Saturday, September 16, 2017
Song for Heather..."Just Be the Vessel"
Original Music by Jenny Van West
It has been an incredibly difficult week with pain and lots of unknown, with a hospitalization and a myriad of medical tests. In the past, I have struggled with abandonment in times of vulnerability. I will be completely honest and say that my greatest fears were realized a few years ago when I lost many of my primary relationships in the wake of a life changing traumatic brain injury. Since then, I have lived with a variety of chronic conditions, some of which have taken years to diagnose and others remain undiagnosed to this day.
Although I could wallow in the pain of the past, I choose to view my journey differently. It was in my darkest moments after the TBI, when I felt most alone, that God reached out and grabbed me with a grace so powerful that it sits in the land beyond words. I became an artist overnight (the gift of acquired savantism and synesthesia). I possessed the extraordinary courage necessary to stay true to myself and advocate for my daughter while suffering with indescribable pain and difficulty. Words cannot begin to shed light on the bedrock of strength that was given to me when I was quite literally skinned of the life I had previously known....as I began to walk toward a new life focused on God.
Over the last week, I have felt as if I have been moving through the fractal experience of the TBI in 2011. Like a spiral, it has been as if I am moving through similar circumstances as a means of healing so that I may finally move forward free of the scar tissue of the past. I never would have done this willingly, and yet I am willingly surrendered to the path that God has sent before me.
Gratitude. All that I feel is an overwhelming and abundant sense of gratitude. I have never felt more loved in my life. Being surrounded by people that genuinely care for me over this last month has been among the most healing experiences of my life. While I wouldn't wish excruciating pain upon anyone, I can say that it is a God of Mercy and LOVE that transforms suffering into a thing of beauty.
This brings me to the reason I am sharing this video with you today. Jenny came into my life when I was just 18. It was with Jenny that I began my own independent journey toward finding God. She was at my baptism at 21. She sang at my wedding (I am now divorced). And here we are, more than 20 years later, with her singing this song to me on a night that I needed to be reminded...."Just be an empty bowl and let life fill me up." This is the essence of the Kenotic God of Mystery........and it is where my restless frustration can finally find peace..... and I can begin to heal.
Thank you Jenny for LOVING me. Thank you to everyone who has poured out LOVE when I needed it most over this last couple of weeks. You are healing things in me that have never seen the light of day, and for that I am deeply grateful.