Sunday, October 8, 2017

It Hit Me Like A Hurricane

I opened my eyes and made my way to the kitchen.....we made it through and slept peaceful.  I am thankful for power this morning to make my coffee....and then it hit me.  And it brought tears to my eyes.  Thirteen years ago a September hurricane ushered in the most difficult time in my adult life.  For the last six years I have walked through a season that has changed me forever.  I had no idea how long or even what would come of it all.  But this morning I realized that this very rare late October hurricane brought in the new.  We planned our vacation, went to our favorite place....and he asked me.  Will you be my forever?  Forever.  The words this girls heart has always longed for.  The words that this girl finally believes.  He asked me....and I said I will.  And I meant it with my whole heart.  Two days later we packed it in and headed home early. A very unseasonable hurricane was headed straight for where we were staying.  We made it home, got things settled and then waited it out.  We never lost power....and slept sound through out the night.  This is the first hurricane I have experienced since that one thirteen years ago.  I lost a tremendous amount in that storm.  It was a foreshadowing I chose to ignore.  But here I am all these years later and a storm brought me my greatest gift.  God showed me that even in the most devastating of times, He still has a plan.  He is still in control.  And those storms in life sometimes bring about great destruction.  But sometimes they bring about things you could never imagine in your wildest dreams.  Thankful.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

In the Quiet

I tend to mull things over and over for great lengths of time.  I'm not, by nature, an instant kind of girl.  I like plans.  I like solid.  I don't do spontaneous easily.  When I get an idea it scatters into a million what if's and how is the best way.....and I have to digest it.  I have to let it translate and process into the best laid plan.  For whatever the reason, I had decided that long weekend was the right time. And quite honestly, how hard is adding paint to only three walls? Yeah.  I am blessed with one who see beyond my vision and comes to my rescue. The one who taped off all the places so I could keep it neat and tidy, the one who ran to Lowes to complete my vison.  We worked hard all the day.  It was the evening as I was cleaning and arranging the room into what I was envisioning, that he called.  And our world changed forever.  What strikes me as amazing still is that God prepared a place for me.  He knew exactly what was coming, exactly what I would be needing in the storm that was about to hit.  He created a quiet place, a place of rest, a place of beautiful...a place just for me.  I sit in that room, in the quiet everyday now.  I was literally finished, just making things tidy when the storm arrived.  How in awe I am still, was that the next day, we were already off from work....Labor Day.  And it was.  We quietly tried to decide what was the next right thing....yet God had set it in motion.  Come over, we are all here...and so they were.  A beautiful sea of family gathered round' the one who felt so alone...yet he wasn't.  Through whispered fears and tears and words and hugs and food, they held each other.  By showing up they said we are with you.  Not one of us had any answers going in, but we came out with direction.  And simply stated...where you go, we go. What you face, we face. What we have, you have. And it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed.  It was family pure and simple.  It was what God commands us to do....love others as Christ loves us.  The hands and feet of Jesus.  Hands and feet....go to and serve with.  It's not about words...talk is so very cheap.  It's showing up and perhaps not saying anything at all.  But the mere presence alone speaks volumes.  You are not alone.  Thankful.

Rest

Strange how trauma makes you speak louder.  As if somehow the volume can force back what you are hearing. Like it can change the inevitable reality from hitting you square in the face.  He called, which alarmed me.  Was there an accident? And then his words...WHAT? I yelled, and he said them again and I couldn't decide which way to go.  I'm coming...that's all I could manage, I'll be right there.  The strangest thoughts cross your mind, they do....I have on orange flip flops and my hair is a wreck.....I look homeless....and it was the longest drive.  I wanted to get there fast and not at all.  I needed to see but then I felt nauseous.  Maybe he's wrong.... The lady in the church van in front of me all.the.way.....she drove 20 miles and hour in the loaded passenger vehicle and all I could think was lady you have got to quit singing to Jesus and get out of my way...I was praying to Him too...help.  When I pulled up there was only my dry mouth and fear.  I saw him....all 6'4 of the brick wall he is.  My protector, my stability, my rock....and the tears.  How does 5'1 gather all of that into herself and comfort her one that needs her to be strong? It was true, his words that he spoke over that phone.  All my loudness didn't change what was.  And at that moment I felt as if I knew nothing.  At that moment I experienced a grief that I have never known before.  How do you comfort when you have no idea......

