I live in a town where every place has a memory at the ready.
This morning it’s a blueberry scone and flavored coffee. Before Starbucks there was this. And, even before this, there was the Treat Shop. I’d ride my royal blue ten speed and buy a taco. I was ten.
Today, I am seventeen. The taste of seventeen more potent then the blueberries that I bite into. Memories stained way deeper then any stain the blueberries might make. My thirty seven year old self greets the seventeen year old me, over coffee with a little less sugar and the same triangle shaped scone. Wondering, was I more me then or am I more me now? Do we become more ourselves or do we lose ourselves as we grow and stretch; bend and break?
My earphones skip to a song from that era. Now, I am in England. My first time overseas. The south-coast. West Sussex. Tea with milk. Making lifelong friends. Chocolate Digestives. Banoffee pie. Pubs on a missions trip. Sneaking off to eat McDonalds because I said to yes pickles on my sandwich, only to find out they were not green crunchy things that topped burgers. My eyes opened to the wide world and quickly realizing my world was rather small. Many things different. Some things the same.
That is how life feels today. I’m wearing Birkenstocks. I wore them at seventeen, too. My freckles are the same. My cheeks a lot less chubby. I said I would never have kids, then. I have four kids, now. I loved God, then. I love Him, now. Thirty seven. Seventeen. Many things different. Some the same.
I think we are very much who we were in our younger years. Likely, more humble after living life and life living all over us. I’m finding that once life breaks you, it only leaves room for the true you to start to ooze out and shine through the cracks that were once glued solid, hiding the child you maybe despised or were just trying to protect.
My fears then, very much the same now. Am, I good, enough? My hopes now, very much the same as then. I want to make a difference. Blueberry scone. Coffee. Birkenstocks. Freckles and few wrinkles. Seventeen. Thirty seven. Jesus. Jesus.
Across an ocean, in England.
In the house I grew up in.
At the coffee shop before there was Starbucks.
Many things the same.
And, things meant to stay the same, very different.
Yesterday. Today. Forever. There is one thing that stays the same.
The love of God.
I lived in that love at seventeen. I live in it at thirty seven. And, I’ll live in it at eighty seven. With a blueberry scone, wearing Birkenstocks, telling stories of England with the same freckles fixed upon my nose. I’ll live in the light of His love. Knowing, I don’t have to be good enough. Because, He is good. And, seeing I made a difference, even if it is different then how I imagined that I would have at seventeen.