Endings. Goodbyes. God’s grace. And Mary Oliver.

Yesterday. I ended things. I said goodbye. I compiled a list:

  • my fears of…
  • my insecurities about…
  • my ambivalence around… 
  • my lack of trust in…

Undaunted and unstoppable; an undeniable strength and Spirit within – pulling me forward to today. This day.

I parked the car at the beach and walked through the gate marked “Club Members Only.” Undeterred, I headed to the water and set my coffee down in the sand. Then I resolutely, unceremoniously cast the list into the sea. 

The tide was going out.

I turned around, picked up my coffee, walked back to the car, and brushed the sand off my shoes. The experience was deeply spiritual.

Rewind just a few hours. I spent the morning looking out over those same waters. Journaling; praying, really. Asking God to help me let go, turn the corner, and step. Forward. Into courage and trust. And though I am wont to wonder if God actually hears my prayer, I shortly thereafter read these words:

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

(Mary Oliver, from Wild Geese)

I laughed out loud. And then I wept. Deeply aware of how profoundly I needed to hear exactly this; how profoundly gracious God was to offer such. 

I do not have to be good. I am good.
I do not have to walk one more mile on my knees. Enough is enough.
I do not need to stay in the desert. “Home” beckons. 
And I do not need to repent. Any more.  

That was yesterday.

This is today. Beginnings. Hello’s. God’s grace endures. As does the beauty and power of Mary Oliver.

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice…

…there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do…

(The Journey)

The tide is making its way back in – carrying with it waves upon waves of wet, wild life: mine.

_________________________

A huge sigh of gratitude to Kate Swoboda for yesterday’s post. You, woman, were God’s grace embodied. Thank you.

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