Two posts in one day, can you tell my workload is dwindling? Or maybe it’s my procrastination that has taken on all new levels as I just have one more paper left…anyhow, I was searching through old emails for quotes, because I often send quotes to myself so I can remember them later. I came upon an old email I had written to my friend Emily in Colorado. My roommate Mel had just moved back to Seattle and I had just moved into my studio and I was feeling the loneliness of starting anew. I had spent most of my energies maintaining friendships in Seattle or with friends across the states and with my roommate, that I had not formed a community in Portland. I wrote about how hard it is to have no community or to experience glimpses of it here and there as friends would visit only to be left wanting more. What stuck out in the email was this, “It's so hard to trust that something will grow from nothing”.
I stopped as I read that again. Something has grown from nothing. An amazing community has grown from nothing. I had felt so far out in the desert, so far from community and so far from people that know me. Fast forward. To open my eyes now and feel so supported and encouraged by the people around me, to find a community that bears one another’s burdens, that is open and honest with their struggles, that loves in all circumstances- I am just blown away. How did this happen? It reminds me of the movie Under The Tuscan Sun…this woman dreamt that she was wandering all over the countryside in a desperate search for ladybugs. She looked everywhere with no luck. She grew tired in her search and fell asleep in a meadow. And when she woke up, she was covered in ladybugs. This is how I feel. I tried to find community, I looked and looked and just couldn’t find it. And then it seems, that just out of the blue, community fell into my lap and I am surrounded by such amazing people and they truly bless me in so many ways. There is so much to be thankful for.
God is so good.
If you’re wondering what quote I was looking for in the email, here it is.
“The dominant characteristic of an authentic spiritual life is the gratitude that flows from trust—not only for all the gifts that I receive from God, but gratitude for all the suffering. Because in that purifying experience, suffering has often been the shortest path to intimacy with God".