The Day Love Erased The Line

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“I began to believe that Love lived only on the other side of that Line. On the other side of getting my act together. On the other side of earning, striving, working, reaching and doing.”

By Idelette McVicker | Twitter: @idelette

These thoughts showed up in a red bathroom with need for a good wipedown from little boy pee. Three girls from our Thursday night SheLoves circle were already gathered in the kitchen and I knew the doorbell would ring any moment with more beautiful faces.

The Thursday evening arrived unusually chaotic.

I like vacuuming the living room and kitchen (yes, that’s our living room above in the beautiful picture by Tina) wiping down the bathroom and cleaning the mirror for our gatherings. Most Thursdays I’d light a few candles, set out our Vanilla Rooibos tea, pink lemonade and a few nibblies. But the night before, our homestay students asked if they could please go to the mall one last time before returning to China. This was their last opportunity to pick up a few more gifts for family back home. I said yes, knowing it would be tight getting everything ready for lifegroup.

Our time at the mall was hurried and we got stuck in the drive-through coming home. We were still unloading the car, making our way from garage through to kitchen, when Tina (yes, @teenbug!) arrived. Two more girls arrived soon after her. I felt so happy to see them, I ignored the angst about the space not being quite ready yet.

Until I popped into the bathroom. O, boy, I thought, this bathroom could really use some work. But I didn’t have the time. My heart sank.

Our family of five live into every nook and carpeted corner of our home. Most weeks you’ll find a visitor or two joining us for dinner or a bed. We like it that way. I could vacuum and wipe every day and still there would be life speaking from our floors and our walls.

I just didn’t like it speaking that much life.

I heard the laughing from the kitchen and looked at the floor and I suddenly became aware of a thick Line in my spirit. A Line drawn wide and long through my story. A Line that separated me in my mess and chaos and imperfections from the other side of that Line; that side luring me with approval and love.

Echoes of my teenaged bedroom bumped up against that Line. My closets not neat enough. My world not ordered enough. Emotions too much.

Not thin enough. Not quiet enough. Not submissive enough.

But on the other side of working hard at school, reward.

On the other side of being and staying neat, approval.

On the other side of unquestioned obedience, love.

I could never quite set up camp permanently on that other side. Inevitably, I would shrink back to my more chaotic, messy, human side of the Line. I began to believe that Love lived only on the other side of that Line. On the other side of getting my act together. On the other side of earning, striving, working, reaching and doing.

I learned that on the other side of measuring up, I could find an exhale … although momentary. On the other side of meeting expectation, I could encounter approval …  albeit fleeting.

This side of the Line, I lived in tension and over the years, even resignation.

That Thursday night, the legacy of the Line came to me, setting off bells in my heart. I could hear the girls’ laughter and comfort in being here, their happiness in this home that wants to be sacred space for those who come in. Looking at the floor—not that dirty, but certainly lived in—the floor wanted to speak to me of this Line.

I became aware of a choice.

The choice between slavery and freedom. Between Rest and striving. Between Love and earning approval.

Hearing their laughter, I began to see: These friends don’t need clean bathrooms to come here and hang out. They love being here.

Then I saw Love, standing where the Line used to be daunting and thick. I became aware of Love filling the divide and even erasing that other side. Love, coming closer and speaking to me of “with.”

I am God with you, Idelette. Remember?

Emmanuel.

And Love spoke to me some more: I am with you in the noise and the chaos. I am with you in the life that never quite attains perfection. I am with you in the barking dog and the beads all over the floor. I am with you in the messes not quite mopped and the bathroom mirrors with soap splotches. I am with you in the words that don’t quite come out right and friendships still unfolding. I am with you in the extra pounds and relationships that hurt. I am with you in the piles of folded laundry and the closets that need organizing. I am with you in your ache over losing your citizenship and the grief over friends in faraway places. I am with you when you don’t measure up. I am with you in your imperfection. And it’s ok.

I am here.

I am with you.

As Spirit spoke to me of Love already here–blink-blink-blink–I prayed to see a red bathroom with Emmanuel eyes.

No need to earn it. No need to work for it. No need to get my act together for it.

Love, I wanted to laugh out loud, is already here.

I felt my shoulders relax and the shift coming in waves of Rest. I sensed how this Love strips the earning and the striving, the do do do of its power. No need to earn. No need to strive.

Just believe.

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My dear SheLoves friends, this was my a-ha moment this month. This is what Love spoke to me, through Emmanuel eyes, as we collectively leaned into Rest here on SheLoves this past month. At the beginning of August, we switched to six days of editorial and adding a Sabbath rhythm to our week. At first, on those first few Sundays, I needed the physical rest. I needed to stop the work. I needed to stop and remember the six days that were good and beautiful. But, then, there was this moment … this understanding of Love I needed to come to, in order to embrace Rest as lifestyle. Becoming content and safe in Love, also for the rest (pun intended) of the week.

I’d love to hear:

  • Did you have an a-ha moment this past month?
  • Did you come to a new understanding of Rest?
  • Do you, or did you ever, have a Line?
Or: Did you write about it? Please link up your post on Rest, your insights, your experience in today’s comments. We’d love to read it, tweet it or share it. I’d love to see what you learned.

Next month: Tomorrow, I am sending out our newsletter, announcing our new theme for September plus some exciting events and opportunities coming up this month. If you’re not signed up for it yet, please come click in the right hand column and subscribe to our newsletter.

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About Idelette:
I like soggy cereal and I would like to go to every spot on the map of the earth to meet our world’s women.

I dream of a world where no women or girls are for sale. I dream of a world where women and men are partners in doing the work that brings down a new Heaven on earth.

My word for the year is “Roar,” but I have learned it’s not about my voice rising as much as it is about our collective voices rising in unison to bring down walls of injustice.

I have three children and this place–right here, called shelovesmagazine.com–is my fourth baby. I am African, although my skin colour doesn’t tell you that story. I am also a little bit Chinese, because my heart lives there amongst the tall skyscrapers of Taipei and the mountains of Chiufen. Give me sweet chai and I think I’m in heaven. I live in Vancouver, Canada and I pledged my heart to Scott 11 years ago.

I believe in kindness and calling out the song in each other’s hearts. I also believe that Love covers–my gaps, my mistakes and the distances between us. I blog at idelette.com and tweet@idelette.

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