The days, the decisions, the unanswered questions....we just kept showing up, the only things we knew to do and God made a way.  When it seemed impossible, God provided.  These days I need to be reminded of that.  There is great transition in my life.  And I need the reminder daily that small is the answer for me. I do not have to have the answer, I just need to be present. He took me in to the quiet almost six years ago.  Everything stripped away and that is where I found myself....and Him in the most truest sense that there ever has been.  He showed me who I am...and Who He is.  And He calls me back there.  In these last weeks I have become utterly overwhelmed, to the point where exhaustion finally took a toll and I had to stop for a day.  There was no other choice.  As I sat in my quiet space with much needed tears streaming down my face, He whispered what is it that you know? And as I let the question settle deep inside my heart His answer was there.  I read the words that I had been so needing to hear.....Rest now. Then rise up....Yes. He brings me low to remind me and then lifts me up to be who He made me to be.  I tend to forget the rest.  I tend to loose myself and forget that I am not made for constant movement. Rest now....Then rise up.  Thankful.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Shift

I stepped out the back door that Sunday morning, I felt it.  That shift.  It was a Saturday 6 years earlier that I had first felt a shift like that.  On the same day.  My birthday.  On this morning, a cool breeze hit me. It brought back memories. I see how far He has brought me.  How very much has changed.  I felt a mix of excitement and anticipation this time.  Six years ago on my birthday I started this journey.  I had no idea what I would be facing our who I would become.  I didn't really even know I had become a traveler.  I'm a different girl than I was back then.  I have seen things that God used to hollow out that place in my heart.  Things that change you forever. That very same feeling came again.  This has been a life altering year for me.  In so many ways a back to square one year.  The stripping away and restructuring left me feeling more out of sorts than I care to admit sometimes.  I had high hopes that birthday morning. I still do.  But I had no idea with all the shifts and changes that death of another kind would face me one week later.  Death that would devastated and I would need to be the hand holder like I have never been before.  I know that death ushers in life, no matter if you are the soul passing from here to the eternal or you are one of the souls left behind.  I have seen the other side of a death.  Things seem colorless, days feel dry and arid. Nothing falls in to place. I could be terrified.  Actually I am quite anxious....but He said be anxious for nothing.  That hard in the wake of someone loosing a parent, dealing with all the aftermath of closure, new jobs, less money and a whole lot of unanswered questions. Yes.....but what is it that I know?  What is it that whispered to me that morning marking the anniversary of my birth?  You were made for hard baby girl......you can do hard things.  Yes.  He created me for that.  Sometimes the hardest thing is feeling unseen and perhaps like these littlest of things seem to be so inconsequential.  But they are not.  This is the way He made me.  Sometimes the smallest things are the very greatest things.  The unnoticed.  But He notices.  And He asked me so long ago would I please?  And I said yes I would.  These are the things that make me, complete me and remind me that every person is important.  Every task great and small matters in the sight of God.  There are times when the smallest become the biggest and there is a time and a season for everything He set under the sun.  Yes....that hand, that quiet sit with a loved one, the sharing of tears when words aren't necessary, that ability to do the hard things is the loveliest of things.  Because when you are faced with the shortness of this life and loose someone so close, no one cares what car you drive or how much money is in your bank account.  They care that you just showed up.  He reminds me yet again that this is they way.  Things get torn down but He builds them back.  Stronger and more beautiful that we could ever hope for or imagine. Thankful.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Open Hands and Being Still

