It had been a beautiful day—not particularly outside but inside my life. There were several moments that stirred my soul. There was nourishing encouragement, generous compassion, and refreshing connections.
I sat at my kitchen table that evening, wrapping up a few tasks before preparing to return to work the next day. I heard a message arrive on my phone and picked it up to read. It was a simple message, but my eyes filled, and tears fell.
The message put an exclamation point on the day, and it also stirred up memories. Several of the interactions throughout the day, in some way, reminded me of the generous provision and compassion through the worst season of my life. Friendships that formed in my past—rooted in some way within a marriage that no longer exists yet continuing to thrive. In many cases, the friendships have been cultivated and grown, perhaps in part because of the commitment through trials. It is often how we respond in those trials that determine the strength of our connections. We can walk away, or we can do the difficult, uncomfortable work.
I wondered why tears would fall in the context of such a sweet day. But I realized it was not an ache in my soul. It was a hurt on my heart. More accurately, it was a memory of a hurt on my heart. There’s a difference between the experience of a past hurt and the memory of it in the present. It can feel similar, because what is experienced currently as a memory is a remnant from the past, but it’s different, because healing has taken place, and growth is still happening.
The difference between the hurt of the hurt and ache of the soul might not seem important to some, but for me, in that moment, it was essential. My soul was not crushed through a relationship betrayal and devastation—not because of my own strength but because of the bond between me and God leading up to and through it.
I know well enough that I have not arrived somewhere to comfortable camp. I cannot disengage or coast in my faith and expect a healthy relationship with God. I cannot and will not become complacent.
I will let him cultivate a healthy soul, a healing heart, and heart-warming connections.
God is abundantly good. I am abundantly grateful.