Thursday, December 29, 2016

Let them lead me

Things feel very challenging right now. In the midst of boxes stacked high in our small apartment, and heartbreaking goodbyes and sad lasts in our last days here, I am craving normalcy and praying for peace.

I have always sucked at transitions.

I held Cooper for about an hour last night as he fought against heavy eyelids and sleep. He snuggled close and pulled my arm tighter against his body, looking up at my face and whispering "hi mama" as he touched my chin with his sticky little fingers that smelled of sweet peanut butter.

I closed my eyes, pretending to be asleep in hopes that it would encourage him to close his eyes too. He chattered and giggled to himself, saying "bat bad guy" over and over again laughing quietly. When I peaked at him a few times, he was staring at his hands raised up toward the ceiling, waving them around and turning them over, finally bringing them down to cover his nose and mouth and giggling some more. Then he turned his head and touched my chin again... "My mom.... My mom..... My mom" he whispered firmly over and over again as if he scolding someone invisible.

As he laid there as close as he could get to my side, I realized that in the midst of the chaos of boxes and cleaning and questions and uncertainty and sorrow... there is peace and rest here too. There is so much comfort just being still in the presence of my good, good Father. His hand sustains us all.

"why are you cast down low, o my soul?
why are you cast down low and in turmoil?
hope in God, for I shall again praise him,
hope in God, for He is my salvation...

send out your light and your truth
let them lead me"
-Sandra McCracken

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Watch and pray

Though Chris finished all of his ordination exams and was ordained about a year ago, I still struggle to call myself a pastor's wife.

It has been a good, hard year.

Last fall in the months leading up to his ordination, I felt so much fear and worry over this life of ministry. I was very preoccupied with whether I had both the capacity and competency to do full time ministry. Honestly, I actually had a panic attack that Sunday during church in the hours before Chris took his vows.

In all the anxiety surrounding the ordination service, I had forgotten where to go... where to look. My head had been bent so low that all I could see were the things I wasn't good at and where my feet might stumble.

Lift up your head, oh my soul.

Lift up your eyes,
I lift them up to You.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord.

This Lord? The one who was in the beginning, the one who made the Heavens and the Earth is the
same one who sits in the dark places with me, the one I trust with my deepest wounds, and I have learned that I can trust him with this too.

Though fear and worry still struggle against the truth, He has taught me to sit with Him, the Lord of all things... He has shown me that I have security in His love, that it is right and good to strip away the layers I tacked on thinking I needed my own carefully placed metal armor. He has shown me tenderness and mercy in ways I never knew I needed. He has taken my roots deep into solid ground, to the place where hope abides and heals.

I am His child. I am made in His image and I am beloved, just as I am. My worth and value are never in question with Him.

He has set the sun and the moon, and He has set me as well.

These are the truest things about me, whether or not I am a pastor's wife. They are yours too.

I do not want to keep my head bent so low... there is so much beauty and hope and life to see when we lift up our eyes.