Surprises aren’t always good, but God is, as we see in Keri’s story. Take a minute to visit Keri Lyn at her blog, Walk Worthy. (Northern Arkansans can hear her on the 101.1 morning show. Everybody can listen live at klrc.com.) Want to encourage others with your Thin Place Story? Your submissions are welcome here.
It was 3:25 in the afternoon and I stood right inside the threshold of my front door. Just like every other day of my sophomore year of high school. Only today was different. Something wasn’t right.
As I slowly made my way through the house I noticed things missing. A couch. A chair. A bookshelf. Pictures, rugs, tables; just disappeared.
My heart raced as I made my way to my parent’s bedroom. Purposefully I walked to my mom’s dresser and began yanking open drawers. Empty. Every one of them.
That’s when I realized, she was gone.
A few weeks earlier we had gone for a picnic to our favorite lake. We never did much as a family, but we would go to the lake. My dad and brother loved to fish, mom and I loved to read. So several times a summer we’d load up the truck with poles, worms, blankets, books and a picnic basket and head off to the lake.
This trip was different. Mom had packed a lunch but there were no books. No fishing poles.
We ate in silence.
When we finished eating she began to speak. She told us they were divorcing. Her delivery sounded rehearsed. Cold even.
They say denial is one of the five stages of grief and I embraced it fully. I had known things were bad. They hadn’t spoken to each other without yelling in years. But divorce? I never believed she’d go through with it.
But she had.
I remember thinking, “Why didn’t she take me with her?”
Then I remembered something I had overheard. It was late. I’m sure they thought I was sleeping. But my bedroom shared a wall with theirs. And when they fought it was anything but quiet. That night angry words came crashing through my bedroom wall:
“The worst mistake I ever made was marrying you. And the second was having them.”
And my fifteen year old heart flooded with rejection.
Now rejection joined hands with abandonment as I realized… she had left me.
I decided I was going to be strong for my dad and my brother. So I hid my broken fragile heart behind a wall. I wiped the tears from my eyes and determined to never cry for her again.
And I didn’t. Not for years.
I hid behind my wall and plastered a smile on my face. I kept busy. Made good grades, kept the house clean, bought groceries, stayed involved in school and church activities. It was only in the stillness of night that I remembered I was… rejected. Abandoned. Unwanted.
So I drew a thin place around my heart, and no one was allowed to enter.
Until He came and patiently, slowly, brick by brick began to tear down the wall. As He worked at dismantling my wall He sang a song to me.
He told me He wanted me.
He told me He loved me.
He told me He would never leave me.
I don’t know why He would choose what others rejected. But He did. He chose me. He chose me to love, me to hold, me to heal.
It’s been more than two decades since she walked out and Jesus walked in. I still don’t understand why she left, but it doesn’t matter now.
He loves me. And that is enough.