I'm days away from my feet touching the land Jesus walked. This morning I woke up with a profound sense of gratitude. I was remembering myself at eighteen. Fresh out of high school, beat up by life, and desperate to be known. I wandered for a while. Yet, even in my wandering, Jesus was so very faithful. Twenty years later, I find myself thinking about what I would want eighteen year old me to know. I would tell her that the shattered pieces of her life are not lost. Jesus keeps them in the palm of His hand. I would tell her that Jesus believes in her and she is more bold and risk taking than she thinks.
I am amazed at the way my tapestry continues to be woven by His hand. He is so careful, so attentive. He is gentle with the frayed threads, and never discards a single one. I am someone that came to him with all those frayed threads, all those shattered pieces, and didn't even know what to ask for. The only thing I knew to ask for was rest. I was tired, and my soul wanted rest. A fragile yes was all I had, and it was all He needed.
It occurred to me this morning, that me and Jesus, we've got a lot history now. He has turned my heart into a home for Himself. It is solid, sturdy, and built by His own hands. There are pictures hanging on the walls of our favorite moments together. Sometimes we stop and remember.
"That was a good one, huh?" He'll ask with a grin.
"Yeah... it was." I'll smile and nod.
Jesus has become my friend. My best friend. He is all the other things I talk about, too. Healer, Deliverer, Redeemer... but the most intimate, most treasured title He carries is friend. He has stayed with me. Nothing has deterred him from being faithful to me. Nothing has annoyed or angered him about me. When I wander, He sits inside that sturdy home of His and waits for me to return. I always do, and He is always eager to hear about the journey that took me away, but then brought me back. He isn't put off by my sin or flaws and he isn't scared of them. He just listens, tells me what is true, then wraps me in warmth and safety.
My best friend has invited me to come and see the place he called home before I became His home. He wants me to walk the ancient roads he walked. He wants me feel the breeze coming off the sea he walked on. He wants me to smell the blossoms in the garden where he wept. He wants to share with me a place that is special to Him, as I've shared what is special to me over the years.
I am full of expectation even though I don't know what to expect. I can't begin to know what this adventure will entail. I can't begin to know what my best friend wants to show me or tell me. I am simply going out of faithful obedience. I am learning that is all I have to give Him.
I imagine this adventure will be another picture we hang on the wall of my heart, the house where He lives. We'll stop and look at it years from now, and He'll say what he often does.
"That was a good one, huh?"
"Yeah... that was a good one."
We all need a friend who will stay with us, through thick and thin. A friend who will hold us when we're weak, cheer when we succeed and listen when we cry. We all need a friend who will nudge us into adventure and challenge us to walk through the valleys. We all need a trustworthy friend.
What a friend I've found.
Closer than a brother.
It would break my heart, to ever lose each other.
Jesus, friend forever.