Its been quite the summer.  One of losing things, things I clung too for quite sometimes because, well....You promised....and if His promises don't look like I believe they should then what?  Because not one of them fails.  And I know what He said.  All those many years.  But this has been of season of my prayers being answered with open your hands..... Its terrifying to me.  But I did.  One drop, one step, one mustard seed of faith....And I see Him.  I see all the new and can't imagine how He's gonna bring any of it to pass.  But as He pulls me more and more into the quiet and I shout these desperate prayers, He answers.....when I settle in to the stillness and I listen.  Every little thing. A faith that is tested is a sure faith.  A solid faith.  Where else would you run when you already know Who to run to?  Because you have been there....here....before.  And those waves they take you over momentarily, but then you remember.....Each time the branch is cut back it grows again, stronger, more able than before.  Wiser, bearing more of the fruit He planted deep inside it's own DNA.  Open up your hands....because you have to let go to be filled anew.  Thankful.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

On the 5th Day

These days feel slowly methodical.  But they have made me stop, made me quiet.  I remember the summers of an actual break for so many years.  It's been five since that has been my life.  As my world changed, so did my need for working and providing in a different way for my children.  And I'm grateful for that.  But along the way, a more hectic pace set in and I began wrapping myself tighter and tighter.  Rest replaced with movement.  And I have just been plain tired.  This has made me stop again.  Letting my soul and my mind heal perhaps as much as my body.  Today feels like those summer of long away, yet without the heaviness.  Without the fear, the dread.  The lightness from all these burdens being taken, removed.  I realized this morning that yesterday was very different, and it was another year, on this holiday, that everything changed drastically.  What I knew just wasn't anymore.  And it felt so strange.  I felt uncomfortable almost in the new skin I had acquired.  That day, the celebration went from very big to very small.  And so it began, a new chapter, a new tradition that would span a decade.  Last year would be the last I would celebrate it in such a way, I just didn't know it then.  This year was new.  Small.  Quiet.  And I felt uneasy in my skin but also peaceful.  That familiar new beginning I didn't register until this morning.  Solid doors closed that decade ago.  Solid doors closed this year for me as well. I'm grateful for these walls that have literally held me for all of my adult life.  I have been here longer than anywhere else in my years.  This is home.  This is where I belong.  So many stops and starts.  Beginnings and ends.  Yet here I am still, where He placed me.  I am blessed.  I'm finding that in this crazy new little detour, He has actually called me to go first.  I'm not surprised by this.  I've been here before.   He made me the girl able to do hard things.  He gave me the tools, the ability, all those years ago.  Only He had to quiet me again to see, to listen, to stop and be prayerful and hear.  So much healing.  Thankful.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The 4th in the 5th Year

It feels like a Saturday morning to me, yet it's Tuesday.  Half a year gone already.  I can't quite wrap my head around the speed in which time seems to be passing these day.  It's been steaming hot as of late.  I will take all the sun and steam over the last few weeks of the endless days of rain.  It's been a week of being home.  Recovering from some life changing things.  And I feared it for a long time.  Held on way passed what was feasible because, well I do that.  I'm not an easily open hands kind of girl.  I am the one that runs to Him saying....but don't You remember what You said??  What You promised?  Yes.   And if I have learned anything on this treck of mine it is that He well knows all He dropped into my heart.  It's just that it doesn't always look the way I planned.  So I clench tight my fists.  Holding on to any semblance of control I can muster.  And He stands with me, waiting, whispering, until I finally let go. 

I woke this morning feeling good.  No pain.  Like I'm finally getting back to myself again.  And it struck me, this was the hardest day of the year for me before.  This was the time we celebrated, this was our family event that rivaled Christmas.  And it looks a million times different than it ever has before.  And it is good.  And I am grateful.  I have always feared change.  And Lord knows that sure hit me square five years ago.  And this structured girl learned to live outside the bounds of comfort.  It changed me.  He changed me.  And today, this year is no different.  My planner does not dictate His plan.  My earthly desire do not control His divine purpose.  In the end, I'm just a girl seeking Him over and over.  Everyday.  Some days way better than others.  Thankful.