portrait of a life: !!!!!!

I am home from a lovely visit with my parents and brother. Daisy’s tucked in for the night. The dishes are washed. Not Afraid by Jesus Culture plays as I settle in for the evening.

I revisit Psalm 139 where highlights and notes, remnants of my past musings, await me.

On my hand is an exclamation point, a reminder I’ve kept drawing on my palm since Sunday. I’d had lunch with my mentor over the weekend and she began to talk about punctuation. How every punctuation mark is important. People are like that. We all have different roles and we’re all important.

She said, “Lauren, you are an exclamation point. You have a presence about you. Walk in it, walk in the gifting God has given you.”

I’ve kept that piece of punctuation scrawled on my hand and on sticky notes at my work desk since then as a reminder. A reminder to walk in purpose.

Tonight, as I pore over pages of my Bible, I soak in the comfort of these words and am struck by this thought:

The steadfastness of God’s presence is celebrated in the same passage as the intimacy of his knowing of me.

Where can I go from your presence? – How great are your thoughts toward me!

You have enclosed me behind and before – you have searched me and you know me.

Not only am I always in the presence of God; I am always in the presence of the one who knows me deeply.

Not only am I always in the presence of God; I am always in the affection of God.

There is, as the song Highlands articulates, “No less God.”

I unravel. If there is no less God, and God knows me deeply, I suppose there is no less purpose, either?

Composed together, the note on my hand, the words from my mentor, these ancient words, all sing grace this evening. I lean into its melody.

I am never without Jesus.

And I am never without purpose.

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