|A gift from Emily|
I sit alone with a screen and shapeless words and I mold them–trace my mind along their outer edges and try to give beauty a face. But when I carry my words into a room of people…when I try to give them life outside of this solitude—well, sometimes they just dangle lifeless in the midst of all that breathing.
When I was given the joy and honor of introducing you at the Jumping Tandem Retreat, my tongue grew heavy with the weight of all I wanted to say. I came home to our little valley and the lilacs were blooming and the apple trees were flowered glory. And I went over and over that introduction and wished I’d said this or that; longed for more grace and a surer voice. But the truth is, there wasn’t time and those dear ones did not come to hear me stutter on.
So today, I want to introduce you to my friends again. I want to say some of the things that time forgot. I hope that’s ok. Because you matter to me.
You wanted me to tell the listeners that you are a broken woman. That God whispered into your life that you must speak to all of us broken women—encourage the hearts of all who stumble and struggle and strive. And I did share this, but what I didn’t say was how I have loved you over the miles and through a screen for so long now. And God has used your words to shape my life and so many others who read them. And how it is a piece of this very brokeness you wear so beautifully—this long struggle with an eating disorder—that God uses to feed others. So you wrote a book that gives hope. I wanted to say how brave and real and vulnerable Chasing Silhouettes is. And now there is another book—another voice of love spoken into the broken. Such gift.
And I so wanted to say that, for me—especially for me, this woman who gets lost in color and light and a carefully turned line—how the art you make with a paintbrush can bring a kind of healing in an instant. How part of your ministry is giving beauty—the kind one sees with the eyes and the kind only the heart can see. And how clear it is the ways you pour yourself out onto the canvas—all the love and pain and fear and anger and joy. I don’t think you do anything halfway, Emily. The generosity of your heart is astounding and it convicts me to give more of myself in all I do.
And then there are your boys. How you minister to mothers through your grace-soaked love of your boys—and how your heart made room for two other little boys because you know our hands carry the love of Jesus. In this same way your love for your husband opens doors in a heart. The steadfast leaning into God you model in your marriage is a reminder to us all.
Dear heart, I know you are not perfect. But the way you invite God to meet you in your brokenness is an offering this tired world needs. You are so special. You are so loved. And I am so grateful for you, my beautiful friend.
This, is Emily.