I find it utterly amazing sometimes how fast time goes. A blast from my past showed up in my email inbox last night, to my great delight. 14 years is a long time, humanly speaking~the incredible changes that take place from age 17 to age 32. It's like a completely different person knew Shane, and was known by him. I wonder--the people I loved to be with back then, would I still love to be with them now that we are older? Have our tastes and interests changed so drastically that we could no longer find common ground to talk and laugh about, other than that Great Illusion known as The Past?
Another friend from high school called me tonight (he had received the same email I did)-- and we still have much to laugh and talk about (yes, even about that Great Illusion, The Past). Though I don't know if Wally really counts; we've kept in pretty good contact over the years since high school. It about killed me to go to a different college than he did, but God knew best, as always.
As we talked about The Past, I gained greater insight into mutual friends long fallen by the wayside; people who used to matter so very much to me, but I never completely understood why they made the foolish choices they did. He, having a different perspective, was able to fill in some gaps. Perhaps the Past is best understood when shared with others; I find that I lose perspective about myself and others when I try to recall things on my own. He gave me a gift tonight: He told me I was the first person to straighten him out about why people kept asking him about his boots ("Wally, they don't really want to know. Don't answer them."). When I recall what I was like at 13, I shudder. It was all about me - clawing my way to acceptance - hence, security - at any price, it seemed. But tonight he affirmed me. I looked out for him when he was new, in a new place. The thought warmed me that maybe, just maybe, I had done one thing worthwhile out of all the mistakes I made as a friend.
My heart is full. My heart is overflowing on a good theme? I'm not sure where that Scripture is found. But I'm so grateful for friends from The Past. They knew me when, yet they still love me now. What a precious thing! Something not to treat callously. And so maybe enough time has passed...maybe enough has gone on over the last year, with 911 and Alvaro's death...maybe it's time to reunite as a group. *shuddering with fear* I can only hope that 15 years has taken the sting away of some of the bitter things that occurred. If not...well, I am a living testimony that God is able to make huge changes in a life. Those who walk in pride, He is able to humble, and that I know painfully and gratefully well. It's a lesson I need constant retesting on, also! Whatever others may think of the Me of The Past - I know who I am NOW. Fundamentally the same; but radically altered. I'm freed to be who I am, in a way I could not be when I was 17. Not that I speak as one who has "arrived," mind you, but that I've learned, in some small way, to let go and let God be and do all within me. I don't have to scrabble for some elusive position or rank on an arbitrary pecking order. I am accepted in the Beloved, and He gave all and humbled Himself. When I am striving to be changed into His image, being holy as He is--these other things pale in comparison with His transcendent glory.
I know who I am.
Do you know who you are?
Natural Bridge State Park
9 hours ago