The first day of summer dawns clear and warm. I spend the afternoon in the middle of a garden, soaking up the sun and searching for words that don't want to be found.
It's been seven days since I penned #974, realized I only had 26 more to count before I'd reach a thousand. And I haven't counted a single gift since.
Not because there aren't gifts to count. There are. And not because I don't notice all the grace. I do.
It's because I don't want to reach a thousand.
It's been 6 months and 13 days since I started keeping track of His Grace, taking note of all the moments in a life. And I was sure then that it'd take me years to reach a thousand.
Maybe I was afraid of failing. Maybe I gave myself long months to reach a number that seemed too big and I never thought I'd get there. But maybe I just knew this: Change takes time. Lots and lots of time. And I'm stubborn and slow and I've got years of growing left to do before I can live and love and light up the world the way He wants me to.
Because I didn't set out on this journey so I could reach a thousand. I didn't pick up a pen and start the counting to be like everyone else. I didn't even do it because it was the right thing to do.
I chose this path because I wanted to be changed. Because I wanted to let go of all the fear and heartache and weariness of a life and just be grateful. Because I wanted to find God in all the moments, prove to my doubting soul once and for all that He loves me and that His love is deep and strong and true.
And even with all the learning I had yet to do, I already knew back then that it might take years for all that to find me, sink deep, change the way I lived.
But it's only six months later when I find myself here, 26 gifts from penning a thousand pieces of His Love. And there's a part of me that wants to go back and start again because I'm certain I've done it all wrong and I don't see how I could've learned everything I needed in these short months. The fear weighs heavy and I wonder if I'll reach a thousand and still find myself exactly where I started. And wouldn't that be worse than if I never got to a thousand at all?
But it's too late to turn back now, to start over or just give up. So I look deep, try to find what's holding me here. And I see it there, in those ugly soul wounds from decades past.
I don't want to reach a thousand because I don't want to reach the end of His Love.
And this is how I know that I'm not finished yet. I've counted His Gifts 974 times and I've felt His Love more than in all my years before. I've learned and I've grown and I've changed. But way deep down in the broken places He's still healing, I'm still afraid His Love is going to run out. And I'll just be that girl again, the one who can't be fixed, can't be healed, can't be loved.
I don't know how long it'll take before I figure out there's no end to this Love I'm in. Maybe years, maybe a lifetime. But here's the thing I've learned after 974 pieces of Grace: I just keep counting and He just keeps showing up and one by one we put the pieces of a life back together. And this is the way a broken woman learns to trust, learns to love, learns to live.
This is the way a broken woman becomes whole.