when you catch a glimpse

It’s late on a Thursday – the ordinary, almost-but-n0t-quite-the-weekend day – and I’m lying diagonally on my bed, thinking about working out. I don’t really want to, if I am honest. I’d much rather lie there, in my outdoor coat and my favorite brown boots, the ones from the store that closed in Union Station two years ago. I don’t want to jump around at 10pm to music that I feel like I know too well. I don’t want to run on a treadmill going nowhere.

I’m moping, and I’m tired, and the lonely hits me deep after the long week. I remember that once I whispered to a dear friend, almost a year ago now, over cocktails at a jazz bar near campus – that I was tired of learning about myself alone. I want to do all that good work of figuring out who we are, who we want to be, together. I don’t want to do it alone anymore. 

And those thoughts dont’ seem to be banished by the lump in my throat. They don’t disappear by crying – or by yelling, or by praying the same question, of how long, how long, how long O Lord.

So I pull on shorts and a ratty T-shirt. I pull on socks. I find the Zumba YouTube video (yes, I am that girl). I click play. I halfheartedly jump up and down to the first song. I stuff my hair into an elastic and hope for the best. My bangs, which are outgrown by at least three months, flop helplessly around until I force them into bobby pinned submission. I’m still half-hearted, still unwilling to say that okay, fine, it’s fine to be me, to be in this skin, to be bouncing around with insecurities at 10pm.

But a few more songs in, and I can start to catch a rhythm. I can even (barely) see something like flexibility or strength in my muscles. I can feel my body cherish the work – it is something to do, anything, and it is something more concrete than lying on a bed feeling all over the “how long how long how long” question.

By the time the video finished, I was ready:

this is the moment I play, “22” and “Kiss You” on repeat at 10:40pm and dance around in gym shorts. This is the moment when I choose to laugh with my body. This is the moment when, looking at myself, I catch a glimpse.

It’s not a perfect picture, oh, but can I tell you what I saw?

I saw a heart filled with stories to be poured out on the people who wander across my path.

I saw my laughter – how it can fill a room and go before me down a hallway at work.

I saw lonely that became lovely, loveable, even something that I cherish.

I saw me, ten years from now, remembering “22” and “Kiss You” and chopping red onion and pregnant or not or in Italy or not or married or not or with a PhD or not, still promising God that I wouldn’t forget how much He loves the things He made.

I saw a glimpse of me, radiant.

And I saw us – fierce, independent and free, each following the wild call of love.

Because though these weeks are filled with that, “how long, O Lord?” and that, “why not me, Lord?” and that, “but what about, Lord?” – though we might know so little, though we might doubt ourselves, though we might be disappointed and angry and overjoyed and tired and anxious and gracious -

I can see our wild love. I can see it in you. I can catch a glimpse of it, gym shorts and all.

a love so wild, so fierce, so free – I almost can’t bear it. how radiant we are. how transformed. how lovely. 

Love,
hilary

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4 thoughts on “when you catch a glimpse

  1. I have been reading your blog for a while, and this post hit me so tenderly and hard this morning. This weekend God powerfully reminded me that he knows me hearts desires, and the loneliness you mention here is an ache I have been asking him to fill longer than I can rememeber now. He reminded me that my needs, the ones only He can fill, are far greater than all the wants laying bruised in my heart. Thanks for writing and reminding me that I am not alone in these feelings, even though it feels that way and that Lord sees us… always.

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