Wednesday, May 25, 2011

out of the dark

  the clock ticks and seconds turn into minutes. mintues turn into days. days into weeks and weeks give birth to months. children grow at the speed of life and life moves faster then sound and i am all a wonder. how fast it all seems, even though, in each indiviual second, presently, they seem, to tick by, so slowley.
 winter was long, dark often and cold. watching icicles freeze a valley that i once watched bloom with color and fragrance, it seemed to never thaw. thankfully it did, and just when it seemed that spring was embracing the winter in a warm hug good-bye, my heart, once longing, eagerly awaiting, was so used to spring not showing up, had buried itself in a deep hole. climbed right in and chose to stay. april showers rained and rained and rained and my heart sprouted nothing green, nothing colorful, nothing fragrant.
 why does this happen? setting my heart on spring to bring the hope of something new and exciting and different. when it arrives, as it does every year, my heart did not rejoice but burrowed deeper in a familiar winter hibernation den.
 depression has been my on-again-off-again for more years then i can remember. even as a young girl. the only reason i could give mommy for my tears (that would rest her heart anyway) was that i had a belly ache. the belly ache never exhausted. ever. but that pink thick liquid was kept in the fridge and i'd drink it and mommy would relax and i would feel bad for not knowing why my heart was heavy. for not understanding why the tears would not stop. i grew and life would happen. some good and some not so good. depression would come and depression would go. brought on by loss, brought on by nothing at all.
   i share because the more i do, the more i find that others feel the same. that others go through the same. that others are afraid to share, and that others don't know, that a lot of others, feel the same.
   i share to remind myself that God is big. bigger then i can comprehend. God is conqueror, over this whole entire world. to remind myself that tasting the dark, seeing it through, is expecting to taste the light. to feel it again on my face, my shoulders, my back, and in my heart. that if i can stand firm in the dark short days of winter, i can stand firm in the light long days of summer. that feeling the negative days of life, like counting numbers in the negative, helps me to appreciate the positive days of life, like counting numbers in the positive.  
   does all this make life a deeper experience?  is all this the tasting of how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (ephesians 3:17niv) am i not building a life abundant? am i not blessed because of all the mourning?
 either way, i am glad i am coming out of the dark. thankful to be marking my minutes, hours, days and weeks by choosing joy, purposefully. by counting all the ways He loves by penning all the things i love, that He has gifted.
 i am reading ann voskamp's book one thousand gifts and choosing to take ink to paper and writing my way - His way, out of the dark by practicing eucharisteo. he who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that i may show him the salvation of God. psalm 50:23
 because even in the dark, their is much to be thankful for, and the more i see it, the brighter it becomes. now this is not a prescription for depression and some may in fact need a 'script, but how much more helpful is it to note, literally, script a running list of blessings. like that old hymn says count our blessings, naming them one by one. count our many blessings to see what God has done for you and for me and what He has gifted. for how many of us can add another day to our lives by thinking on the worst of it? i am glad to be coming out of the dark. i am glad for a thankful heart, for their is much to give thanks for.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

be still and know that I am God

   this past week areas of our country were touched by torrents of wind, rain, golf ball size hail. an angry sky fierce with tremendous power. my kids and i were out in the worst part of it that touched our area. driving and trying to see through rain drops thick as milk in a wind that wanted to push the car into the field we drove past. the radio making that horrible sound that screams "pay attention now!!!" and my my daughter repeating "uh-oh music" and my son asking where is the tornado noah is talking about?" my prayers were answered and we arrived home safely as i wondered 'why in the world did i think it necessary to be at wallmart at 7:00am?' up early it had felt like 11:30 but we reached our home safely and i was full of praise for the tremendous display of only a tiny bit of what God is capable of.
   later in the day i hear how very easy we had it. we still had each other, over 300 dead in the south. we still had our health, how many were hurt and wounded down there? we played in a warm, dry home that stood right where we bought. right where it was built. a very comfortable living position of upright. my stomach in knots most of the day, wondering how many souls were taken from this world who may have not been ready. how many souls were rejoicing with Jesus this dark stormy day.
   again driving down a long bending road past fields, unusually under water, my eyes drifted up. the clouds hoovered low and were bumpy. like the under side of a hand. the palm side. and i heard it, "be still and know that I am God." (psalm 46:10a) and my eyes rained down much like the sky did earlier, only this a quiet, peace filled, thankful rain.
   no matter the storm. no matter the tornado. no matter who is taken. who is missing. where my house stands or if my house stands at all. no matter if my health is good or...gulp, weather my children sit in the back seat peaceful and fine with me or not. He is God. He is good, all the time. He doesn't change. ever. it is He who holds this world in the palm of His hands. maybe those bumpy low clouds were His hands. maybe, just maybe this stormy day could have been worse up north. maybe just maybe we could have had it like they did in the south. maybe? .... maybe. 
   His hands. bumpy and low. soft and bubbly. He spins this world and brings what we can handle through His Son and i am reminded each time i let Him remind me, that it is He that is in control. that no matter how hard i squinted, i wasn't going to see clear threw that milk thick rain. no matter how tightly i gripped the steering wheel we weren't going to be any safer. if He wanted us, we'd be there with Him. He wants us here, and so we are. no matter how much i worry, or fear it will not change that He can and will do what He will do. that today i will not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself and that each day has enough trouble of its own (matthew 6:34)
   "be still and know that I am God," i heard it every time i looked up at those low bumpy clouds. each time seeing huge-gigantic hands. 'He's got this," i think to myself. 'it's His world. i'm His gal.' and i was still, and i knew, that He was and is God. mighty. powerful. still, i have yet to see just how much.
   later i look up the verse i kept hearing, psalm 46:10b says I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. i smile and cannot wait for this to come. in the mean time i decide to get a jump start on this and i exalted Him here in my small part of this nation. my stomach relaxed i praise Him who is worthy to be praised and i start counting my blessings that i can be still, and know that He is God. that i can rest peaceful knowing, having seen Him, holding this world in the palm of His hands.