correspondence tuesday [seven]

Monday, May 26, 2008 / Comments (0) / by elizabeth

i'm shaking up correspondence tuesday this week.
for the past couple of years, i've tried to set aside time on tuesdays to write letters or send packages to the important people in my life who don't live near me. i decided to bring it to the blog and write to an anonymous [important] person each tuesday. except this time, they are not all that anonymous, and they live VERY near me. but they are important nonetheless. this is the seventh edition - enjoy!

"if these streets could whisper
if these walls could speak
they would scream out love
they would cry themselves to sleep
they would pray to Jesus
they would sing rock n roll
they would laugh with each other
they would live soul to soul"

- Sean McConnell, If These Walls Could Speak

the last time i was home - the time you came with me - my mom turned to me with tears in her eyes and asked how i got so lucky to find someones [yes, someones] like you. i told her that i don’t believe in luck, but sometimes i look around and i am completely in awe of God’s provision for my life.

to put into words how i feel about four other people is a huge and daunting task. four people, who, in a short year, have had an impact on my life that is almost unfathomable. i hear the question all the time: how do you do it? HOW do you live with four girls? and i always have the same answer: well, it’s hard. but it is so good.

we knew going into this that it wouldn’t always be easy. and it has taken a year to feel comfortable, a year to learn quirks and habits and eccentricities and yes, annoyances too. but really? i would do it all over again - every confrontation, every raised eyebrow, and every closed door - because with all of that comes every joy, every bit of laughter, every prayer, every tear, every moment that i am overwhelmed with the beauty and talent that surrounds me.

living with you is like living with a mirror in front of my face 24 hours a day. i'm sure, for most people, that wouldn’t be fun. and some of the time it’s not, like when i see something that i don’t like (and i'm not talking about my thighs). but my mirrors also see the best in me. they encourage me. they don’t allow me to be self-depreciating. you have shown me things about myself that i never knew. you have taught me to not be so passive. because of you, i feel safe to be angry, to be sad, to be happy….safe to feel, really. and oh! the forgiveness and grace – i didn’t know such grace existed outside of Jesus and my mother.

before you, the words "vulnerability" and "authenticity" and "community" didn’t mean much to me – i mean, i thought i had them down, that i didn’t need to learn how to be these things. i was these things in public; i assumed i was also these things in private. i was wrong. as jon tyson once said in a sermon of his, “the real you is who you are at home.” it’s true. the real me isn’t ‘on’ 24/7 – i need a few minutes of down time when i get home from work. the real me isn’t always an open book – i can be closed off and i tend shut down when i'm overwhelmed. the real me isn’t always respectful or Christ-like. the real me tends to crawl into a (metaphorical) hole when i get sad or depressed. you know all of this, and still you love me. you are silent when i need silence, and you speak when it is time to speak. you crawl into bed with me, under the covers, just to let me know you are there. you sincerely say things like, “i know you love your friends from home, and i know they are good friends. but we love you and want to be that for you too.” you create an environment where it’s possible – and preferable - to live in the light and to confess my short-comings. you raise my standards.

you make this city home.