To Let Her Change

Photo Credit: Tobias Koch

My journal entry of August 8 ends at the bottom of the page with a perfunctory period.

I reflect that I could keep going with a few conclusive sentences, but I’ve already scribbled three pages, and my jet of thought really deplanes right here.

It annoys me that there are still ten pages in the journal, in the same way it annoys me that I had to move back home in the middle of a Thursday morning, with little conclusion to the five-month stint I stayed with friends.

This entry should end on the last page, because I’m in a prime transitionary window, both seasonally and in my heart, and I want to start a new journal at the beginning of new things.

What is it with conclusion, anyway? I’m always trying to tie life into a neat bow like the loose threads of a YA novel, as if the closing ceremony of an event is the proof of its value, and not the five months it took to unfold!

As if time, in any length of months, is the measure of something’s value, and not the growth that happened in my heart.

Still, I’m annoyed I have to start a new chapter in the last pages of an old manuscript.

My little brother gets married at the end of the month; family will be revolving through the house the next three weeks.

I returned to work at the coffee shop after nearly a month of travel. In Georgia, I signed a year lease on a house in Minneapolis, with four girls–one whom I’ve never met. Two of my roommates are fellow baristas.

I’m trying to process what happened on Prince Edward Island, between planning a bachelorette party and restringing my guitar for Sunday worship, and always, always, the wondering in the back of my mind of what is next.

My body is still working out the kinks of camping along the east coast and yet I am perusing tickets to Kona, Hawaii, already hungry for the next trip.

Driving through Minneapolis, listening to Jim Dale narrate Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I ask God what to do regarding the established relationships of Minnesota.

I will give you more direction soon. 

There are at least two conclusions I drew from my experience on P.E.I.:

1) It is difficult to embrace who I have become because, in order to live in daughtership, others have to let me change and, in order to let me change, others have to change, and

2) The Father does not operate under pressure to conclude anything with a neat bow.

The first thing I hear out of someone’s mouth when I tell them I am moving to N. Minneapolis is, “That’s a dangerous neighborhood.”

They’re not wrong; apparently there’s a gang, the Bloods, that live down the street from me.

It makes me tired, so I’ve decided to stop telling people and simply invite them over for coffee when I am settled.

It makes me tired because–can I elucidate to someone how it is that I have no fear without first narrating the story of how I became a daughter, and how do I tell a story that is framed in a context that has been building for three years?

The deeper I embrace the change the Father is doing in me, the more I realize people can only understand me if they are able to lay aside what they know and trust my heart, trust the Father in me.

It is curious to me that God would have me live from my heart–walk in the awareness of its continual regeneration by the Spirit–for so long before inaugurating me as a daughter. After P.E.I., I said to him, tongue-in-cheek, “This wasn’t the most efficient way, you know.”

Why didn’t he establish me as a daughter from the beginning, so that all my pursuit of people could be built on an active trust of his heart toward me? We could have avoided the wounds I inflicted, the floundering, the missteps and fleshly bents, the constructs I built, the pain, for goodness sake!

But he is not after efficiency, or effectiveness. He is after love.

And he was patient to walk with me three years to a place where I could trust the pain and missteps to produce in me a changed heart that would receive love.

So that love will continue to change me, for there is no conclusion.

He who began a good work in me will keep changing me, until the day Jesus comes for me, which is only the conclusion of this earthly life.

Together we begin a new thing, and in the embrace of love changing me, I will record it in the last pages of my old journal.


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