so the other night I went to the farm late to move out my stuff. no one was there. like literally, johnny, mel, the kids, the boys, ken and linda, all gone. just me on the land where God has consistenly found me and spoken tenderly to me, convinced me I was worthy of His affection, and wrapped the arms of friendship around me.
I decided to take a drive around the lake before leaving. as I drove through the woods, my headlights highlighted a lovely white mushroom. I started to drive past it, and thought of josh. I stopped my car. I wasn't going to get out, but then I felt the Lord whisper,
"Who will look at my mushrooms now?"
I got out and looked at it. I let it judge me. It was clean. it appeared as a tall white round table, cloaked in a crisp white lace table cloth, it seemed ready for company. I had never seen one like it the whole summer. it was beautiful. complete. it told me I had completed my summer here, and it was beautiful, intricate and worthy of notice. I was clean. I was to begin my next season bearing no guilt or shame, but instead cloaked in the lace of my Father's pleasure.
He has hidden secrets inside the small things, not to keep us away, but to pull us close. drink up the small things. they will be a well in the desert and a kiss in the garden.
I asked God what it was like not having anyone there, thinking He would say something about his heart still existing in the land or just some profund statement of rest. instead He said,
"I miss everybody. I like it better when they're here."
to miss, means you have loved. what a privelege to know that we have loved and that He has loved.
I was in Nashville this weekend visiting some friends. I was sitting at a table with a group of people, some I knew, some I didn't and I felt strange. I felt a longing in me that I had not felt for the past 2 and a half months. People at a table, carrying conversation, moving from one to the next, eating food. I tried to introduce myself to this one person, he happened to get up from the table at the very moment I turned. totally akward moment one of my other friends saw. he laughed. I felt like a total dork. I just wanted to be known, to be understood. The revelation of the gift I had been given, of being in a place where people knew me, loved me, fought for me, and believed the best in me washed over me. I missed you guys so much. I also then remembered that if I felt that way, I bet everyone at the table felt that way. I got a new "history book" a week or two ago. Its just for august and september. its thinner, but same great paper. anyways I was doing a creative entry and I just thanked Him so much for letting me be known and help make others known. The He encouraged me that although that season was and is amazing, at the end of the day, I am known by Him. He holds my hand, He holds my heart. and He reminded me to not let insecurity engulf me, but to instead help them find their voices, help them feel known. The next day was totally different. and at the end of the night, a person shared a song he wrote and then offered th guitar up, a room full of amazing musicians, none of them really wanting to share their songs. I took a deep breath and said, "I'll play a song." I closed my eyes. wrapped myself in papa's arms and sang the song that says, "and you, you know me well, you hold my had, you hold my heart..." was itn't perfect by any means, but is was me. God came in that room. I know it. anyways after that other people started playing songs and it just lead to this joyful music time. but that wasnt the point. the point was that God helped me remember that I play because He loves it. its good do things He loves. it changes seemingly unchangable situations.
always remember, God knows you. let that security overflow and watch it cover the insecurities of a generation longing to be known. He had told me that morning " Your Beloved is by your side" and indeed he was. indeed He is.
and I miss you guys because I love you.
jessica denise stafford of Jamestown North Carolina. lover. misser.