Fathom Mag

Published on:
January 8, 2019
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2 min.
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To Be Blessed

We didn’t kiss at midnight. He was asleep by 9 pm and I stayed up to watch “Passengers” with my parents. At 11 pm, I joined him, writing end-of-the-year thoughts down on my cell phone’s notepad, under the covers, so the light from my screen wouldn’t wake him.

It is not fire or adrenaline, but something longer-lasting.
Rachel Joy Welcher

I didn’t wait for the ball to drop before closing my eyes on 2018. Maybe that’s anti-climactic. Maybe I’ve become dull in my thirties. Instead of fireworks, I ushered in the new year to the sound of my husband breathing. I fell asleep, listening to him sleep. And I have no regrets.

Because I’ve walked the pier in St. Andrews, Scotland, in my graduation gown. I have held a starfish in my hands. I’ve seen my words on pages that turn. I’ve stared out at hundreds of people before opening my mouth to address them in high heels and a black dress. And I can still feel the thrill run up my spine as I recall these moments, but they don’t compare to his soft, steady breathing. It is not fire or adrenaline, but something longer-lasting.

What is it that Mary Oliver says? 

Sometimes I need 

only to stand

wherever I am 

to be blessed.

Or to close my eyes and listen. As I get older, it is the simple not the flashy, expensive or planned that causes me to marvel. I walked into the living room at my parent’s house today and saw my mom lying in the middle of the floor, covered with blankets, next to my four-year-old nephew who had spent his afternoon creating a “fort” for them. My mom is a grandmother of five who is recovering from cancer, yet she got down on the floor with my nephew and pretended to take a nap. It made him so happy. 

I looked at the two of them and marveled. When I am patient and still, I start to see peace everywhere. And I begin to understand the kindness of God. 

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Rachel Joy Welcher
Rachel Joy Welcher is an editor-at-large at Fathom Magazine. She earned her Master of Letters in Bible and the Contemporary World from The University of St. Andrews. She is the author of two collections of poetry: Two Funerals, Then Easter and Blue Tarp, and has written for The Gospel Coalition, Mere Orthodoxy, RELEVANT, and The Englewood Review of Books. Her book, Talking Back to Purity Culture: Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality, is coming out from InterVarsity Press in 2020. Rachel lives in Glenwood, Iowa, with her husband, Evan, and their dog, Frank. You can follow her on Twitter @racheljwelcher.

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