Last night I watched the George Fox traveling theater group perform a collection of plays, songs, and monologues. The first monologue was done by one of the young men in the group. He sang and played on the guitar a song that, I assume, he had written. I don’t remember anything about the song except for one line.
“You are writing out my story in the lines upon my face.”
When he sang those words, my brain came to a screeching halt and then fired back up again like a freight train. A whole new host of thoughts flooded my mind. And then I made the connection. God is writing out my story in the lines upon my face.
You couldn’t pay me money to relive my teen years or certain parts of my adulthood. But, regardless, if you asked me how I feel about my life, I would say that I am blessed. I feel rich. I feel that God has revealed His faithfulness to me over and over and over and over . . .
I thought about my face and the story written there.
In the summer I get freckles. I don’t really burn, and my tan is all due to the Native American blood that runs through my veins. Those freckles are a sign of my heritage and of summers spent in the Redding sun. Of days on the lake and afternoons by the pool teaching my sisters to swim. They remind me of barbecues in the sweltering heat with family members, some of which are gone now.
I have wrinkles around my eyes. Nick calls them my “smile lines” and says they’re cute. I’m not so sure about that, but if I have to have wrinkles I guess I would want it to be from smiling too much.
I’m sure some of those little lines are due to the lack of good sleep for the past 5 years. Nights of tossing and turning as the child inside of me kicked the crud out of my ribs, reminding me with every painful movement that they were alive and well. Nights of soothing a crying newborn, reminding me with every cry and whimper that they were healthy and growing and warm in my arms. Busy days of working and working and caring and cleaning on the heels of those sleepless nights. All the smiles and hugs and sloppy kisses and fragile “Lub you mamas” that make each sleepless night and exhausting day absolutely worth it. Call them smile lines or sleepless nights, I wear the story of my children proudly around my eyes.
My great- grandmother died when she was 91 (is that right?) and she still had her natural brunette hair with a sprinkling of gray hair around her temples. The women in my family age well. This bodes well for me- If it hadn’t of been for the past year. I have 3 white strands that I have affectionately named “2010.” I had heard that trauma and stress could have a dramatic affect on a person’s body, but I hadn’t noticed anything. And then overnight, three snow white strands appeared in my otherwise dark hair. I’m wasn’t too happy about this development. Until last night. And I can’t say that I’m happy about them now, except for one thing. They remind me of my mother, and that the loss of her was so great to me that it turned some of my hair white.
This is the face that my husband sees everyday. He sees it more than me. And he loves it. He kisses it. He tells me it is beautiful. When I look into the mirror, I don’t see what he sees. But I am blessed that he does.
My story will continue to appear. Written out on each inch of my skin, in my hair, around my eyes. But after last night, my perspective has changed a little. These are not to be hated. These changes are not to be feared. I’ll still do what I can to fight the aging process, but some things just can’t be changed. Altered by my experiences, my memories, my everydays. Everydays that make up a collection of a life for which I am more grateful than words.
They are my Ebeneezer. Not scrooge. But my Ebeneezer, otherwise known as an altar. My stones of remembrance of what God has taken me through, brought me through, and poured down in the rains of blessing.