A simply beautiful day! The sun was shining and I had a few moments quiet. So, I went for a walk... and found a "perfect" place to sit.
As I sat down, my attention was immediately drawn to the beauty of a large, old willow tree. I watched and enjoyed this beautiful old weeping willow tree. Stunning, it stood in front of me. It's base wrapped in the dark leaves of an ivy plant, climbing upward. How long had this tree stood here so magnificently?
Almost as instantly as my mind was drawn to the tree, my next thought was, "Oh! I hope they don't cut it down!"
This thought came unbidden, but it was quite pronounced in my head. A very real thought. It was almost a fear. Just a very real response to the tree standing before me. What a funny thought, I wondered to myself,almost laughing out loud at my odd thought. Why would this be my first concern, my first "feeling" or response to the beauty of this age-old willow?
Is it all the moves and transitions that I have experienced in my life, as a child and an adult? All the change? Is it that, Father? It is true I have never seen 'one' thing, one special place, for 25 or 30 years. I don't know what it might be like to see the same tree, or same house, every week for 40 years. And, I have longed for this. Somewhere deep within, I do want this desperately. And, at times, I have felt I have missed something. I have missed the beauty of familiarity and normal.
As I mused and prayed about this, it felt clear that--yes--- this was indeed a very natural Stephanie-way-of-thinking. I know that I am often waiting, I suppose, for the "other shoe to drop" or the hard, difficult, the painful that is lurking around the corner. I know I am often waiting, almost unconsciously, for the good to be taken from me. A natural childlike response that doesn't want to enter-in to those good, sweet moments... because... well, because they will disappear or be lost, and that would hurt. And, so, I have just let them pass by and go unnoticed.
Don't connect to the now-beauty, right? Ignore it, let it pass and don't hold on or enjoy, because that protects. This can be a knee jerk response of my heart. And, I know it isn't True and Right. And, I know this isn't Father's heart for me.
But, now what, Heavenly Father? What is Truth and Right? What healing might You want to bring?
I have a pretty good idea of where this came from, where this became a natural pattern of thought for a young, little-girl Stephanie. I know from my reading, my research, and past counseling that this is par-for-the-course for any child of divorce or children who faced significant trauma. And, that is part of my story.
But, now what, kind Father? I just want to enter-in and enjoy a simply beautiful day, and this age-old tree!
Figuring out where it comes from is good. Really, really good and important. But, moving forward means bringing that response, those knee-jerk responses, into the Light and having them transformed by the Truth. Now what, Father? my heart whispers. What do I do with this natural, "will I get to see this tree ever again" feeling, or the "will it too be stripped away from me" fear.
No answer came that beautiful day. But, the conversations began. A conversation, I suppose, that God and I have been having for many, many years. We, God and I, began talking about this issue again ...and we walked in it through the week. Thinking. Praying. Asking.
Yesterday, I went back to this perfect spot. I sat down on the sun-warmed bench, head raised to take in the sun's rays... and then I remembered the tree. There it was before me, still there. Beautiful and the same. And, in that moment, I knew the way forward when I saw this beauty before me.
I knew that I needed to be thankful, today, TODAY, that I was seeing it again. Here it was, again! Today, beautiful and majestic and the same. I was getting the chance to see it today!
...And, it hadn't been cut down. That fear had not been realized or become real. It was still here. And, I was still here today... and I was thankful. In deep gratitude, I was able to enter into this moment, today's moment, entirely! And, I could thank my Father for this now-beauty. And, my heart felt free and happy. And, I soaked in the beauty of God in that moment.
As I soaked, and praised, and thanked, one more Thought came to my mind... "and, Stephanie, don't worry about tomorrow". Do not worry about tomorrow... today has enough. ...
Okay, Father. I can trust You with tomorrow! And, I can thank you for today. Thank you for today... this moment of today.
Entering in the now and not worrying about tomorrow. I have freedom to release the fear, the control, the wondering about tomorrow. And, with this God-filled revelation there is some Light-filled healing that is going on in my heart! And, I can thank God for today. ...the now.
My husband is fond of saying, "Tomorrow doesn't even exist. It isn't real." This moment, this now-moment is the real. And, for the real-now I can be thankful. The tree is still here today. God is still here today. I am still here today.
And, today is simply a beautiful day!
**just one of the tools He is using to teach me about this now-beauty and how to be grateful for today... watch and enter-in.