Today is a peculiar day. It’s snowing in Jefferson where Judge works at a Physical Therapy clinic. It’s snowing in Elberton where my grandparents live, but it’s just starting to barely flurry into slush here in Athens. Yes, somehow the Classic City is holding on to an unimpressive 38 degrees again and I’m just waiting in my bed for the rain to transform into magic.
School will most likely be cancelled tomorrow so I feel no urgency to “do” the pile of grading next to my bed. So, here I sit in my covers… watching the slush tumble down. I have found no real urgency to pry myself out of the covers, except to nibble on some granola and enjoy some raspberries. I have adopted the “snow day mentality” even though there is no snow on the ground as of yet.
Most people who know me see me as some sort of firework or explosive. I do things BIG, quick and I often leave a trail of damage in my wake. I am most definitely dramatic. Gradual, slow changes didn’t use to be my thing. Watching flurries drift down slowly to the wet ground would have bored me in my past, but not today.
As I lay in my bed, I’m a very sore-bug. For Christmas, my roommate, Sarah Gordon, gave me a two month membership to a Pure Barre, which is a strength & conditioning class for dancers. It focuses on slow, gradual, small movements. I don’t particular enjoy the exercise because there is never one big burst of energy or dance. I would rather go to Zumba class or run on a treadmill any day but apparently this makes a impact on your whole body. At Pure Barre, your heart beat barely rises, but you move your body slowly in silence and you sweat a lot. It’s all about concentration and longevity, which are also not my strengths, but I suppose I’m developing those traits in class now. I never thought I’d be the yoga-mat kinda girl.
I know my new pace and outlook on life also has a lot to do with Mr. Judge. Being in a relationship with a man who moves at a “snail pace” and make sure every loose end is tied, and who always stops and chats with strangers and who is always quick to encourage and support others around him… has showed me the beauty in the gradual changes.
All Judge’s patients at the clinic understand that Judge has time for them. He puts other schedules and hearts and agendas above his own. He’s meticulous, methodical and sensitive. This is why ladies request he holds their hands as they pass away, and others come back to give him gifts of gratitude for his care. This is why French women who can barely speak English would rather talk to Judge about her hurt back than the actual therapists or receptionists. They know Judge has time to listen.
And as we’ve dated all this time, my pride and pace have been broken bit by painful bit. I’ve been humbled and I’ve learned lessons and developed a peace in waiting I never dreamed existed. In these four years of loving Judge, life has looked very different than I expected and moved much slower than I knew was even possible.
Still, in this time of the not-so-flashy, in the snail’s pace, in the studying and the slow-days I’v learned how to let go, lose control and be gracious, quiet and go-with-the-flow.
The Lord keeps on blessing me in extravagant ways when I’ve learned to let go. Case in point, two weeks ago I had run out of money. I didn’t have enough gas to fill up my tank to drive home from school. I wasn’t expecting to get paid again until I got to Oxford at the end of March. I just prayed and waited. The next day I received a 1,000 paycheck from UGA which I still don’t know where it came from or why it’s in my account. I never even stressed when I ran out of money. I was content in my place in life and rested in the assurance that teaching at Cedar was exactly where I was suppose to be and I didn’t have enough energy at this time to pick up another job. And just like that, money miraculously appeared in my account. I can’t wait for my accountant sister to explain that.
Two weeks ago, I was also fighting tooth and nail to be given a teaching spot that opened up in my school. When I marched down to the principal’s office to demand “my spot,” the door was literally shut on me. Then, when I gave up on ever teaching my students next year, I received a call from the principal inviting me into his office. I got the call to interview the day I prayed to God, “Okay, Lord, wherever you want me to teach next year, I am open to your plan.”
At the end of March, I will be moving and studying in Oxford completely on UGA’s dime. I’ll be paid to live in one of the most magical of places. People ask how I landed that job, but I am certain it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with God placing me in the right place at the right time. It was effortless.
The tighter I’ve wrapped my hands around plans, time with Judge, jobs, marriage and Afghanistan, the more I’ve messed up my life and damaged my relationships.
I’ve slowly learned to live with open hands. I “feed the birds” and the Lord feeds me. And that mentality of rest and peace, allows me to sit here and watch the barely-flurries fall in peace.