What does free writing look like? When you have thoughts in your head, and you just write where you’re at and you don’t bother erasing words, just in case someone might disagree with you or get upset that you’re just not living life the way they think you should. So I’m going to write. On this second day of 2020, I’m going to write and let’s see where it takes me the writer, and you the reader.
I met her in June 2017. She’s a photographer, I’m a preservationist (I save old buildings). We became the typical Facebook friends and commented on each others’ posts for months. We all did that – it was a big group of people who met on a tour that day. Fast forward to a year a half later – November 2018. I ordered a calendar from her my second year in a row, and the dialogue began. Dialogue about faith, about the past, about poor choices and bad partners. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and the evolution of a friendship into a relationship happened right before my very eyes and I was blindsided by this woman who I didn’t see walking right into my life. I couldn’t get her out of my head. I found that she started nestling her way into my heart without her even trying. I trusted her with my stories, my past, my choices – all of my shit that would make someone run far away and never look back. But she trusted me as well; just as much as I had trusted her. The friendship went deep. It brought both of us joy. We weren’t looking for a relationship, but one found us anyway. I am grateful.
I asked her why she would take a risk on someone like me; I am, after all, 14 years her junior and a pretty messed up, wounded woman. She said, “Why would I risk giving up something that could be fabulous?” And as this year has passed, no matter what I’ve gone through with family and friends and church and you name it, what I have with this woman is one of the most remarkable fabulous friendships I have ever encountered in my entire life. Not only is it a friendship… it is a remarkable relationship with my best friend. I am grateful.
People thought I would walk away from God because I walked into a relationship with a woman. I have dug in with God deeper than I ever have before. I have prayed my way through this whole journey, and have found nothing but amazing grace, mercy and love from my Creator who sustains me. I have dug into His Word with everything I can muster. I have asked Him questions and asked for guidance, and you know what I keep coming back to? Peace. Even in the midst of the storm of people disagreeing with me, calling me weird, asking me to not be a part of their church, I have found that He sustains me and gives me peace. I am grateful.
There is more of the journey to trek; life’s a constant journey. Long-time friends, and maybe even more of my family, will continue to distance themselves from me. I just wish they would ask me questions. My sister said to me, “I don’t want to fight anymore. That doesn’t bring peace. I want to try to understand you.” Thank you!!! Thank you.
So, Gail Howarth, I adore you. Thank you for being my friend, my companion, my partner and my love. You are a dear, dear soul and I am grateful for you beyond words.