18 July 2016
They say it is in the darkest place that a seed bares life. They say the seed dies. And yet out of the heart of the seed sprouts life so strong that it brakes open the seed itself and shoots out of the shell. Magically. Mysteriously. Miraculously. Life. It is in that darkest of dark places where something special happens. What seemed to be without purpose in one state of being all of a sudden has significant purpose in another state. Yet care is required. Careful tending of the soil: watering, weeding, watching, and waiting. What happens inside the heart of the seed is hidden…secret…mysterious. Yet a part is played in the process of that magic. And honestly, even
though you plant the seed and carefully tend the soil, you won’t know what seed is going to grow until it sprouts and something new is birthed.
What I am trying to say is that I am 39. For another 7 weeks, that is. I am 39 and my life has not turned out as I expected. By this point I figured I would be married with a family living through the trying seasons of small children, the hectic seasons of school, sports, friendships, and family life. I always wanted a big family with lots of kids. I wanted a life that I could live with my life partner – the love of my life, the best friend of my soul, the one to whom I could look and lean upon. And perhaps that was asking too much because that is not what happened. And here I find myself 39 – for another 7 weeks, that is – heartbroken at a recent loss of relationship and bereft of a hope that at least if I couldn’t have my own family I could at least join one that loved me and wanted me to join theirs. Heartbroken at the loss of another dream wishing I had answers – wishing I could be somebody else – wishing this was not my reality.
Before you rush to tell me just how lucky I am to be on my own and not responsible for anybody else and all the wonderful things about being single, please stop yourself. I’m not looking for advice on how to shame myself for feeling the loss and sorrow that comes with deferred hope and unanswered prayers. I know that marriage and family life is not perfect. I know it is hard, selfless, thankless work and that many dreams also die in these stages of life. I do not have ideas of "happily ever after". I also know that unless you have been single for a long time or got married late in life it is hard to understand what it means to be single at my age. If you’ve been married since you were in your early 20’s you really have little to no clue. I do not judge you for that but I do ask that you refrain from offering advice on something about which you probably know little. And I do confess that I don’t understand what it is to be married and have a family and the complications involved. There are sorrows that I can have no understanding about because I have not experienced them. Please do not judge me for that. We must stand together in one another’s sorrows. Holding each other in turn knowing that suppressing feelings and stuffing them deep, deep down is not going to do anybody any good in the long run.
So please bear with me. I have to do something during this time. In the hopes that little seedlings will appear I am planting seeds within my soul. What they will be I do not yet know, but I must cling to the hope that something will grow out of this dark time. Magically. Mysteriously. Miraculously. And so I sew my seeds. Though I do not even know the kinds of the seeds I sew, they are being cast into the soils of my heart. I will water. I will weed. I will watch. I will wait. And most assuredly I will weep (some more) before I finally have that first glimpse of green coming above the soil.
28 May 2014
We all get caught in the lie. All of us. Not one of us can say we do not. If we are truly honest with ourselves we realize just how close our fall is to another’s. The trap may look different. The consequences may not be as evident. But the plain hard truth is that we all (probably even daily) are caught in the lie. The lie that we are god and God is not. We may not say it that way. We may not even think it that way. But that is it. When we do what we know we ought not to do, we have replaced God with our pathetic pretender of a self, thinking that we know better, won’t be caught, and a wide array of other justifications. We are always found out, though. Always. If not by man, then most certainly and assuredly by God who knows all things. He is the One who is sinned against. Our treachery is first and foremost aimed at Him. Do not sit smug in your safe place upon the news of another’s sin. Mourn. Mourn that you too have committed the same sin against God. Confess the truth of your soul. Pray for your own healing. And then strengthen the fallen.
03 June 2013
17 May 2013
Fear, it surrounds me.
It overwhelms me.
Anxiety wraps its blanket round about me,
Tighter and tighter it pulls.
I'm strangled and I cannot breathe.
The Spirit of God lives within me.
He champions me.
Peace lifts the dead weight anxiety has left behind,
He lifts it.
He restores me.
Freer and freer, as I follow, He leads me.
By still waters.
In pastures of green.
Through valleys so dark.
He is with me.
With a word He draws me.
His love is undeniable.
I am His and He is mine.
"Belonging to the Lord"-
It's stamped on me.
The Cup, it says-
"Drink me, within me you will find Him."
I am afraid.
But He drank the cup.
He drank. And He drank.
I hold the cup, expecting it to be bitter.
But it is beautiful.
And its contents, brilliant.
His kindness and loving goodness pour out onto me.
The cup, it overflows.
But not in sorrow, in joy.
I am home.
And fear has no place.
By direction and discipline,
You protect me.
I am home. Forever. And You comfort me.
29 March 2012
I remember the first time I met her. It was mid July. All the pastors were at their yearly retreat. While they were water skiing, tubing and BBQing the rest of us got to be pampered on the job with spa treatments, movies and our own BBQ lunch on the lawn. It was a bright, sunny day and I was sipping on cucumber water waiting my turn for a pedicure. Kym walked in the room. She had black hair underneath and almost platinum blonde hair on the top layers. It was short. She was striking because her complexion was so pale next to such black and blonde hair. But not pale in a bad way. The pale of one who actually has strawberry blonde hair. She was lovely. And she shined even in the sunlight flowing in the large windows of the Upper Room. I liked her. At that moment. Before we even had a conversation. There was just something about her. She seemed different. She seemed like my kind of person. Down to earth. Available. Funky. Not OC.
