Time Travelling — 3 months

another good blog entry

Jun 15, 2005 Sep 02, 2005

Peaceful right?

Dear FutureMe, another great blog entry to re-read later at:
Here's the full text in case the page is lost in the future:

end chapter 1

I've been blogging for 17 months, longer than some, certainly, shorter than many. In that time, I've made 353 posts, some self-indulgent, some exclusive, some silly, and a few worthwhile. I've communicated something to thousands of strangers, which fact is sobering. I've kept friends and family up-to-date, and I've made new friends, many of whom I now consider family. I've been encouraged, exhorted, rebuked, challenged, and, most importantly, loved. I have written way too much on "love."

In my writings on relationship, I have often confused inconvenience and error with profundity. I have many regrets in the area of love, and, somehow, nostalgia tends to remake those histories into an unkind, unrealistic, over-beauty. And yet I write, because I know that you, as well, carry this same burden, whether in part or in frightening whole. Because I know that we align in some skinny place that was once broken and is still healing. Because many of you have loved me, and I am able to trust you for patience, gentleness, and the benefit of the doubt. It was not always this way.

Five years ago, I had a crisis. In retrospect, I understand it as a crisis of narrative, and I understand, what else is there?

On Friday morning, I'm due for a check-up. I'm going to see someone, to talk with him, to take stock for 6 weeks and try to align love, gratitude, and story. Everything you've read on this blog has been a footnote to that first crisis, has been one dose of the prescription I found then. Below, you'll find an abridged account of that story, and maybe you will understand this blog version of me a little bit better. And hopefully some part of you, no matter how thin, will align, will say, "Yes, and me, too," and we can both grieve and give thanks together. What you'll find below I wrote 4 years ago, for a class paper, soon after my return from that first visit. The writing then was different. My heart then was different. But the core narrative remains. It always does.

So I've got my folio, travel edition of Scrabble and a few hundred songs in my headphones and a plane ticket. I'll be gone for 6 weeks, and whether I return to junkmail when I return home, thank you for your words, for your own narratives, for loving me in your own way--I cannot explain to you why I cry as I write that.

Take care,

January, 2001, Intro to Marriage and Family

One million tiny risks
swam in middle grey:
your head against my shoulder on a train

We both made rules that night
while ancient churchbells sang:
soft like water as it breaks

So whisper love on brown paper
and send it to me:
baptize my eyes in the acoustics of memory.

And something might break,
homesick for your face:
so I lick clouds, the way your words taste

And I fall asleep
on a map of California,
dream of you in Santa Rosa,
where words can’t say I love you
and chords can’t play my heart for you

So whisper love on brown paper
and send it to me:
baptize my eyes in the acoustics of memory.

How can I thank you:
How can I touch you:
with brown paper.

~ ~ ~ ~

This is a story about a girl. Or a cry for help. This is a prayer.

I do not believe in presenting first drafts. They’re all shitty, and writers, especially those with perfectionist cells, must be willing to write shitty first drafts in order to write anything at all. But there’s too much to say in fifteen pages, and I trust that you, reader, understand the nature of missing pieces, of comprehensiveness, and the need for quiet summary. Consider these the bad diary days.

~ ~ ~ ~

Of all the anguish in the world, there is nothing like this – the sense of God, without the sense of nearness to Him.

I went to England to find a man.

The problem: After 23 years of thinking, six years of college, six years of born again, and two years of seminary, I was ready to die. I didn’t know this at the time, I suppose, but this was the heart of the matter.

I didn’t care about my classes, and indifference to a Professor Barrs is reason for pause. My occasional struggles with doubting God had become frequent struggles, and I was afraid. The best way to describe it is that I was tired. Here was the problem, I concluded:

I did not doubt that God is good, loving, just, gracious, and the rest of the confessional adjectives. I did not doubt that Jesus is divine, that His Word is truth. How could I doubt these things if He exists? Surely, if He is, He is these things, or He is not God. So my problem must be, I concluded, that I doubt the existence of God. But I could remember moments, and my heart still trembled at their remembrance, where I was sure that He was working, that He did something that I couldn’t, that no one could. So this is the dilemma. I can’t doubt the existence of God, but if I have intense moments of doubt, and I keep doing the same stupid stuff I’ve been doing all my life, where is He?

