When we are together, laughter comes easily. Sitting and talking is the priority. I don't think I've ever heard them say an ill word about anyone. Not that they wear only rose-colored glasses, but they prefer to look for the good, to see the blessings in life and in people.
It's easy to see where they learned it. Walking in the door to his parent's home where once again we find middle meeting ground, I am greeted like one of the family. Hugs and hellos, how are you really's, and invitations aplenty to stay for dinner, stay for awhile, stay as long and as often as you'd like.
This time his brother was there. A brother I have not seen in what we figured out was ten years. Not since their wedding. When my life was an entirely different life. And now his brother's life is an entirely different life from then. He's now married and has a precious little daughter.
I left before the meal; I bowed out with excuses of the weather and darkness and the drive. But the truth is, I still fight the demons. The ones that say, "Look at that!! You want that!" The ones that remind me that I am the only one who walks into that house alone. And so I left, alone, and in the dark, in the fog and the rain, I prayed.
Lord, you have given me these beautiful people, given the world these beautiful people, to show us how it should be. I know they aren't perfect. I know they have their own demons and their own battles. And I know, Lord, that they are not beautiful people because they are married, or because they have beautiful children or because of all the things that they have. I know this, even when it is hard to admit it. I know they are beautiful people not because of what they have filled their lives with, but with WHOM they have filled themselves. I know it is because they are filled with Your love, God, that they are such a blessing to the world, and to me. Remind me, Lord, remind my envious nature that I do not walk into that home alone. I do not leave it alone. I do not join them as a third-wheel. I join them as a person who can be filled with You, too.
It is hard, this time of year, to not focus on the loneliness. To not wonder how nine years have passed since I celebrated a holiday with someone by my side. But Lord, today, and for all the days to come, help me to focus on filling myself with You. For it is only You that can fill my soul completely.
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. "