Long day today, getting our new “Connect Garden” ready for the public. A long-planned and slow transition to The Well becoming more community-centered is happening. We will be putting out a report to explain this in a few days. Connect Garden along with Connect Community Center are designed to be safe hangouts for people of all ages and social classes.
We’re getting the garden ready for a Christmas event on 12/24, so I spent a good part of the day dealing with lighting and setup. It still won’t be completely finished until sometime in January.
I ran into Kay this afternoon. She and her son were sick but she stopped in to work on a song she’s doing for the Monday event. Kay was extremely happy, which is now the norm for her. In fact she’s become something of a Miss Positive.
We have known Kay since 2005, and she is our son Nathan’s birthmom. Kay’s journey in life has been a complete odyssey that includes unfathomable hurt and hardship; a life with enough material to make into a really depressing true-story movie. But the fact that I am using her real name says everything about the victory Kay has experienced this year at The Well. We don’t use real names without checking and rechecking that the story owner not only is ok with telling it, but actually wanting others to know.
Indeed at some point Kay’s story will be told, or at least much of it. There are details that we may choose to withhold in order to protect others, but Kay herself is free. Here are some of the statements she has been making:
“I don’t have to ask ‘Why?’ anymore. I really mean that, Dad.”
“I’m just a little person of no use, but who has done so much sin. God is good all the time, but did something He shouldn’t have had to do. Why?”
“God has taken care of my shame.”
“God knows and loves me so much. More than I love myself.”
“I can begin again.”
True recovery happens when we can say, “That was then and this is now.” The beauty of the Gospel is that when we truly “get it”, which can often take a while, that time boundary is sealed shut. No more reliving and resenting. From hurt to testimony, from fear to love.
“I’m a selfish person,” Kay used to tell me regularly. Now she is in love with God and people, and we have conversations about what she’s doing to share and bless others. Today she talked about her plans to spend time with her family for New Years, and not only how she will handle their coercion to drink, but how she will be a quiet but positive example. I asked her recently if she’s been consciously using her positive attitude to bless others.
“Every day,” she replied.