God is sending love letters by of divine arrows, pointing to what may seem like random details but are significant signposts of his covenant with us. Rhythms of Rest, Page 131
Tired. Weary. Drained. Ironically, that’s how I began the US book tour for Rhythms of Rest last October. I couldn’t see the arrows for the busyness.
That’s why, months before leaving London, I planned to land in Kansas first. I walked from the plane, through the security glass while holding a retractable banner in one hand and a suitcase filled with gifts in the other; directly into the embrace of my friend, LuAnn.
“I feel like I want to cry,” she exclaimed.
But we laughed instead.
And then we laughed more a few days later when Kelly arrived from San Diego in that same airport. We huddled in a circle among disembarking passengers, rejoicing that God brought us together once again.
“You’re an author,” Kelly said, throwing her head back while squeezing my hand.
Two decades ago, we met in Phoenix and have remained best friends even though thousands of miles separate us.
Thinking about that unusual grace makes me want to cry now as I write this.
The next day, Aunt Paula arrives by car from Oklahoma, hugging a glass pumpkin filled with candy corn, LuAnn’s love language. It was the first time for the two of them to meet. Aunt Paula has been paying attention to the details of my life since the day I was born.
We brew cups of tea, sit around the kitchen table, popping sugary cones into our mouths like punctuation marks on the ends of sentences. And Paula recounts the details as the questions come from my friends. About that day, when I arrived in Tulsa on a Greyhound bus from Missouri at seventeen and moved into her tiny, one bedroom apartment.
But instead of the normal pain I experience rehearsing childhood memories, the unexpected arrival of grace brings beauty, of Light and love shining through the cracks of our brokenness.
Listening, I realized how much I’d forgotten, how much I have forgiven, and how much I am loved.
I’ve not been able to write effortlessly here ever since.
How does one walk back into life without a limp after experiencing rescue from the wilderness of destructive self-talk? How do you go on living as if life is the same when you are not?
There is a way that seems right to a (wo)man but its end is the way to death. And once the lies I tell myself are exposed in love’s perspective, new life begins. Love always wins.
People don’t change because we judge them; people change because we love them.
Three women have unceasingly thrown ropes and pulled me out of the Hades I listen to in my head.
Receive the love of Jesus through one person and be forever changed.
I came to Kansas first because I knew they would love me back from tired, weary, and drained into liking myself again.
Rest in what God thinks of you and experience true Sabbath.
We finish each other’s sentences while slurping blueberry kale shakes, shop the aisles at TJ Maxx, and share pizza smothered in garlic like it’s our last supper. Because it is.
I could tell you about the generous dinner party they host for me with guests. Laura, a bestie from high school arrives first; the friend I was living with when I boarded the Greyhound. She and Aunt Paula meet for the first time in LuAnn’s living room.
How Natalie arrives on the front stoop with her daughter Elyse, after driving all day from Iowa. Our first time to meet in person after countless emails between us.
Many details but I’ll just leave it at this: I’ve had a dream never uttered except in quiet conversations with God. Friends and relatives from every stage of my blessed life converging in one place.
And all the unlikely, pie in the sky, grandiose wishes are granted, beginning in Kansas and every state I visit thereafter.
See yourself through the looking glass of God’s heart and all the ways you’ve been loved come clearly into focus.
Six days after leaving London, LuAnn and I lounge under a canopy of trees shedding golden with feet propped up on a table, marveling about the curiously warm October throughout the US. Surrounded by the rustle of dry leaves on pavement and the glow of slanted light, I replay several conversations, hours before my first speaking engagement. And Paula arrives with a gift.
A silver necklace from Dayspring because she’s read Chapter Seven: Watch for the Arrows. And this day, this time, this book journey, the gift – it all feels a little perfect.
On the day we choose to abide on Sabbath, he appears like a gift delivered on our doorstep or an arrow shooting across a cloudless sky. He longs for relationship more than anything we can do for him. The signs are all around. Watch for the arrows. Rhythms of Rest, Pg. 131
Because so many of you have emailed me with the link to the arrow necklace after reading Rhythms of Rest, the kind people at Dayspring are giving away Christmas gifts!
And they’re giving away this wooden plaque with a reminder from the book of James.
Answer this question in the comments for a chance to win a necklace or the plaque: What are some of the arrows God is using to reveal His love for you right now?
And I wrote a poem, my first ever, about my time with girlfriends in Kansas and Tweetspeak featured it here.
Two winners will be selected on December 15.