Tuesday, July 8

forests & trees: for when you're holding pieces

“He said to me I was a tree in a story about a forest, and that it was arrogant of me to believe any differently. And he told me the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree.” 
 Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

The room has windows that lets in light from all sides. In a moment of sheer grace, I am introduced to someone new. My friend says these words: "This is my friend, Elizabeth. She's a writer."

I smile, even though I feel the tears behind my eyes, and even though they are good tears.

This warm welcome- being taken in, being named- it reminds me of my God. The One who shows up in my car and in an art gallery, and so brilliantly in grass that grows tall and moves with the wind. The One who breathes life.

The One who mends.

It's been a year of changes, things I still process and pray about. There was a long stretch of time that I had all these dreams, but I couldn't see any piece of how they would come together.

In a lot of ways, I felt like my life was breakable. As if one misguided decision could crack a place that could never be mended. What a frail thing. What pressure I put on myself for no reason.

It was this idea, this past year, that was pulled apart at the seams; and it hurt and for awhile I held a lot of pieces with not a lot of answers. (Isn't that the nature of mending? You see mostly pieces before you see something new emerge.) I didn't know then it was beginning of something better- something more like freedom.

What I see now is an entire landscape. It doesn't matter so much that I can't see my dreams fitting together in the ways I thought they would. I don't clench them so tightly. I don't worry so much. These dreams are from my Maker, and He can take them, reshape them, or fit them together as He pleases.

What matters is that this story is so much bigger than I am, and the beauty is in the telling.

You see: my favorite trees are Redwoods, through and through.

I went to an arboretum once and it spilled abundance. It felt like my soul could breathe. I learned that the only way these trees grow is by having horizontal roots. They grow into the trees next to them, enmeshed, and they survive like this: together.


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