searching for the words of the song I wrote for my wedding (I can’t remember the middle part: 2nd verse and 1st half of the bridge). I was stunned to see the intimacy I had, the boldness to tell God everything I felt, from the thrill of seeing a crush smile at me to the anger and frustration with myself for failing, in more ways than one. Confusion on how to deal with friends who did not believe in Jesus: do I stay with them, do I avoid them? Helplessness at my family’s refusal to recognize His lordship. Selfish frustration at the many times I couldn’t get what I want when I want the way I want.
And surprisingly enough, surrender. Constant surrender to the Love who will not let me go.
He’s right. I need to rest and enjoy Him again. How did I lose it? Deaths, and the need to survive after them. For the past six years, I have had to shoulder responsibilities not meant for me, and Jesus is saying, “Stop.” And finally, I am. Stopping. Resting. Enjoying.
First verse and chorus of Speak My Name, our wedding song:
I love You, Jesus
I know it’s true
I know that all my life was one big search for You
Until You found me
to bring me home
And as You hold my hand, I know I’m not alone
You let me hear your heartbeat
That’s where You speak my name
No matter how the world turns
You will always be the same
You take me in Your arms
You will never change
I hear the sounds of heaven
When You speak my name