I was in my old stomping grounds last week in Raleigh, NC for a quick visit. I had debated about making the fast trip with my kids in tow but determined it was important enough to warrant the effort. A friend was having her book launch and I was blessed to be able to attend. My mom and I were both excited to be at the book launch for Denial: Abuse, Addiction, and a Life Derailed: Based on a True Story by Nanette Kirsch. The book launch was powerful – the book is even more so.

Mom and I grabbed a quick bite to eat just across the street from the book launch venue. I had been at this intersection of these streets many times as this is where Marbles Museum sits. Marbles is great for kids and I recall feeling as though I had accomplished a grand military maneuver when I would take the kids for a few hours. I spent many hours in this area but had never entered the cafe diagonal from the museum.

As I sat at the table, I couldn’t get over the view. I had never had this vantage before; I had never seen Marbles this way before. I sat in the delightful cafe and couldn’t get over how I found myself in a different place, but in the same place; the same person and yet not the same.  I struggled to put my feelings into words and part of my expression was through choking tears. I marveled at how five years ago I would spend time playing with the kids, watching the kids play and learn at Marbles and occasionally I would wonder what I was going to do once they were in school. I dabbled in writing at that time but was never really sure what I was going to be when I grew up. And here I sat with a different view of Marbles – and a broader view of myself. I just couldn’t get over the fact that because of my interest in writing I was next to Marbles but not going to Marbles, and instead, I was going to a book launch directly across the street from Marbles. It was some kind of crazy full circle thing that happened over delicious chicken. My heart was so full.

I am wondering if perhaps my mom felt the same way. She sits with me at the cafe, both of us inhaling dinner prior to the book launch. She connected with Nanette and the book. My mom is one of those people who walks through open doors and strives to see where God is working and then goes there. Mom introduced Nanette to Brave Step, an organization based in Charlotte, that helps victims of sexual abuse find their way to freedom. Nanette is partnering with Brave Step and supporting their mission. It is such a beautiful, redemptive thing when stories, organizations and people connect and as a result, individuals see a broader view of themselves.

I bet there was a time when Mom, a victim of sexual abuse, wondered if there would ever be a full circle for her. There have been moments of redemption that I have witnessed for her and I wonder if our tears and intertwined hands at the book launch were another part of her full circle. When Nanette mentioned Brave Step and put their logo up on the screen, I leaned over and said, “That’s because of you mom, you made that happen.” It was healing wrapped in healing. Again and I again I see it – pursuing healing for others brings about healing within ourselves.

And because of these moments and several others that night, it was clear that we were supposed to be at the book launch in support of our friend and her book. We just didn’t know we were there for some full circle for ourselves too.

Search for kindling: Are there doors opening to you that you are denying? Go ahead and walk through them. Pursue your full circle and a broader view of yourself.