And who talks about these things? Not once did I have this conversation on a Covenant sidewalk:

Seminarian: Hey, Jeremy, how’s it going?
Me: Hey, fellow seminarian, I’m really doubting the existence of God today.

No one to talk to about this disjunct between my head and my heart. I assented to His existence, but I was forced to doubt it. So I went to England to find a man.

After a Griswoldian trip, I arrived in Greatham, England, ready to whip my mind into shape. A week later, Martin St. Kilda and I began to talk.

We spent our first afternoon on a five-mile hike through the country. He asked me to tell him about it, and I asked him about what, and he said, “About it, from as far back as you can remember.” I began talking. Two hours later, and I had spoken without interruption about it since I could remember, and, of course, about all the things I wrote at the top of this page. He looked at me, told me in two minutes everything that took me two hours to say, and said he needed a week to pray and think about it. “Don’t study, since, it seems, there’s nothing you could learn that would help you here. You don’t have a problem of assent. Just enjoy the community, and if you could, listen to Dr. Winter’s tapes on perfectionism.”

This is when the first of the red flags flapped in my head: “Psychobabble. Selfishness. I don’t need to listen to counseling stuff.” I had never been explicitly taught these things, but in my early years as a believer, I inferred these lessons. I was a Christian, and I was supposed to think about other people, and if I had any problems, Jesus could fix them just fine. In fact, I had owned those tapes for years in the event that I meet someone who might need them. But I listened, if only to satisfy Martin.

Of course, 95% of what Dr. Winter says is perfectly relevant to me. I realized I was a perfectionist (note: as one healing from perfectionism, I now say that I have “perfectionist tendencies.” To say that I am a perfectionist is far too black-and-white). This realization did not solve my problems, but it did help in these regards:

One, I began to understand that maybe there was some method to my madness.

Two, I realized that it was not only okay, but necessary, to think about myself. That I could not understand myself in relation to God without understanding myself in relation to self. Had I read the first chapter of Calvin’s Institutes, I might have understood this earlier.

Three, I understood that the problem I brought to England fit my perfectionist rubric nicely: either I believed God existed or I didn’t. Such a tidy capsule for my heart’s distress. There was something else going on in there.

I reconvened with Martin a week later, and I was ready for more direction. Instead, he asked me how I was doing with the other L’Abri’ers, how community was going for me. “Fine,” I said; “some nice people here.”

“Bullshit”; he looked me in the eye. “I don’t want anymore Sunday School bullshit. If you’re not gonna be honest with me, we’re wasting our time.” No one had ever spoken to me so directly, and it hurt, yet it felt good. I was being given the space I had been looking for, longing for, for so long. He was giving me the room to be honest, to fall apart. It took 25 years to find that room.

“I tell you what, Martin. Last night, I’m lying in my bed, 11:30, trying to get some sleep, and these guys walk in the room, turn the lights on, and start having this conversation. And they’re not using their quiet voices. And I’m in my bed, and I’m getting so mad that I’m literally shaking, and it hurts my heart. I was so pissed.”

“Wow . . . that’s a pretty intense reaction. What’d you do?”

“I mean, I didn’t say anything; I didn’t want them thinking I was an ass.”

“Gosh, does that kind of thing happen to you often?”

“Well, for instance, punctuality is my pet peeve. If someone says he’s gonna be at my house at 7:30, and it’s 7:32, I’m so pissed, and I literally shake and feel my heart hurting.”

“Man, again, that’s pretty intense. What do you do?”

“Well, I don’t say anything. I figure it’s just another one of my idols, and it’s my fault for expecting too much of people. So I just smile and make sure that everyone’s happy and hope they’ll be on time next time.”

“Hmm. . . . Tell me about your childhood.”

Red flag number two: “Tell me about your childhood.” More psychobabble. Again, I had never been taught this, but I had gathered that it was a waste of time, and that I didn’t have any reason or right to even think about my childhood. Yet I had intense memories, scenes and emotions that popped into my head regularly. And most of them involved my parents, and I certainly had no right to think or speak ill of my parents. After all, I’m a Christian, which means I am not a victim, which means I am responsible for my own sin, which means I have no right to indict other people for the problems in my life. But Martin gave me the no-shit look again, and I talked around strong memories:

[many memories deleted here]

I was ever asking my parents to play board games with me, and they, busy parents with jobs and three children and a mortgage, understandably asked if we could do it later, and I would storm to my room, crying, seething rage, and try to suffocate myself in my Fig Newton pillow. One of those extreme reactions.

