I value personal time. And by value, I am NOT saying “in theory I like the general idea of having time to myself”. I am saying that in order to function it is nearly necissary to have that time, particularly first thing in the morning & then again at the end of the day. The best mornings begin with fluttering eyelids, weak attempts to grasp the wispy memory of dreams, then staring at the ceiling & having my first thought be “Good morning Jesus”. It’s even better when I am able to not actually speak, but just think to Him for the first hour of my day. Silence & Conversation as I go through the motions of preparation for the madness that too often follows.
The best days end nearly the same; the roommates one by one go to bed & I am left alone to straighten the house, put away dishes, feed the cat, pick up my guitar, maybe sing a little but mostly think thoughts directed at my friend, all in silence. If I can actually do this, give real time to being alone, silent & intentionally directing my thoughts & inner dialogue to the Lord first & then last in the day, I find my heart at peace in between.
But that is the only time I am typically & intentionally alone. Before doing anything, it is natural to send a message to see who is free & wants to ride along. I don’t mean sending out txt’s like buckshot, but thinking of who I’ve been wanting to catch a few minutes of conversation with, or what teen has been asking to spend time with me, or which good friend I’ve been wanting to tell something to without having the time or context. I’ve fought to learn intentionality in my relationships even in the midst of such a blasted busy community & my own blasted busy schedule & mostly that has expressed itself in simple multitasking, aka, bringing people into whatever I’m doing.
It’s that easy. Intentionality – it’s a big value in my life, something I fight for in random interactions & in my close friendships, & though I fail often I try to do it well. And the truth is that I’ve come to a place where I don’t know quite how not to.
It’s not that I am afraid of being alone, I love & need time to write, to think, to walk, to breathe, to sit in my backyard on my tree swing and stare at the leaves or the stars or the sunrise. It’s more that I love to have the people who are in my heart involved in the things that make my day’s move forward, with me & doing those things alongside me.
Kat & I go to Walmart late at night. Alyssa sits at my table late at night playing cards & discussing the prophetic, Further Seems Forever, & the dynamic of male/female interactions in our community. Danika & I burn sparklers on the porch and dance in the rain. Theresa runs errands with me so we can talk on the way & helps talking me into attending social functions & staying longer than 5 minutes. Jacob let’s me sit in the jeep when he goes on security rounds, or comes over late at night to sit on my porch & talk me through whatever is keeping me from sleeping. Seth txt’s me to ride with him to Backwoods when he needs socks. Trisha sits in Higher Grounds & listens to me rant about the latest thing burning in my mind. Annie stays up late to get $1 ice cream cups at Hyvee & cry in the car as we talk about dreams & Jesus.
There’s the list of friends who come over for breakfast, the Saturday morning pancake crew, the evening Nerts group, the “run to target and back” list, the “run to QT and back list”, different people for different activities, but all personal & intentional times of interaction & connecting. It’s a skill I’ve worked really hard at learning well while maintaining communion with the Lord and fighting for my time with Him. And here I am, 3 days away from moving & leaving all of those dear, beloved ones behind.
Last night, found me standing in my kitchen talking through my fears & insecurities about the future & the question marks before me with the friend who normally literally yells at me until I laugh & come to a right frame of mind. Right at the point of conversation when I anticipated him to jump in with a loud response I realized he was staring at me… expressionless. I continued until convinced he wasn’t even paying attention, then realized tears were pooling in his eyes. Insert me, erupting in sobs as he simply say’s “I’m going to miss you”.
Needless to say I had a hard time sleeping last night. Part of that may be because I’d sent everything to Virginia yesterday with my brother…. including all of my bedding…. & didn’t realize it until everyone in the house was asleep & all I could find was 1 random blanket… & it was cold. But I lay in that room flooded with memories, knowing this next season is good & this move is good, but knowing it’s taken 5 years to develop these relationships I am leaving behind, & then suddenly there He was. You know the feeling, when out of no where the presence of the Lord overwhelms your heart & mind. And I heard Him whisper, “Yeah I feel the same way, I want my friends with me too”.
It’s John 17 – Jesus longing for His friends to be WITH Him, right where He is, feeling His heartbeat & hearing the words on His lips. He longs for us. Wants us just with Him, doing whatever He is doing. The invitation is before us all throughout the day to enter into His heart & do that with Him, & I understood that a little more last night. Understood the invitation to walk into that communion with him, & the invitation to walk into that longing with Him. I want to be His friend, even in the places where it hurts, I mean you know you have a good friend when they can sit with you & hurt with you.
Jesus I want to sit with You, even to hurt with You. And I want to be with You where You are.