This past year has been a growing one. I'm a processor by nature. I can be very intense. Sometimes I wish I could find an "off switch" in my brain, because I am constantly thinking things through... mulling over circumstances, pondering theology, contemplating ideas.
A little over a year ago, I saw an old friend. She is a friend, essentially from a different lifetime. Do you know what I mean? Someone who knew you back when... when you were you, but a you 20 some odd years ago? It's funny how some people are cemented in your mind in a certain way, and even though time has passed, it seems to stand still in your relationship for some reason.
As we were continuing our conversation and catching up, so to speak, we were discussing our lives and some of what God was accomplishing in and through us. And then she said something that I wasn't quite sure how to respond to.
"I always thought of you as a silly girl," she expressed... or at least something along those lines. It seemed as though she thought it was good I had grown out of my "silliness." And then she immediately looked as if she regretted what she had said.
I have done that thousands of times, so I really felt for her. While I can pull my thoughts together on paper, erase and rewrite until it reflects my true heart, I have a difficult time putting words together in "real time." Often flustered, I can't come up with the vocabulary I'm looking for, or even a coherent thought. I can be very socially awkward, but I've learned to live with it. And having an extroverted husband to compliment my clumsy interactions has certainly saved me on many occasions.
Enough with my babbling though, and back to the "silly girl" comment. I wasn't quite certain how to receive it, or if I even wanted to. Was it condescending? Was she attacking my character? Did she think I wasn't capable? Or was she simply astounded at the fact that God could work through someone like me? Probably the later, as I'm quite bewildered and humbled by that fact on a weekly basis... no, daily.
For a while, I settled on that explanation and moved on. However, I didn't get very far. I kept coming back to "silly." I hadn't ever really characterized myself as silly, nor had I ever necessarily been described that way by anyone else. Yet as I thought about my personality back then, I was a person who laughed with great delight, until I was crying and sometimes on the floor doubled over with glee. Joy came with so much ease and more frequently and freely before "life" happened.
I've realized, in the midst of a difficult season, that I miss that girl, silly or however I might choose to describe her. Strangely enough, God gave me two unexpected friends this year that have drawn her back into existence. I'm getting reacquainted and loving every minute of it.
Welcome back, silly girl.
I've missed you.