The honesty came in the slowness of the day.
I had known the truth for a few days, was sitting in it, waiting for the reality to settle. I would never have seen it had God not gently revealed it to me, impressed it upon me.
For the moment, I just wanted to carry the knowledge for a while. But, as it usually happens, the truth slowly let loose its grasp around my heart to spill free.
We were out on the river: dad and daughter. In our yellow kayak (as a girl, it was the “banana boat,” but today it was just our kayak).
The day was perfect. Sun shining softly, wind carrying a gentle breeze. Just warm. Trees fully wrapped in the glory of the leaves.
The current took us around, through the twists, the little waterfall, the downed trees. Past parks, and bogs, and houses, and barking dogs. The long, feathery grasses waved as we passed, and the purple flowers gracing the banks winked.
Stunning harmony, the glory of nature. I took it all in, the beauty, let it sweep into my heart. And it ushered out the words, confidently yet with care.
“I have been feeling afraid,” I said aloud. Quiet, yet with courage. “And I have tried to protect my heart. Creating a barrier. Not letting my heart be moved.”
The words came soft, poured out like a long stream of water from a hose. And I felt full, not empty.
This was the truth I spoke. Fear was my closest companion many days of my life. I let myself believe it would protect me, make me strong. I let it grip my heart and harden there. A defiant resilience: My shield.
But what I hadn’t noticed for the longest time was what it took from me. It took my honesty, it took my joy: It took my life. The fullness of living, the tenderness.
I wanted to never let my heart get hurt and in doing so I fought against letting my heart get soft. Letting it be moved by the little, breathtaking moments of life. I had lost the beauty of vulnerability.
But I was aware of this now. God had been whispering the truth to me. This was my acceptance. This was my repentance.
In the slow, preciousness of the day. In flare of the sun in my eyes, in the acoustics of the wind through the trees, in the cool water flowing through my fingers as I leaned my hand in. I was learning. To let it sink in, to let my heart go weak, to delight in my Father’s world.