Went to the zoo with the family yesterday. It was so much fun. Little man (the 6 year old nephew) is so fun right now to enjoy things like that. My brother and sister in love and I enjoy spending days like this together. We love to revel in the funny creatures, talk about God's designs, and also, it was a beautiful day.
One hitch - I was dreading the African plains part of the zoo. I love elephants, always have. But over the last two years, they have begun to carry a specific significance and reminder of someone I care deeply for. After all that's happened, I was dreading seeing them. It was so close, the pain and sorrow and hurt. I didn't know what I'd do. Would I break down in the middle of the zoo and hyperventilate like I did earlier this week? Would I be so angry I couldn't even enjoy the moment and the majesty of those beautiful animals? Would I be overwhelmed by memory and emotion that....who knows? I did not. I steeled myself for it.
And we got there. I stood there, alone. looking at the elephants. The next thing I knew, I had a little hand slide around my back to reach for my hand and put his little head under my other arm to to cuddle up next to me. He didn't say anything for a moment. I leaned down to kiss his head, thankful for that gift in that moment from Jesus. Little man turned his obsidian eyes on me with a great big heart said "I love you." - I couldn't hold back the tears. I was thankful for my sunglasses. No one saw that. He squeezed me tighter in a unusually strong hold for a 6 year old and flitted away to go see other things. I stayed. In the moment.
In the aftermath of betrayed love, Jesus whispered into my heart with my six year old nephew. I am exactly what my name calls me. Beloved. Worthy of Love - NOT deserving cruelty and pain of the past week. Even now, I'm overwhelmed in gratitude to God for the reminder. He knows my heart infinitely well and knows what I need.
I am His. He is mine.