This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel with a group of single moms to the Survive and Thrive Conference. My head is still spinning with information and encouragement and heartbreak from the weekend.
I feel like I need a week in solitude with my journal to process all that I experienced in those few days. But one thing from the weekend just won't seem to go away. It's begging to be processed first, and I think it must.
Broken Girl. It's pretty much how I've defined my life for the last several years.
I've been broken a lot longer than that, but didn't give myself the title "broken girl" until a few years ago. And it wasn't just me that I called a broken girl. Everywhere I went I was crossing paths with other broken girls. I couldn't get away from them. I knew God didn't want me to be broken, but I didn't know how to repair all of the cracked, missing places in me.
As a little girl I was scared of monsters hiding in my closet. Then I got older and learned that six eyed, clawed, sharp teethed monsters aren't real. Then life turned cruel and I learned that monsters are real, and they're deadly. Real monsters don't have sharp teeth and claws, but they do hide in closets. Not because that's their natural habitat, but because that's where we put them.At least that's where I put my monsters of shame, and anger and hurt. That's where I hid the whispering monster that said I wasn't good enough.
I don't know about you but I find it easy for me to slip into doubt. It's second nature to me. Faith, on the other hand, requires me to make an effort. I have to convince myself to believe. Don't get me wrong, once I get there faith overtakes me and carries me through the storm. But, I have to get there, and sometimes getting there is an effort. Especially when l look around and see insurmountable obstacles.Last night was one of those nights for me.
Forty years the Israelites wandered through the desert, fully dependent on God to meet their every need. Daily He sent food from heaven, water from rocks, clothes that didn't wear or tear. He guided their every step, cloud by day, pillar of fire by night. He was ever present. Ever providing.Forty long years later they entered the land of Promise. On that day the cloud disappeared, and the manna ceased. Why? Because they simply didn't need it anymore. They were no longer to wander through wilderness places; instead it was time to dwell in a land of safety.
Winter's song is stripped bare.Like when your favorite artist releases an acoustic version of your favorite song. I don't know if you're like me, but I'm not generally a fan of the acoustic version. I like my music full. Give me a full band or orchestra and I'm a happy girl. But sometimes stripped down is what I need. Sometimes the viola, while beautiful, competes with the lyrics and I wind up enjoying the music and missing the message of the song.I want more. I want more than just a piano and an unfiltered voice.
"Enoch walked faithfully with God"Genesis 5:24 Faithful. It's a word my grandparents lived. My entire life my grandparents lived in the same house. Drove the same car. Bought the same brand of bread. Listened to the same songs. Loved the same people. They paid their debts, honored their contracts, earned their thirty year pins at work.Fickle. That would be the word of my generation. We stand in line for new phones. Spend countless dollars changing our hair color. We start new careers. Move into bigger houses. Trade in our cars. Defriend those who offend.
This Christmas morning I will wake to a quiet house instead of excited children piling on my bed because it's their dad's year to have them on Christmas morning.This Christmas morning she will sit with the one she loves, the one she's named after, knowing his health is failing and their remaining time together is short, too short.This Christmas morning their daughter will be in another country, legally theirs but not yet in their arms. Amidst the gifts and giggles their hearts will ache for one more stocking hung by the fire.This Christmas morning her kids won't have gifts to unwrap, or a...
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices... It's one of my favorite Christmas carols, always has been. It makes me cry every time I hear it. And this is my favorite line. Read it again, slowly. Go ahead, I'll wait...Notice anything? I did. It leapt off the page at me because my heart is only too familiar with the word: Weary.We are, aren't we? I know I am. I think the only thing more stressful than Christmas is moving over Christmas. Talk about a meltdown waiting to happen.
I've been thinking a lot lately of Ruth and Naomi's story. (so has my friend Jennifer) I think we all love the idea of a Kinsman Redeemer providing for and rescuing Ruth. Isn't that what we all long for? To be rescued? But lately I've been thinking about what happened in the story before she was rescued.Ruth lost everything. She was childless. Her husband was dead. There was a famine. I think that qualifies as a pretty bad day. Instead of being taken care of it was now her responsibility to take care of herself and others.