saving my life.

Atticus at One

Many years ago now, when I was invited to speak at a church gathering, my host said, “Tell us what is saving your life now.” It was such a good question that I have made a practice of asking others to answer it even as I continue to answer it myself. Salvation is so much more than many of its proponents would have us believe. In the Bible human beings experience God’s salvation when peace ends war, when food follows famine, when health supplants sickness and freedom trumps oppression. Salvation is a word for the divine spaciousness that comes to human beings in all the tight places where their lives are at risk, regardless of how they got there or whether they know God’s name. Sometimes it comes as an extended human hand and sometimes as a bolt from the blue, but either way it opens a door in what looked for all the world like a wall. This is the way of life, and God alone knows how it works . . . Few of us can choose our circumstances, but we can choose how we respond to them. To be saved is not only to recognize an alternative to the deadliness pressing down upon us but also to be able to act upon it. -Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church

I have aspirations to post here on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but it has become clear to me that I need something to structure my thoughts for at least one of those days. After a few weeks of trying to think of something, I caught a glimpse of Leaving Church on my bedside table (I finished it weeks ago, don’t judge me for not putting it away) and realized that the above quote, from the end of the book, was perfect. In an effort to see how God is showing up in what is happening to me, Fridays are going to be about what is saving my life right now.

I was recently talking with a friend of mine about how difficult the past few weeks have been and how much I need a break from Atticus’s constant sickness (which leads to him being very needy) so that I can continue to like him. Rather than telling me that I am a bad mom, she affirmed my ability to express how I am feeling, said that asking for what I need makes me a better mom. And she offered me a glass of wine.

I am not good at being good, staying positive when things are hard. And I am not good at keeping those “bad” thoughts inside. My friends who listen to my bad thoughts without calling me bad are saving my life.

What is saving your life this week?

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