Still reading.. We are just finishing up our first week in the New Testament.  Ahhh… Today’s reading was Mark 2, the story about the paraplegic. I don’t really know what it is like to be a paraplegic, I can only imagine how hard it might be.  I have an acquaintance who paints using his teeth because he can not use his hands to hold a paint brush.  He is a great example of how to make the best of life’s circumstances, but I’m not going to make light of his disability nor disregard it.  He doesn’t let it define him, but it is a part of him… And it is this aspect I can relate to.  I have now been divorced for 3 months, and it’s been some of the hardest months of my life emotionally.. and yet… I am surviving, healing and moving on. Divorce does not define me… but it is a part of who I am.  I am learning to be ok with that. 

    What I felt like I could relate to the most, and it struck me like a sledge-hammer this morning spawning joyful tears of thanksgiving, what just how much I can relate to the having friends like the paraplegic’s friends.  The kind who are by your side and willing to help you even when the path seems to be blocked.  The kind that would drag you to the roof top of a home, pry away the shingles of the roof and lower you down so your broken body could rest at the feet of Jesus.  My friends have put up with my tears, my anger, my feelings of hopelessness, my deep sadness and led me again and again to the feet of Jesus.  My friends have many faces, my pastor, his wife, sons and daughter- in-laws, my bible study girlfriends,  friends here, friends from long ago, friends I only know through a computer screen bonded by the miracle of adoption, my neighbors, my mother, father, brother, my mother-in-law, and my entire ex-husband’s family.  With love that knew few bonds they tended to me, read scripture to me, and sometimes simply sat by me when no words could heal the pain.  God gave me hand-picked friends with hearts so tender and so kind.  They drug me up onto roof tops to lower me down at the feet of Jesus because they loved me and believed in HIM.

   What Jesus has said to me is much like what he has said to the paraplegic. “[daughter] I forgive your sins.” With my friend’s help, I have embraced the reality that the path to healing, to be able to walk again, THAT path is through forgiveness.  Just as I am forgiven I too MUST forgive.. and with that forgiveness comes freedom.  Like the man who could not walk, when I forgive I suddenly feel as though I can walk again for the first time. 

     I am not defined by my divorce but it is a part of who I am… I am thankful, because through this I get to be an example of how God’s love and forgiveness heals like no other.

“Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home.” And the man did it—got up, grabbed his stretcher, and walked out, with everyone there watching him. They rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”