I Smiled Again


It was a beautiful day. Perfect in many ways. Incredibly wonderful. My soul was refreshed and renewed. Jesus was more real than he’s been in months. I experienced life to the full and it took my breath away. I was alive.

Yesterday was the closest to a real day off I’ve had in six months. Sunday is my only day off, which is rarely, completely that, with all that goes on to make Sunday happen. And though I have no complaints about Sundays, I will say that I have learned that I need an occasional day to just be “off” instead of “on”.

Saturday was that day. Friday night, I left the phone on the kitchen counter, as for the first time in half a dozen months, I had no need to set an alarm. Nor did I need to receive any texts or calls during the night. All that could wait.

Though I woke up at 6 a.m., I didn’t get out of bed until much later. I read my Bible and had a relaxed prayer time with God. There was no hurry to anything on this day.

I wore comfy clothes and was just ordinary Rachel. As I was driving on the highway early that morning, a wild turkey bounced out of the sky or a tree, landed in the median, and scuttled across my lanes. He looked like a giant, feathery blob falling from the sky and I smiled. No grace there, just ordinary turkey. Just being the creature God made him to be.

It was going to be a good day.

I went to the vet clinic to get Joseph’s special food. And I was just ordinary Rachel. No one knew I was a vet tech. Just another girl getting food for her cat. It felt right and I loved blending in with everyone else.

From there, I went to the church office to do a bit of work for Sunday and next week. I was greeted by the smells of old building and fresh coffee. I breathed deeply of both, and for possibly the first time, I actually felt like I were coming home to something. Again, I was just Rachel. I was not “on”. I was just an ordinary volunteer, using the paper cutter and copier.

As the day went on, I began to become more of who I used to be—relaxed, calm, quiet, peaceful, and at ease in who I was. I worked for a couple hours in the afternoon—and enjoyed it. I really saw the colors in the button cookies and felt the flakiness of the apple Danish. Life was returning to my life.

The day ended with an evening walk by the lake. I was overwhelmed by all the good gifts from God present in that walk. He knows exactly what makes my heart sing and gave me Christmas in May. Like hundreds of dandelion seeds, he gently blew me his love. He kissed my broken heart and made me cry.

So much to experience and savor—bonfires, faces lit up by the fire’s glow, lilacs and other sweet-smelling flowers, rabbits in the shadows, ducks bobbing in the murky waters, whirlybirds under my feet, lights on the boats, fishermen by the shore, delicate wings and legs on water gnats.

There was music streaming from my earbuds, but the real song was in my heart. I was so grateful to be alive and feeling, smelling, touching all of this. Words flowed easily from my heart to my lips in thankfulness to Father God for all his good gifts. I felt incredibly loved. And I couldn’t stop smiling through my tears.

Before I had left that evening, Jesus spoke to my heart, “You will smile again.” And how right he was.

If he’d told me that six months ago, I probably wouldn’t have believed him. The past months I have been so broken, burned out, and sad—that I didn’t know if I’d ever have a smile that reached my heart and touched my eyes.

Yesterday, all that changed. I smiled again.

2 thoughts on “I Smiled Again

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