My heart is filled.
It’s not because everything is going right or because the work day is easy. It’s not because the sun is out *even though it should be seeing as how it’s Spring and all* or even because any prayer has been answered. No circumstance has changed. No miracle has taken place. But I’m still filled to the brim.
And it’s because the past couple of weeks have been filled with reminders of what helps to keep my world turning. And that’s simply the people Heavenly Father put in it.
It’s a “no-duh” notion, really. These people have graced my life for years upon years, each one staggering into the picture at different stages of my life, some finding my life five or six years ago when I had those awful bangs, others entering in long enough ago to have seen me in ballet and the high school newspaper club. Some only a couple of short years, not even knowing me in college. Some live so far away that it’d take a plane and three layovers to visit, others are just down the street. I’ve always known they were important–each one of these pieces of my life, some who don’t even know each other, me as their only common link. I’ve always included them in my prayers and missed them over the miles and have drawn strength from them. But these past couple weeks I’ve realized more than ever the depth that I NEED them.
Two of my best friends from college stayed with us for a few days last week and we all attended the wedding of another close friend of ours. While we were driving home the night of the reception we were talking about all the people we meet in life, the people who weave in and out of our lives, making up different chapters of the places we come from, the things we’ve done. Some come in and out very quickly, others disappear slowly, and some just stick. “I’m just really grateful you stuck,” I told her. And we both laughed into the dark windshield at my lack of eloquence.
But it’s true. I’m grateful for the people who stick–the souls who somehow tie to yours and share this life and all of it’s revolutions and turns. The people who give you courage and kindness and beauty simply because they are courageous and kind and beautiful.
After my week with my friends I spent a few days in gorgeous *did I say gorgeous??* Colorado with my in-laws. I don’t like the word in-laws because it doesn’t seem suitable for how much I really love them. My father-in-law is a jokester who gave my husband his goofiness and my mother-in-law is a saint who gave my husband his tender heart. And I couldn’t live without them either.
I took my mother-in-law to see the new Cinderella while we were there. You should see it if you ever get the time. Totally worth every penny. The theme throughout the movie was “Be kind and have courage”. And throughout this young Ella’s life, throughout the years of sheer loneliness and abuse, that’s how she lived her very difficult life. With kindness and courage. It was inspirational, but more than that I couldn’t help but think–how much harder would that be without surrounding yourself by those who are kind and courageous? How much harder would every single one of our trials be without that best friend who texts you at midnight, that college group who stuck together through finals and break-ups and now real life, that mom or dad or those in-laws who remind you of who you are, that sister or brother, that co-worker or neighbor who just seem to connect with your soul?
This life wasn’t meant to be lived alone. In fact, that wouldn’t be much of a life at all. I think sometimes I forget that–that I’m not alone, even in the challenges that seem to only affect me and my little world. Heavenly Father deliberately scattered so many spirits who just align with mine in such a way that it would be impossible for any of it to be a matter of chance.
My heart is filled because of those gentle souls that I call family. Those people who were just meant to be here, in my world, amongst the billions of people who ever walked the earth.
And I hope yours is filled too–with lots of courage and kindness and plenty of “sticky” souls.