I realized this weekend I'm beginning to feel normal. I know that's probably a relative term, but in comparison to the past year, particularly last year at this time, I'm beginning to feel normal. That means being able to have a sincerely good time, even to WANT to have a sincerely good time. I attended a friend's wedding and reception yesterday, and I couldn't wait to go. I was glad to be in the prison in the morning, but I kept thinking about the afternoon. I rushed to the mall to get an outfit after we were done in the morning, ran home to shower and dress, and jumped in the car to get to the church, probably leaving a trail of flattened squirrels over the winding country road I travelled. I felt a rush of excitement, and oh, I forgot. Brandon called in the morning, which was really great, but I didn't have time to say more than hello and goodbye and I didn't feel bad about it.
The wedding was absolutely beautiful. Our Celebrate Recovery founder and leader, Andy, married the pastor's daughter. So her father officiated the wedding and his father sang and made introductions. There was something so symbolically perfect about this ceremony. It took place almost two years to the day Brandon was incarcerated and a year to the day that I came to CR looking for help. It was a reminder-such a powerful reminder-that life goes on, that happiness still happens, that the circle of life keeps rotating round and round. Even more so, it is the outward witness of a life turned over to God. Actually two lives turned over to God, individually, and then together. I wish the women at the prison could have been sitting there with me, seeing what happens when you turn your life over to the ultimate higher power, Jesus Christ. Things are never the same again. Hope reigns and peace does come...peace of mind, peace of heart, peace in the midst of the storms. I wish the one who feels heroin will always be the love of her life, could see that for those who surrender the false hopes and false peace to the true, will indeed find it.
The reception was a reminder to me, too, the Baptists dance, right alongside ex-cons and ex-addicts, that no one is left out of the feast. What a picture of what God does for us, in a single day of my life. We come to realize we are alone in the prison of our own selfish will, whatever form it takes, and in surrendering that will, we trade orange jumpsuits for wedding clothes. Scripture says that through God the Father in Christ we are adopted, brought into the family of God, not for anything we do or deserve, but through His desire for us to be adopted and by His kind intent, we become the bride of Christ. That is normal life. And what a life it is!