When I got in trouble, my gentle father, unwilling to hit me, would lecture me. At the end of almost each lecture, he’d ask, “Now, do you want to be special, or do you want to be like everyone else?” I’d respond, “I want to be special.” Even then, I suppose, despite his good intentions, I thought that I had to become special to him.

At some point, something switched off.

Martin asked me what these things had to do with anything. He sent me off for the week to think about it. And he added, as I was collecting the tears that fall of honesty and vulnerability, that if I needed to cry, I should cry; that if I was pissed, I should be pissed; if I needed take off for the day, that I should, and things would run alright without me around. Such freedom.

I spent a week of mornings walking to town, a week of evenings pacing wheatfields and raising my fist in the air: “Alright, God, if you exist, you better do something here.” This wasn’t presumption; it was desperation. I was at the end of my rope, and I hadn’t realized until then just how bad things were. If things didn’t change, I was ready to die, rather to noose the end of my rope than keep living the way I was. It felt, and was, so good to yell at God.

We met a week later, and we began parsing my heart.

As far back as I could remember, I longed to be loved, to be special. They were my parents, and I trusted them to love me the way I longed to be loved. But despite their intense love for me, they, like any parents, remained mortals, and it wasn’t going to happen. So I began my search to find that love elsewhere. I couldn’t pack my bags and say goodbye, though, as they provided me with food, clothing, shelter, the physical needs. I did, of course, wallow in their love at times, and, even though I wasn’t getting what I wanted, I couldn’t risk not having what they did give me. So, though I stayed at home and continued being their son, I began looking for someone else to love me. I looked to friends’ parents, and they couldn’t do it. To friends, to teachers, and they couldn’t do it. But I realized that there were certain things I could do to get those people to admire me, respect me, give me things I wanted. And rather than tell them when they, too, let me down, I kept the peace and kept everyone happy. I thought it was up to me to hold the world together.

My friends respected me if I stole more than they did and made them laugh. My teachers loved me, and I gave them good reason. In college, I was converted, and I began to taste something of what I was looking for, but my new family let me down just as much. I grew so quickly, and they were all amazed. Two years later, and I was the youth pastor, and the children and their parents loved me. Then I worked in the Desire Street housing projects in New Orleans for two summers, and I was the church’s urban missionary, and they respected me for that. Then I moved into the projects in my college town, and everyone thought that was great. Then I was the church’s seminary boy to-be, and everyone was feeding me morsels of love, and though none of it was what I wanted, it was enough to keep me going, enough to keep up the hundreds of images I had learned to present to people. I had mastered the game.

My first two years in seminary, I continued the game, and the images continued to pile up, and I was so tired.

So I began to make some connections:

The reason I was so angry at the guys in my room at L’Abri and at people who kept me waiting: So you said you’d be here at 7:30, and it’s 7:32, and where are you? Well, you’re not here, just like my mom wasn’t there for me, just like my dad wasn’t there for me the way I expected, the way I demanded. And you’re just one more person whom I trust to love me, and you’re not doing it, and it freaks me out. And who’s going to love me? So I get angry, but I don’t say anything, because if I’m honest with you, you might reject me, might deprive me of the things that you do give me, the things that keep me going. So I put my mask on, image someone you won’t reject, and I keep looking. I beat myself up for being unloveable.

What I realized: after 23 years of thinking, six years of college, six years of born again, and two years of seminary, I had never loved anyone. I had never loved anyone because I had never been honest with anyone. I had never been honest with anyone because, even though that person wasn’t going to love me the way I wanted, he gave me enough to keep me going, and I couldn’t risk losing that.

Of course I was tired. All those years of composing and presenting and maintaining images of myself, using God as a talisman, using religion to get people to love me, to try to become a special person for someone.

This is the sin of relationship, and my problem was not that I doubted that God existed. My problem, after twenty-five years of trusting people to love me and being accordingly disappointed, is that I couldn’t trust God to love me.

One evening, after pacing the wheatfields for hours, crying, yelling, whispering madly over these things, I sat down to consider what I was supposed to do, or not do, with it all. Martin was walking to his house, and, having seen me earlier and then, he stopped about fifty yards from me, knelt on the lawn, and prayed for me. And something in me broke, and I wept. Here was someone who knew everything about me, with whom I had been honest, and he was still there for me, he still loved me. And for the first time, I realized what it must be like for God to love me: here’s someone who really knows everything about me, who really loves me, who Himself became a man and wept over me.

