Tonight I am grateful that I have a place where I can come home and find my husband here to help me feel safe and wanted and loved. I was a little late getting home, and D called to check on me. What an amazing thing, that there's another human being on this planet who cares enough to call to make sure I'm okay. When I came in, he stood up to give me a kiss and asked how I'm doing. I am truly grateful. Tonight I hold the reality of this gift with gentle care, like you'd hold a baby chick in the palm of your hand, stroking it tenderly and aware of its fragile life. How utterly remarkable that this gift of love and care between two people exists and is actually here for me.
So many years alone and lonely. Oh yes, I am grateful.
Being in a new job--all is well, I have no reason to think that this won't be a wonderful place to serve God in ministry--but it takes time to establish relationships, to connect and feel accepted. G took the time to call me this morning on my cell phone. She's a delightful woman from my previous church who was in the last Companions in Christ group that I led. She just wanted to wish me well and let me to know that I am missed. And S, who emailed me to say that I had touched her life and that I would never, ever be forgotten. Those were her words: touched her life and I would never, ever be forgotten. I just...I mean, ... words fail me. I do not know how to express how much that means to me.
I miss them. Oh, I do; I miss them. And while it's fine, being at the new church, settling in my office, getting to know my co-workers, making appointments, etc.~it's all just fine. But the truth is, I feel utterly alone there.
It occurs to me, here, just now, that this is a familiar feeling for me. That's why it has such power to hurt and is, at some deep level, unacceptable to me. I do not want to feel alone and cut-off anymore.
I know it's not the same...because I'm not the same. When I felt this way in years past, the feeling included an element of fear, desperation--after all, who knew that I didn't have to feel this way, who knew that it wouldn't feel like this for the rest of my life?
Now I am confident that I know how to connect to others out of my authentic self--not the needy, clinging self who was so desperate to be loved and accepted.
I'm not afraid that I'll never connect with people at the new church. It's simply a matter of time and patience. In the meantime, yes, I miss my dear parishioners at my previous church, and, yes, I am so very grateful for my dear D who has offered such profound comfort for me this week.