I don’t think I will ever forget February 9, 2015. Even more than the day we brought sweet Ruth home… even more than the day the paperwork craziness was finally done… this day will forever be a maker in my memory...
It's been over a year since I've written anything, at least publicly. My journal has gotten quite the workout, but I didn't blog at all in 2015. I didn't set out to take a year off from writing, it was purely accidental. Honestly, I didn't really feel like I had anything to say. Normally that wouldn't matter because I would still post out of a sense of duty or obligation. But if I learned anything in 2015 it's that God's not really concerned about the pressures I put on myself to perform, He just wants me to love Him and let Him love me with no strings attached. That's a hard lesson for a girl whose identity has always been tied to her performance.
It’s that time of the year again, time to pause before a new year begins and spend some time reflecting and planning. Below is the list of questions I work through each year. I find them to be quite helpful, and hope you do too.
Happy New Year!
In my Bible between the Old and New Testament is one single sheet of tissue-thin blank paper. One page. I can flip past it in the blink of an eye, which is deceptive, because that single sheet of empty paper represents 400 years of silence. 400 years of wondering. 400 years of questions.
Will rescue come?
Will love come down?
Will God ever speak again?
Three years ago I found myself sitting in my car in a parking lot on a Friday night. I knew I needed to get out of the car and go in but I was afraid. I was also desperate, and that night I let desperation win.
I got out, walked across the parking lot and pulled the doors open. I was greeted by the distant sound of people singing. I made my way across the lobby, and into the sanctuary where I quietly slid into the back row. Before the first song ended I was fishing tissues out of my purse to try to stop the flow of tears. For the first time in a long time I felt safe.
It’s what we all long for, what we all plan for. We dream of falling in love with the ideal person and having the ideal marriage, with 2.5 ideal kids and an ideal golden retriever, living in an ideal home with an ideal picket fence and ideal car parked in the drive way. We plan for the ideal college to accept us with the ideal amount of financial aid and an ideal degree which will lead us to an ideal job field where we can use our talent to advance our ideal career.
Jesus and Peter had many encounters involving water, boats, and questions.
“Will you follow me?” Mark 1:17
“Do you trust me?” Matthew 14:29
“Do you love me” John 21:17
Three questions. Three encounters. Three defining moments in Peter’s life.
I was driving down I49 a week ago having a single-mom moment, which basically means I was having a full-fledged meltdown. I was talking to Jesus about all the "stuff". The concerns I have for my kids, financial worries, home repairs, the ever growing mountain of laundry, the days that are never long enough to do all that needs to be done.
I asked Jesus a simple, but desperate question, "can you remind me that I'm not alone in this?"
“I agree that marriage it hard, and a good marriage is worth it. However, the hardest thing I've ever done isn't marriage. The hardest thing I've ever done was a long, ugly, extremely messy divorce and the unhealthy, dysfunctional co-parenting relationship I have with their dad.”
I was sitting in the studio interviewing relationship experts Jeff and Debbie McElroy about the goodness of marriage when my phone buzzed with this message from a friend who was listening. She knew she could contact me, because we have walked the same journey of “long, ugly, messy divorce”.
As I sat in the studio with Jeff and Debbie I was encouraged. Encouraged to see two people so deeply committed to each other and so obviously in love. As Jeff described the “why” of marriage I found myself nodding along, “yes, this is what marriage is for! It’s for showing the gospel!” Jeff and Debbie continued painting the picture of how marriage models the gospel for us, how it shows us redemption in tangible ways. How in each marriage God wants to enter into every hopeless and dead place and bring resurrection. As Jeff says “Every marriage has a Sunday Morning coming.”