Then Came the Morning

I froze.

An almost empty room stared back at me. Wait, when did this happen??

The sobs started welling up inside of me. I swallowed hard hoping it would push the emotion back down.

It caught me off guard, the depth of the emotion. Of the sorrow. Of the memories.

The amount of life I lived in that room rivaled many of my childhood homes. I saw myself moving in, learning how to re-adjust all of my eating habits and lifestyle, having a mini identity crisis when I lost so much weight none of my clothes fit. I saw the morning I got the message my beloved grandfather passed away. Sitting in my bed weeping for our loss but rejoicing for his peace.

I saw the new year, the year I knew would bring an adventure.

I saw the beginning of our love story…. almost exactly a year ago. I saw the text messages from him. The giggles at his wit. The frantic cleaning and changing outfits as I waited for him to pick me up for our second date. I saw our third date after the surgery I had to remove the pre-cancerous cells and his tender way of taking care of me.

I saw all of the firsts, all of the tears, all of the laughter, all of the late night conversations of whispered hopes and dreams and plans. I saw all of the stories I told to others about him.

I saw the night we broke up.

I saw the weeping that followed.

I saw the beginning and the end of a new relationship.

I saw weddings and funerals and birthdays and babies.

I saw him come back and I saw him leave once more.

The two years I lived that life came rushing to the forefront of my mind and heart. Crowding out thoughts of anything else but how Papa wrote my story in an incredible way.

then came the morning

When I made the decision to move out, to live alone, and start fresh, it was partly because I needed a clean slate.  But initially I made that decision when we we were dating. I had options and he processed with me and knew about my choice. Two weeks after things ended with him, I randomly got a phone call telling me the tenants had cancelled their notice and the apartment was no longer available.

I was frustrated and exhausted and freaked out and angry and overwhelmed. I had a plan! I made a decision! It was all working out great!

So I spent a frantic 6 hours with my mom looking at 8 apartment complexes before settling on one. This one had never been an option the first round, it was never discussed, never even looked at.

And I saw that I was given a morning. Something new. Something untainted. Something without a hint of a memory. My Papa knew I needed something completely free of his fingerprints. Because truth be told, as deeply as I know I don’t belong with him, I still have moments where I long for what he represented and who he was. And I could look at things in my house and pull up a memory, full of pain or joy, and see the story I hoped was being written.

But tonight I drove past the famous old hotel where he took me on an incredible date right after we started seeing each other again. It was like being in a fairytale that night. The most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me. After we had parked we walked up along the street towards the hotel to see the Christmas lights. The walkway was lined with trees lit up in Christmas splendor and we walked towards a glittering hotel. Several times I caught my breath and remarked how beautiful and magical it was. We both did.

As I drove past it tonight, I was surprised to see the walkway with the trees still wrapped in their white lights. And my vision flashed to us. I saw us walking, me clutching his side as he wrapped me in his arms making sure I didn’t slip on ice. My heart caught for a moment. But then I turned and started driving towards the hotel. The trees on the very edge were lined but all of the other lights were gone. The magic had faded with only a hint remaining on the edge of the property. It seemed to be the perfect image of the feelings in my heart.

What was once a beautiful glittery magic destination, had now faded into darkness, with a dim outline and fuzzy edges. The catch in my heart released and I felt my own edges dim a little bit more. But you know what I know? In ten more months the magic returns. It lights up again and becomes stunning.

You know what else I know? On my 28th birthday I was given a pink sunrise reflected on my mountains. I was given a reminder in my favorite color that the mornings bring new. They bring life that he isn’t part of. They bring a day open to adventure and mystery and Gold. I’ve clung to that, in this 28th year of existence, that this is the year of new and mornings.

So why wouldn’t my new apartment be one more piece of that? He’s whispered to me that newness is coming. He’s whispered His best. His love. Who He is.

Even my new key is gold.. an odd choice to the world but a perfect choice for me and not one that I chose. It took me by surprise when I was clarifying to my mom that my old key was silver and my new key was gold. It stopped me in my tracks. Papa is giving me a gold key. To remind me that He has gold. 

It seems fitting on what would have been almost my one year anniversary, I sit in a new living room, in a new apartment, alone, with my hope in a Provider and not a provision, meanwhile The Lone Bellow sings:

then came the morning
then came the morning
then came the morning
then came the morning

Joy comes in the morning
you won’t see me crying

Then the storm breaks the cold
Not towards the line I thought you stole
Start to feel what I felt way before
You broke down my front door
Popped my heart up off the wooden floor
Now I don’t need your smile anymore

my Provider is always good. He always provides. Even when the provision doesn’t look the way I want it to.

I went back to that almost empty room today and took anything left to make it totally empty. Then I vacuumed and I leaned against the wall and I took a breath. I whispered goodbye. I turned the light off and I left the old inside that room. Because it doesn’t belong with the new.



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