Sometimes I don't even know my soul needs healing until it is healed. Sometimes I think I'm having a pretty average day, not terrible and not memorable - the kind of days you just live through. But then, over the course of several hours, and by some convergence of holy, magical events, things start getting lighter. Things start getting brighter. My insides unclench.
I will always remember one Friday afternoon in high school. I was one of a handful of editors on the yearbook staff. I attended a bigger school which naturally produced a bigger book - the finished product was roughly 475 pages and weighed a good couple of pounds.
So this one Friday, I was walking up to my car in the student parking lot around 4:00 in the afternoon - and something felt magical. Like I was floating. My heartbeats felt like dance steps in my chest. Something is different, I thought. Something is perfect. Something is present now which has been missing for a long time. Then it hit me.
It was the first time I'd seen daylight in three days. I left the house for school while it was still dark - spent my lunch period in the yearbook room working, and stayed after school until 6 or 7 o'clock each night, editing. I'd been inside under florescent classroom lighting for three whole days. That Friday afternoon was the deadline towards which we'd been working frantically, and by 4:00 all the pages were in the mail. And we went home - during daylight hours.
It took less than three minutes in the light to rinse all the darkness off of me - out of me. It took less than three minutes in the light for me to realize how small and tight and cluttered I'd felt. I didn't know I needed healing until it happened. I loved my life at the time - my high school experience was the stuff of a great teen movie. Deadlines and projects and writing. Precious friends, meaningful relationships, blessings untold. I didn't know it could get better. So when it did, it was overwhelming.
That is what surprise soul-healing feels like. Like daylight for the first time in too long. Like your capacity for joy grows.
That happened today. Somewhere between spring weather, open windows, a new sweater, and a car that works; somewhere between a terribly ordinary conversation with my mother, a so-so morning with my daughter, and a friend who honked the horn as they drove by - my soul healed.
And suddenly I was crying in the car feeling totally consumed by God's glory. I was weeping like a crazy person because His glory was the only thing that mattered. And I wanted to write a hundred thank you cards.
Thank you, friend from church, who recommended an honest mechanic, who brought my ancient car back to me in working condition while my husband was out of town.
Thank you, other dear friends from church, who honked as you drove by - making me feel like I have friends in this state that still feels a little new and foreign to me.
Thank you, more dear friends from church, who come and mop and clean the building without being asked or paid. Your selflessness is inspiring - and your service gives my husband more time to do what he's good at, like building relationships with teenagers, and frees him from things he's bad at, like cleaning.
Thank you, Mom, for talking to me today. And for sending me a new sweater that billowed beautifully in the spring breeze - and that makes me feel pretty even though my belly (and boobs and hips and thighs and face) are growing, but I don't look pregnant yet - just big.
Thank you, Jesus, for Madeline. For providing for our every need. For being more than enough. And thank you for being so glorious, and for allowing silly sheepish people like me to catch glimpses of it when our souls need healing. Just whispers of what's to come. It is overwhelming in an awesome way, and it makes me cry in my car.
Today, I'm thankful for surprise soul-healing. Like God stealth attacked me with gratitude and peace. Bam! There you go - exactly what you didn't know you needed.