So we understood that I had not been living in reality, and we began to consider what it would mean to live in God’s reality, to be honest with people, to love them. So disconcerting and humbling, I, a seminary student, not knowing how to love people. I felt like I had just left the womb.

This is where everything begins to sound cosmic. But it is.

If I could trust God to love me as I desired (and the desire to be loved is given by Him), then I didn’t need others to love me, and I could risk honesty, risk rejection, because, ultimately, He would love me. The rejection never feels good, but it is not ultimate. I had written papers on my adoption, my union with Christ, but it was only theological assent. When I did risk honesty, God would certainly know my heart, and, despite the outcome, he would vindicate me, be there for me. And that’s what I needed.

These things made sense of so much of my life – the missing pieces. Certainly, it helped me understand my past sins of relationship in the dating realm. Take this as metonymy:

I pursued E for two years during college, making sure to speak and act respectfully, to cultivate friendship, to honor her parents’ wishes. I was convinced we would marry. Two years later, her parents gave her the go-ahead. E sat me down and said that we were free to pursue our relationship. Less than a day later, I was freaking out. I wanted nothing to do with her. What of this madness? “Well,” I told myself, “the heart is deceitful above all else and desperately wicked. Who can understand it?” I couldn’t, but my prooftext satisfied me for the moment. But my heart ached, and it frightened me.

I realized, then, during my time at L’Abri, that even though I taught Bible studies on the dangers of idolatry, of the imperfection of relational love, I still thought, somewhere inside, that she would be the one to finally love me as I wanted. But when she did return my affections, it was instantly clear that it wasn’t going to happen, and here, of all people the worst, was one more to let me down, and I was angry. So I went on a rampage of anti-dating and not-trusting-your-emotions and letting feelings have no part in relationships. Marriage is, after all, I concluded, nothing but commitment, and anything else is sinking sand. I was the guy who said that you didn’t really love a girl until you put a ring on her finger, because love is an action. I was the guy who said that you needed to lay all your cards on the table up front; relationships couldn’t entertain ambiguity. I coined the phrase “mortification of ambiguity.” I became terrified of marriage, seeing it as duty, and “if all that’s left is duty, I’m falling on my sword; at least, then, I would not serve an unseen, distant Lord.”

That mode of thinking lasted a few staunch months, until I began to suspect that maybe I just hadn’t found the right girl yet, and surely she would be the one to keep my trust.

There’s a diamond ring sitting in a safety deposit box. I was preparing and determined to marry a seminary girl at the end of my first year. But God saved me from that joyless settling, and I realized in England that I never loved her, I had rarely been honest with her, and that our marriage likely would have filled us with resentment. God is gracious, but he does not save us from all consequence.

This is the first part. Shh, my soul.

~ ~ ~ ~

You cry before noon,
London in your head;
so close your eyes
and bake a cake instead

So big in my mind,
so big in my heart;
you hit 61,
the phone booth falls apart

I can’t say if something breaks,
so come here, take care
and don’t leave forever when you leave

Walk to the store
and make everything fine;
three minutes and my dreams
were in you last night

One last churchyard,
let go of your hand;
smile at the sun
and hold on still to heaven

I can’t say if something breaks,
so come here, take care
and don’t leave forever when you leave

Everytime God began to convince me of something, he incarnated that something, and did I really trust him, or was this more assent?

Two weeks into my stay at L’Abri, Bird showed up.

I did not think much of it until we washed dishes together after a lunch at the St. Kildas’. We laughed with dishpan hands and talked about heart things: writing, reading, singing, broken dishes. “This is an amazing girl,” I thought to myself. We talked more, we eyed each other at lunch to see if one would volunteer to do dishes, and then there were two. We spent mornings walking and talking, comparing notes on being in the wilderness. A week later, and I began to think more about dishes. We spent an evening, among other students, at a local pub, drinking, smoking, not really watching the soccer game. Then the walk home, and mention of the boyfriend back home in California.

Ah, yes, the boyfriend. And will you trust Him now? So I asked his name, if only to give me some syllables on which to perch my respect. She told me about M, and we walked home with fragile smiles perched on our faces.

