I was folding the laundry. It’s one of my favorite chores, unlike most people. I love how boring yet consistent it is: every week I will wash and fold the same clothes, and every week they will get dirty. If I can trust anything to be true it is this–my children will wear the same clothes, and I will have to wash them.
But as I was folding, I felt gratitude wash over me in a new way. Do you know what I mean? It was like seeing something beautiful for the first time. One of my favorite recent memories is when my husband and I took the train to the Grand Canyon. The anticipation of arriving and walking toward the outlook was palpable, and when we saw it, it felt like the breath in my lungs was renewed. Like before that moment, my eyes hadn’t quite seen real beauty before. Or the moment when I held my babies for the first time, and I looked at their sweet, tiny faces. It is like the world I knew split in two and a new horizon was created.
This time, however, it was laundry. I was sorting and folding and mindlessly doing, and it occurred to me that the air around me feels new. The days are changing. My mind is transformed into something else, and I am experiencing something new.
A little over a year ago, I walked into the dentist’s office with two of my boys and had a panic attack. Leading up to that moment, I was wracked with fear. I was absolutely certain that I was a fraud, that everything I wanted was impossible, and that I was destined to fail the life that God had given me. Maybe you know the same feeling of lying thoughts assaulting you in new ways. It was terrible. I was less than five miles from our home, and I couldn’t drive back. I couldn’t muster the courage or belief that I could be a good mom at that moment. So we parked in a parking lot while my husband came and picked us up, and I fell to pieces.
For most of this year, recalling that day has felt impossibly difficult. I don’t like the details of it. Admitting it happened felt like a failure in itself, but I began to learn that unspoken darkness has a firm grip and will not let go until you shine a light on it. Letting people in helped heal me. Our collective light exposed this dark thing that wasn’t so dark–it was just a painful version of myself that needed to be loved. She didn’t know how to love herself, so she panicked. Now I’m learning that she needed to know she was worthy of being here in the first place, surrounded by light and warmth. It’s work to stay in the light. It’s comfortable in the dark where no one sees any pain. But I am learning, daily, that discomfort is where life gets better.
Sorting through the clothes, folding them one by one, noticing the consistency of this one task that I do every week with surprising joy. Every day is a miracle, and I am realizing that believing in that miracle is one of the greatest gifts. Can I tell you the truth? I used to think needing a miracle meant you were weak, and weakness was not for women like me. Now? I am only better because I let myself be weak. I gave in to the miracle, and I found myself whole because a good God loves me. I am who I am because of Him. All of me, even the me that fell to pieces, is made whole and complete and loved because He miraculously brought me out of miry clay. Maybe you know what I mean.
The simplest things are the most joyful things because I am just not who I was. I am not how I was. And as I was doing my boring household chores, the weight of God’s grace felt heavy on me, like the pressure of being hugged deeply and knowingly. He knows all of me, and His love for me would fill every crack of the Grand Canyon to the top of those mountains, and it would still overflow. I am here and whole, and it is worth marking that, while I was folding laundry, I felt at peace.
I am currently counting down the days until I finish my Bachelor’s degree. I am counting the fruit of reading Scripture every day for the last year. I am seeing the transformation in my mind from terrified to cherished. I am witnessing God do absolute miracles for a weak girl like me and turn it all into strength. It’s not every day that while I’m folding laundry I drop the basket and run to my computer to testify to what God has done through a blog I’ve been writing on for six-ish years. But today? Today is that day.
Miracles on miracles. From grace to grace.
I’ll testify until the end of my life what God did in one year and believe that He is just getting started. What might seem like the end is just a beginning, believe me. What feels like terror and pain can become rescued and redeemed into a miraculous testament of God’s grace. I would know. I’m a walking miracle.
From weakness to strength, I find that the hardest moments are what we need to become who we are supposed to be. May you be made whole by what breaks you in half. May you find that what caused you to fall becomes the catalyst for everything you were destined for. It’s not all for nothing. It’s all for something. And for me, that means everything.