This whole assessment was made even before we shared a sentence. Kym. She sat down next to me. And in my brave, secretly shy manner, I struck up a conversation with her probably seeming very outgoing. Or perhaps she started the conversation. I don't remember now who said hi first. I do know that inwardly I was wondering if she would think I was stupid or uncool. She seemed so cool. Yet she was so friendly and I thought we might really be friends. We talked about seminary. I told her I was in the midst of applying to seminary but was kind of petrified of the program and what it would require of me emotionally and spiritually. She said I needed to do it. That it was right for me. It was like she already knew me. Like we were instantly friends. I don't know about her but from that moment on she was one of my special friends. She just fit.
I did go to seminary. We did become special friends. I love her like a sister. And now she has cancer. And the brightness that is Kym is fading. I can't even put to words the sadness I feel. The loss I already feel. It's like there is a space inside of me that is Kym-shaped. And it's full of her and vacant at the same time. Oh my dear friend Kym! You are so lovely. You have blessed my life more than you will ever know. You chose me to be your friend. You trusted me. You shared your life and struggles with me. You included me. You loved me. You trusted me with your thoughts and feelings. You trusted me with your fears and your hopes. You believed in me. You hoped way more for me than I could myself. And you taught me about work and life. You have been such a gift. Such a blessing. I have been so privileged to be counted among your friends. Do you know that? Do you know just how much you mean to me? I know I'm only a new friend in the last 4 years but that time has fed my soul. God has fed my thirsty soul through you. You have watered me. You have walked with me friend through the dark night of the soul. When there were no lights, you let me be where I was, how I was and you still loved me. And in your dark days you let me share that time with you. You told me how you truly felt. You honored me.
And even in letting me come over and visit and pray for you. Oh you have so honored me. Your friendship had meant more than the world to me. I love you Kym. So so so much it hurts. And it hurts to see you in pain. It hurts to see your family in pain. But know that I am constantly in prayer on your behalf. This bat phone is being dialed for you dear friend. I love you. I hope you know that you have impacted my life - ME - my little insignificant existence - in a significant way. I love you dear friend!!!
11 November 2011
02 November 2011
26 August 2011
24 August 2011
I thought I had something to say. I thought it would be beautiful and bold. I thought the words would flow again as in the days of old.
I thought it was time.
I think too much.
I felt a burning in my lungs. I felt a burning deeper still. I felt it burning in my soul with every step upon that hill.
I felt it was time.
I feel it much, much more.
I saw the past before my eyes. I saw the future pass me by. I saw but didn't dare to dream something else was there.
I saw it was time.
I see clearly.
I think I want to share. I think that some might care. I think, but do I dare?
I think too much.
I thought it was time.
I feel my pain. I feel its drain. I feel intensely, acutely, miraculously sane.
I feel it much, much more.
I felt it was time.
I see my self. I see with eyes of stealth. I see what looks a lot like health.
I see clearly.
I saw it was time.
It is time.
16 August 2011
If you lack wisdom, ask Me because I give generously and won't make you feel dumb for having asked. And I will give it to you. If when you were my enemy I made things right between us, even more I will save you by My life. I am your Father who has compassion on you because you fear Me. I know your frame - that you are just dust. Unlike you, My word endures forever. It is not dust. And this word I preached to you is that the world is passing away and also it's lusts, but the one who does My will, will live forever. I have told you this so that you will have My joy in you and that that joy would be made full. My secret is for those like you who fear Me, and I will make you know My covenant. For I am the high and exalted One who lives forever and whose name is Holy. I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. I have always loved you. I will always love you!
25 July 2011
Lord, You have always given bread for the coming day; and
though I am poor, tonight I believe.
Lord, You have always given strength for the coming day; and
though I am weak, tonight I believe.
Lord, You have always given peace for the coming day; and
though of anxious heart, tonight I believe.
Lord, You have always kept me safe in trials, and
now, tried as I am, tonight I believe.
Lord, You have always marked the road for the coming day; and
though it may be hidden, tonight I believe.
Lord, You have always lightened this darkness of mine; and
though the night is here, tonight I believe.
Lord, You have always spoken when time was ripe; and
though you be silent now, tonight I believe.
(Celtic Evening Prayer)
20 June 2011
It's not that I don't like music but once in a while there is a great need within me for silence. My senses can no longer stand the cacophony of sound that bombards me. A little less noise please, a little less noise for I fear I shall go crazy if I don't get a little peace and quiet.
29 April 2011
How often do we realize there is a war being waged against us?
That the battle is raging, furious and strong?
Though we might not see it in the physical realm,
it is there none the less...do not be fooled.
Take courage, take courage you who would hear:
He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
You are not alone...
Victory belongs to the Lord!
08 April 2011
Do I really believe that I am loved first, independent of what I do or what I accomplish? This is an important question because as long as I think that what I most need I have to earn, deserve and collect by hard work, I will never get what I most need and desire, which is a love that cannot be earned but is freely given. Henri Nouwen