Today at church I was swarmed. I normally shy away from crowds but today, I devoured the delicious feeling of being known and loved. I wish I had someone take a picture so I could show you but I was too in the moment to think of that, and really to stop and take a picture would have ruined the moment.
I was swarmed by about 8 teens girls from a local orphanage here in Nassau. This orphanage has decided to make St.Andrews Kirk their church home, and the church could not be more thrilled and me, well I am on the moon just thinking about it.
In 2011 I had the honor of leading 2 different girls groups for this Home for Children and I got to know some of the most beautiful young ladies I have ever had the privilege to meet. During those hours together I shared stories, helped them share their stories and encouraged them to remember to live like they are loved. That no matter what they have been through, they matter and they are loved. I tell you, those groups have remained one of the highlights of my time here in Nassau.
So back to today. I saw the girls come in and sit just across from me as my pew was full. We all waved excitedly at one another and then settled into worship. Once the last note of the last song was sung and the choir had left their loft, the girls ran over even before I could stand and the swarming began!! I think I was having about 5 conversations at once. My arms were full from the multitude of hugs and I was beaming.
The conversation quickly went to their dating life. I asked them (semi jokingly) if there was anyone I needed to beat up for them. They know I am their biggest fans and will go to war to make sure they are treated well. They answered no, but smiled and told me that they were figuring out how to take dating slow and give more attention to who they were as an individual not just in a relationship. I smiled as they took a page right out of my "dating lecture" I give to all my girls. Lesson heard and received!.
Then one of the girls, in all seriousness turned to me, put a hand on my shoulder and asked, How is your husband treating you? Tables turned. My smile was huge, and my heart was bursting. I chuckled a little at such a question. They were caring about me, and since I always ask about their relationships, it only fit that they asked me about mine. I was so touched, I smiled and told them that just the other day Bryn quoted a Bruno Mars song for me and that it was just what I needed that day. They all said ahhh in unison and smiled, as did I!
Their bus was about to leave so I walked them to the steps towards their bus, one on each side of me, all of us still talking excitedly. It was so amazing!
I was reflecting on the way home how the girls were so excited to see me and to be there with me . But then realized that it was myself that was probably the more excited one! I thought they would have been thrilled for me to have acknowledged them and ask about them but it was me that was thrilled to see care come my way. It is an amazing feeling; knowing you building into others lives. I seriously love doing that and believe God has given me many opportunities to do so, but when that relationship shifts a bit and you are the one who is not just doing the caring but now is one who is is cared about there is a whole new dimension to the relationship. There is a mutual respect and love that just blows my mind. God has shown me today that it is not just amazing to care about others in your life but that it is also amazing to be cared for in return.
Being so often a caregiver I fear I forget to let others care for me in return. I fear I even do this with God, not intentionally but I so often want to show God my love and show others my love for God that I rarely sit with him and let His love into my life in an intentional way. I am so grateful for my girls today, they not only showed me love they taught me that I need to accept it too!
shine on my friends!