Camera pans out.
With long-legged strides, a group of beautiful woman strut with deliberate confidence, their hair pushed back by wind and the sheer intensity of their motion.
They have a common mission.
This image has nothing to do with my current reality. I am bit prone to the slow stroll and my intensity comes out in awkward spurts and fits rather than anything resembling grace. My confidence has been shot to pieces. I’m trying ride out this season of transition until I figure out where I am going. My hair is more likely to be tangled in my necklace than flowing gracefully in the breeze.
Once upon a time.
Once upon a time, I resonated with the image of fierce, determined women moving with certainty, surrounded by beauty.
In my early 20s, friends and I joined together in a common mission to serve pregnant women who found themselves on the streets. With a bit of luck, a ton of grace, and the available elbow grease, we created a home that drew women into a safe place and a loving community. I call that season: “the Holy Spirit light show.” There were some really challenging aspects, of course, but, it just felt special. All around us, people were being zapped by grace and drawn into the project. Things fell into place; the right people showed up; donations arrived at the perfect time. We were movin’ and jivvin’ in the blessing groove, filled with gratitude and awe at what was happening around us.
It was incredible to be a part of and it taught me that anything is possible. Having known the bewildering presence of God in this season of creation, I was forever changed.
I remained in the work for 15 years, joining together with many mighty souls to create a place. A place of healing, a place of love, a place where motherhood was preserved.
I never felt the glamour and attraction of the long-legged women with hair blowing in the breeze. But I felt the unity of purpose, the strength of common work. I felt a part of something strong.
Now, I am no longer one of the “Maggie’s Place girls,” at least in the same way. I don’t have to think in terms of community. I’m on a solo mission, completing my graduate work and listening carefully to the echos of my heart.
And yet, we remain bound together. I am tied to those whom I shared my life with–in our common memories and experiences and more so, in that sense of love that made us a community.
Several of prayed alongside Angie last week as she mourned the death of her son. I spent a wonderful evening discussing feminist theories with Dayna over a margarita and queso dip. Christy’s good news–she is moving back to her beloved Arizona!–made my day and Chariti will join me next week to celebrate my graduation. Jana called just to check in and see how I am doing; I have coffee with Lynda on my calendar; Miranda’s wedding invitation sits on my desk. Emails and posts, little signs of the bonds that were build, of the connection that remains.
The love is alive, not merely a memory of the past, but a present reality on which to draw strength.
I am road weary and limping a bit. I could use a haircut and there isn’t much of a breeze.
But, I’m walking, facing head-on.
And, if my footing falters, someone will be there.
And, that makes me strong.