Rejoice Rejoice

by Alison Rodgers

There are few things in life that are more important than the people that you love…who love you in return.  Faith in God (however that looks for you all across the world) and faith in yourself are both important.  Next to that, there is only the knowledge that the people who love you are there, rain or shine, dark and light, on and off, there and back again.  They are the glue in the system.  Sometimes I picture Bri as that owl sounding out in the night reminding me that the forest is never empty, even when I feel utterly alone.  Love conquers everything.

The wind is blowing against my office window on what looks like a cold and blustery November day, but it’s not.  April in Indiana…it can change in a flash.  Today has been a stressful moment followed by another, and that hooting owl in my mind reminds me that I put to much stock in the lives of people who are at best temporary.  I have to learn to trust that inner voice that whispers “let go” to me when things don’t work out to plan.  That is most of the time.  I am getting better at it now, the feeling that I don’t really control much in the world and that I don’t really have to.  I am at peace with it in some ways…still fighting the battle in others.

The blues and their medical counterpart still dog my steps.  No matter where I go or what I do, there is this shadow I cannot seem to divest, the memory that lurks in every corner….that immortal fixation on the words “what if.”  Terrible words in some respects, honestly harsh to the heart.  There is not a what if in the past tense…only what is.  The Buddhist faith has this right…there is no yesterday, only the present reality that has come to us as a gift and will soon depart to make tomorrow the present.  There is no past tense “if only.”  That is not a gift, but a curse.  It’s wishing to change that which can never be changed.

Philippians is a great book in the Christian bible, one that I just finished translating from the Greek moments ago.  Of the whole thing, there are two thoughts that I take away as my own, things that I can hold on to from this moment into all of those that follow.  First, “rejoice and again, I say rejoice.”  I think about all the things that Paul suffered through in prison and where he was when he wrote those words.  In the midst of such hardship there is this crinkled little man saying rejoice. Serious  love, none of that pansy, can’t make time for you stuff.  No lack of buy in on his part, but a soul dedicated to the love of his life.  I realize that his serious love being Christ is a little daunting, but the principal is all the same.  As I am here in my office I can see the eyes of Christ fixed on me from a not so far away place, that little smile and shake of his head telling me that I’ve gotten off track again.  I am here for a reason….and the shadow that haunts me is not it.  I am…I am….I am…I am.

The view from my window may change with the seasons, but it’s what I remember that I long to change.  I am rewriting my own history one small section at a time by recreating new thoughts and feelings.  I am making healthy choices, and surround myself with people who remind me of them ~ life coach called me on it today, and he’s right.  I am buried in “busy.”  That is a good thing to realize.  Along the way of emotional growth and self actualization, I am honored by this amazing group of people called “my family” who is there…rain or shine, crazy or sane, pain or no…and they never let go.  Humbled by it all.

The second thing that I love about Philippians that I will leave you with?  May the peace and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be in your Spirit, forever and forever.  No matter what you believe or where, what name we give for our divine….you’re never alone. Like the owl in the forest, you’re always going to hear that faint sound of your own heartbeat, telling you that you’re unique, beloved and real.  Live into that…not “if only.”

Abased or abound in all circumstances, let there be peace in your life.

Rejoice, again, I say rejoice.

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