Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. ~Psalm 62:5
Day 49: Eastside
“I can tell by your body. You’ve been upright too long.”
I walked slowly down the steps, taking in the sunshine I had somehow missed. Counting the bricks ahead of me, my breath kept rhythmic time to the “one, two, three.” She had spoken things just moments before – a massage therapist who lives up to both words so well, a woman who has a truly God-given gift for finding aches in my muscles and in my heart that have been hiding away.
I’m always the one encouraging others to be honest about the seasons of life – to embrace all the messy and the lovely, and to find hands to hold along the journey. I just wrote about receiving Sabbath in the midst of the fury and about being brave and fully alive. But I’m still learning to listen to those words – still learning what it means to soar – and the shredded rags of outdated perfectionist-failure herringbone keep finding their way into my wardrobe. “This it not who I am,” is how I started the conversation earlier in the day with my writing coach friend. “It’s like I’m looking at a calendar and saying, ‘You have permission to grieve again in a week, and permission to be creative again in four.” The list of things to do had overwhelmed any sense of why the lists existed. I knew better, and yet there it was. I felt the herringbone tickle my skin.
And that’s when I noticed. I had been wearing it for weeks.
The bittersweet resignation from a job I’d helped to design. Rubbing my dearest cousin’s back as she took her last breath. The exciting jump into the unknown of new dreams. Longing to love better and serve more and fix things that are so very broken. Tending to people and places that mean the world to me. The haunting Ides of March anniversary of my mom’s passing.
Joy. Pain. Happiness. Grief. Hope. Helplessness. All colliding on a calendar, all becoming a list of things that needed permission.
Until she spoke. “I can tell by your body. It’s telling me what you’re heart’s feeling. You’ve been upright too long. You’ve been carrying yourself, holding yourself up, bearing the weight. You’ve not allowed yourself space to bend, to kneel, to stoop, to rest.”
She said it again as I opened the door to step outside. “Remember, you don’t need to be upright.”
And as I walked, I felt the herringbone fall away. No permission was needed. It had already been given.
Normally, I would share a bit here about how Shoot like a Girl started. But today, I want to just let you know how precious you are. If I could take a picture of real and rich and true, it would be a photo of you. It doesn’t matter if your life is beautifully ordered or in painfully absurd chaos – you are so very worth-full. You have permission to not be upright. I’m praying for me and I’m praying for you to feel the liberty to bend and stoop and kneel and rest. God is good and He is strong and He has got us, friend. All that we are is soaring and will soar higher.