"This is the most profound spiritual truth I know: that even when we're most sure that love can't conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds." - Anne Lamott

Four years ago, I was advised to remove my fibroids as it was causing complications for me to conceive. If it were to be possible, the baby would have a slim chance of living. My husband and I moved forth with the recommendation not knowing what was ahead of us minutes after the surgery. Fluid entered into my lungs from the anesthesia causing me to experience the symptoms of pulmonary edema. Upon waking, I found myself in a daze, arms and legs restrained, intubated, and connected to a ventilator.

Holding my hand, my husband reassured me with the words, "You are okay. So many people are praying for you right now." I turned his right palm up and lettered with my index finger: ‘What happened?' He shared the train of events and provided the comfort I needed to breathe through the experience. He recalled the hospital staff members routinely caring for me every hour and read aloud each text as a prayer. Tears of gratitude held me in love for the second chance God has given me and for the relationships whose love and concern I hope always to be worthy of this lifetime.

Every new season of life is an invitation to re-evangelize our inner multitude. It calls us to leave behind what no longer serves us and to recalibrate what inspires us to live lightly, freely, and courageously. The scars from that memory will always remain with me. However, it was not meant to hold me captive. It encourages me to grow and allow myself to be transformed by letting go and remaining open to His story for me. When I stay in that place of wholeheartedly figuring it out with God, He holds the tension of the cross for me as I stumble towards greater healing, acceptance, and freedom. He helps me see how life can be both beautiful and brutal and draws me to live well, hard, and real. My jam these days is creating intentional space for connection, rest, listening, learning, and playing. I want to give more focused time to the relationships I value by loving deeply and well: eye to eye, uninterrupted, and connected.

Tam Lontok