We continued talking, enjoying each other’s company: walks to Liss for Coke and smoke, reading Italian folk-tales on the couch all night, day-trips to London, used bookstores. I let her know that she would need to tell me if she was uncomfortable with our hanging out, if I was imposing on M. She assured me she would.

A dear friend of mine, also at L’Abri, asked me if it might not be wise to spend so much time with Bird, given her situation and the intensity of my heart. I politely asked him to fuck off; I was enjoying her company, and, though I would have run off in the past, I wasn’t going to quit hanging out with Bird because it might possibly get messy (read: confusing, sad, ambiguous, hard).

I had told her a week before that I might not be able to keep in touch after I left L’Abri; it might be too hard on my soul. She wrote me a letter, the letter I’d been waiting for all my life, and, at the bottom, in bird-scrawl, she wrote, “Please don’t leave forever when you leave.”

Twelve days before I left, Bird joined a group for a lecture in Cambridge. I stayed behind to think on things. Her absence was sharp. It physically hurt. And I realized that I was falling in love with Bird. Love?

She returned that night, we read on the couch, and I told her about the pain. She knew. And I was supposed to leave in twelve days, and what was I supposed to do?

We made a 14-hour day trip to Hay-on-Wye, Wales, and she fell asleep on my shoulder, and the thickness of the sorrow and confusion held me upright.

My last night in Greatham, we walked to our favorite churchyard and sat against a gravestone. The sun was setting, in our eyes, and we were mostly quiet:

“Bird, what am I supposed to do with all of this?”

She remained quiet, for five minutes, the silence heavy. Then she spoke.

“Jeremy, I think you’re asking the wrong person.”

“I know. I’ve been asking Him for days now, and I knew before now that I was gonna have to let go.”

“I think it’d be best to do that now.”

And, too symbolically, I let go of her hand. I stared at the sun for three minutes, muttering in prayer: “Lord, here it is. I can’t do this. I need you to do this. I can trust you to love me. I can trust you to love me.”

Three minutes later, and it happened. I can’t make it explicit other than to say I let go.

“It happened, Bird. I can let go.”

And she wept, seeing in reality all the things I had been speaking to her for weeks. All the talk of wilderness, of hope, of what God was doing, and it was real in me, real for her.

And this is what happened: Here I was, in love with this girl, confused, sad, uncertain, grieved, and she was going off to be with her other lover. And I was certain, for the second time, of what it must mean for God to love me. Here I am, running off to other lovers, grieving God, making Him sad, confusing his intentions – yet He doesn’t quit loving me. He loves me still. And just because I didn’t understand my relationship with Bird, because it was difficult and confusing and sad at times, I didn’t have to quit loving her. I could risk difficulty, suffering, ambiguity, rejection, because I didn’t need her to love me.

I had never understood what it meant for God to love me, because I had never allowed myself to love and be loved by others. Now I knew.

We spent the rest of the evening laughing, smoking, drinking cocoa. I sneaked into her room at six the next morning, waked her, and we walked to the train station in Liss. The train grinding to a stop, we held each other, and as I let go, she pulled me back, perched on tiptoes, and whispered in my ear, “Jeremy, I love you.”

~ ~ ~ ~

I spent the rest of the summer in Starkville, MS. We talked a few nights a week, often for too many hours, and we wrote and wrote and wrote. And my heart was attaching itself more and deeper. And she was still dating M. And she couldn’t explain it, and I told her I didn’t need explanations. Every morning I woke up feeling like I was committing emotional suicide. I knew that the day would come, if she was serious about marrying M, that respect for institutions would mean goodbye, and it was so confusing; but I refused to quit loving because it hurt.

In September, I flew her to St. Louis, and we flitted around the city, drove to Mississippi, fed birds, wrote silly letters. So hard.

I must trust you with birds,
whose words, chirp-clear, thrust and thrush through my
in my around my and under
my ears.

I should trust you with birds,
which fly, flit free, for grocery samples
devoted to prayed for fit-filling
bleak beaks.

I may trust you with birds,
which rise, round night, to Thee, when nest
intertwined with maligned with unkind with
cold dreams.

So take care of my bird,
which bird, soft down, beats wings to
and swallows and follows the touchings of wind,
warm-bend in chin words,
because you live in birds.

