My New Year

It’s been a little over two months since the car repossession. I have told a few more people out of necessity. I am an official public transportation commuter. I was going to try shared riding but just can’t get past the idea of it basically being a ‘hitchhiking app.’ I have structured my days around the bus schedule. My body’s time clock has changed. The wee hour morning wake up calls have made it difficult for me to stay up past midnight. Going to church has become opening my laptop to watch our service on Facebook live. Though, I’ve worked something out with a fellow church member who teaches children’s church with me. She was one of the people I had to tell out of necessity. It has been a major adjustment, but I’m still here.

My birthday was a couple weeks ago. It started out pretty discouraging because I missed the bus to get to morning yoga. I was in tears. It was another reminder of my struggles. I was feeling left behind, not just by the bus but in life. Then a man at the bus stop got my attention with a loud,
I politely greeted him in return but wanted that to be the end of it. That was not the plan.
“How you doing,” he asked loudly?
He wasn’t going to leave me alone. “Not so good, actually. I missed the bus.”
“Well, that’s not as bad as the day I’m having. I just lost my wallet. All of my ID and everything is gone.”

It was clear he wanted a listening ear. I definitely did not feel like giving one but since I wasn’t going anywhere, I figured I’d walk over. What could have been a very uncomfortable conversation turned into a session of encouragement for both of us. I listened to his deep love for his mother. I remembered my own loss as he revealed through tears that he still mourns her death 44 years later. He was only 18 when he lost her. I thought about my stepfather as he talked about his alcoholism. This man shared his life story with me.

As I listened, I realized how easy I slipped into ungratefulness over missing the bus. I realized how this would have spiraled into anxiety and depression on my birthday. I was so convicted in my spirit. Then, this man said he thought God did not care about him anymore. Immediately, I interrupted.

“What? No! No! God’s love does not change because of something you did. No way! The same way your mother loved you no matter what and with open arms; that’s the same way God, your Heavenly Father loves you. His arms are open, waiting for you. Just open yours.”

He did. I gave him a hug. At that moment, another bus was coming. I told this man one more thing, just for him and got on the bus. I sat down and recalled what I told him about his Heavenly Father. I remembered that love applies to me as well.

My birthday turned out to be lovely day. I spent some time with a friend. I had afternoon tea with a cast mate. It was beautiful. I am grateful.

This year, I think, is going to be full of lovely surprises. I’m looking forward to it.

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