And there is still another layer to the riveting drama in my Winn Dixie post earlier this week. When I sat down to write that post on Monday, I had been really thinking about it and talking to the Lord about it for the better part of a week. The revelation of God’s profound demonstration of love for me in the midst of my brokenness and how he moved heaven and earth to show me that love was very overwhelming for me. While I am prone to exaggeration for comedic effect, I do mean literally that He moved heaven and earth because Popey had just been transferred back to the US after being stationed in Egypt for a while. In fact, his poor lips were still scarred from the middle eastern sun and he had white lines around his eyes from squinting. And we met at exactly the right time.
Anyway, as I was processing all of the emotions that welled up over the extravagance of God’s love, I wanted to share that with the man God used so wonderfully. So when he came in from work on Friday evening (now remember, I had been thinking about this A LOT and even shed a few tears) here’s how that conversation went:
Me: “Thanks for chasing me down in the Winn Dixie all those years ago.”
Him: (smile) “You’re welcome.”
Me: (my heart was full and my mind went completely blank and nothing else came out)
I was so frustrated with myself for not being able to say what I was feeling and actually have a conversation about it. And then I couldn’t even say that I was frustrated with myself. But then we had ice cream and it was all good. We deal with a lot of things over ice cream. Which by the way is a tradition that started back in my Winn Dixie days. Popey would drive home from Fort Bragg just to see me on my 15 minute break at work and we would go to the little frozen yogurt shop around the corner from my store.
Fast forward to Saturday morning. One of my daughters shared with me a particularly painful situation she is walking through and how her heart is broken (Just know there is a future post I am developing about how hard it is to watch your kids struggle and that Jesus really is enough for them too). On the inside I had a lump in my throat and a heaviness in my own heart, but when I tried to say something my mind went completely blank, AGAIN. I felt terrible for her. She poured out her heart and I went blank.
But I realized that I actually feel this way often, when my emotions well up somehow words don’t flow from my mouth.
Later on Saturday I apologized to my daughter for not being able to articulate my feelings earlier and she said, “It’s ok Mom. I get it when you write. I cry every time I read something you write, whether it’s a blog post, a text or an email. That’s how you communicate your feelings. You write them.”
And that’s what I learned about myself…I am pretty good at verbally communicating thoughts, ideas, information, even instructions, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t say what I am feeling.
So to everyone in my life who has ever shared something painful, joyful, heavy or crazy and I just stared back at you like I had no idea what you meant, I would like to offer my most sincere apologies. Please know that I heard your heart, I felt your pain, I shared your joy, I was grateful for your gift, but my emotions closed off my throat and I was literally at a loss for words. Next time I will write you a note.
And if you are asking yourself, “Does she know herself at all?” The answer is definitely no, but I know the One who does and He’s revealing it to me every day.