In October, I flew out to California to visit. And we flitted around the city, drove the coast, fed birds, wrote love letters. She and M had quit seeing each other, but the air was still dense and confusing.

I began to fear that the things I grasped at L’Abri, the God I began to trust, was really my grasping Bird, my trusting Him through Bird. She was, after all, there for the majority of my time, and she flew in and out of my heart as it wrestled with God.

I limped home from California. We agreed that if either of us felt that it was time to say goodbye, then it would be for good, and we trusted each other with it.

October 31, and we were e-mailing. Something I wrote was not taken as intended, and she was obviously upset. I called that evening, and we both realized it was time to say goodbye. We sat silent for ten minutes, hoping maybe we would be taken Home first. We were both so Homesick. And we whispered our goodbyes.

The next day was the worst birthday of my life.

Six months later, her birthday, and I sent a letter, only to ask forgiveness.

A year and a half later, and a letter dated March 13, 2002:

I am sure you understand why I have swallowed everything up.
Why it took me so long to get to what I needed to tell you.
Shh, my soul.
But you see there is no other way. I must make you dead in my heart. to my self only.
please no more.
I have survived the nervous breakdown and continue to recover with punctuated equilibrium.
I am engaged to marry M in December. I am and always will be at peace with this.
This cruelty has been well thought out. I am grieving the loss of knowing your future but I am conscious of our past. I will always be.
There will be no more questions, please.
No more promises kept but one because I have not made it to you.
Please forgive me; when you get this you will finally know you were forgiven long before you asked me one year ago.
There have been so many times I needed you. I wanted just to ask you a question. But those days must close.
I know I will see you again. You will get home long before I am allowed to go. This is where you will be for me. You will be for me.
Jeremy, Jeremy Huggins, I have heard the laughter you search for. It is not lost.
Feel safety knowing there is no phone number you can call to hear my voice. Some poetry is not meant to be out loud. We must accept that; we must accept the power of poetry to solve things in its very own way.
And in my heart I will look for traces of you. I tell myself that you will read one afternoon and I will hear you. This is the way my world works. But then I remind myself it will not happen once I have silenced you.
The future is unclear but I prepare it gingerly and with faith that He is much harder than this. With his help you will give me my life back, I will take it back even if it is by taking yours from me.

With all of my heart,
your bird.

I wrote back, thanked her for letting me know that she was okay (it was all I ever wanted to know), told her I delighted in her wedding, tried to put to rest the secrets that we shared, and assured her that everything would be okay, and to sleep tight.

So sleep tight, bird –
rest your hands
and feel wings of flight.

So sleep tight, bird –
rest your eyes;
God will be your light.

So sleep tight, bird –
rest your mind;
the moon tastes so bright.

So sleep tight, bird –
rest your heart;
this is Jesus’ night.

~ ~ ~ ~

So I have spent the last two years learning to love, pissing people off in the process (as I learned that honesty without love is only cruelty; that small talk isn’t necessarily sinful; that only God is going to love me as I want, and that only as we Feast; and other things too many for this paper), and delighting in the joy of honesty with friends, real relationship, real repentance, real tears, real worship. I am learning to delight in mystery, to wait alongside ambiguity, to talk with Jesus rather than address Him.

I have spent the last two years learning what it means to fall out of love with Bird. The more time passes, the more my heart begins to selectively delete memories, the middle grey memories, those things that defined our relationship, the ambiguous things, the unmanageable, uncontrollable things: her profile in the car, the way she held her cigarette, her wild front tooth, the warmth of her secrets. And I am left with the black-and-whites, the extreme goods and bads, a portrait that I can understand and control, a perfectionist painting, and who can love such an image?

I thought I was going to write a paper about my struggles with singleness, my fear of comparisons, of never being able to love a girl again, my resentment and ache and hope. But I am so enmeshed in the story still, and I am just beginning to understand how God is loving me in this. So I’ll wait.

I’m still learning what it means to love my parents now. I am just beginning to understand that my problems are not the first generation of sin in my family. Only last year did I hear the story of my father and mother’s running away when they were teens, because my beautiful father felt responsible to raise the child they would have. And that they, too, stand in Adam’s line. We have things to talk about, stories to share, honesty to give.

For now, I keep reciting this new story. Make sure that I don’t return to the old story. I can trust God to love me.

Shh, my soul.

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