Monday, February 21, 2011

Crisis Reconciliation

C S Lewis describes how grief returns upon itself in crazy twists and turns where one walks through a terrain and is confused because they've already been there before. One wonders why they're passing through again. And then there's the brain's remarkable protective functioning of being unable to process more than one "issue"-the most life-threatening one- at a time in traumatic situation.

So then, add in the spiritual crisis too, and you have one enormous mess. The very idea that this mess is going to get sorted out whether one likes it or not is VERY overwhelming. How in the world does one even proceed?

I literally feel like my brain has become a spiritual and psychological experiment. Just when I feel I've reconciled one teensy string, another huge ball of tangled mess is violently thrown in and that string is suddenly tangled into hundreds of others.

I wasn't even aware of these lurking "sorting outs" that were coming my way. But new things have caused a whirlwind of them. It's remarkable how God uses community to bring us into closer communion with  him.

I made the statement to S a few weeks ago that "I feel like my head is coming out of the abyss and entering humanity again." But it feels like Blast From the Past. I'm coming into the same town, but everything is different. But instead of the town being the "different," I'm the different. I'm having to reorder everything.

It's quite a feeling when one suddenly realizes that the past- however -many- years have felt like being "dead" and now one feels "alive". And that "alive" now has completely different qualities than it did before. And that scripts for this "alive" are completely in God's hands.

These new things are causing me to address two things concurrently; to hold them in tension with the answer a complete mystery. Suffering as an integral part of life with Christ, and the prayerful response borne out of humility as a result of suffering.

Monday, February 14, 2011

On Friends and such

I am so thankful for each and every person that has stopped to send us an encouraging email, or leave an uplifting comment, and for friends who listen.

I am so thankful for you. For the ones who aren't reading too.

You mean the world to us!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mysterious Prayer

Prayer confounds me. I can't really remember if it did so before, but at this point, it's a complete mystery to me. So to put it into a narrative to maybe make some sense of it, here it is.

I've mentioned before how we saw the powerful working of Almighty God while in COL. But let me back up even more.

In August of 2008, we requested a homestudy update for 4 children. Our social worker was generally very concerned about families adopting more than 2 siblings. She asked us to do a lot of things, and then we waited. I remember a time talking with my mom where she asked what I wanted them to pray for. I remember thinking one thing: for the committee to approve us for 4 children. And so with a choked voice at the realization of how much I wanted those four children, I replied, "Pray that the social workers will approve it. My heart couldn't handle if they said no."

Even now when I look back and think about it, I don't get a sense that I prayed "wrong." But I don't understand what happened after that. The previous 2 years we'd been waiting, we kept on believing that if the Lord wanted this to be, it would be.

So when we heard back that the committee had approved us, it was exhilarating. And then the blow of our homestudy agency closing and our homestudy update being delayed...and delayed...and delayed. But really, after 2 years, what's a couple of months? But it worked out.

Ok, so fast forward to spring of 2009 and we're trying to figure out what day we can request to meet the kids. S has an exam that he can't miss, or else he'd repeat a whole year of his program. It all works out, amid the bumps. Another tangible example of God working in our midst.

And then we get to COL. What I once thought, believed, experienced is completely shattered. I had no words to pray with. If ever my soul cried out to God, it was then that it began. I could only trust that the Holy Spirit was interceding. But this did not work out...the way we wanted it to.

And then we came back home.

Prayer was one thing: a constant plea for rescue. Slowly, after a few months, praying the Lord's prayer was something I could muster. It was as if I couldn't even comprehend anything for a while, and then the Scripture that has been part of me since childhood slowly was accessible.

But the line, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven," sticks with me. I still can't pray anything but that.

Recently, someone asked if they could pray for something specific. I replied that i don't feel that's what the Lord wants us (me and S) to pray. I believe He wants our continued prayer to be to walk with Him, not matter what He brings. The person asked if it was because I was afraid to hope. Not an easy answer there. "Hope" in the "belief that good things will come" is quite tempered for me now. Not in a cynical way (well, sometimes it's cynical) but tempered by experiences that have forever changed me and the way I view life. So I replied I don't feel that's in line with what the Lord wants me to pray.

So, among the other confusing spiritual facets, prayer is thrown in the jumble too. And as I reflect on the statement I made to my mom, I can only respond in frustration to God, "What ARE you doing?"

Because the truth is my heart couldn't handle it. My human heart has been broken to bits. Only a loving God can restore it. And there may be parts that are never quite the way they were before.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


1. if you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family? 
Family, yes, in their proper place as our animals.  Children, absolutely not. Don't ever refer to me as the "mommy" of my dog! 

2. if you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
To go to Tahiti!

3. what is the one thing most hated by you?

4. what would you do with a billion dollars? 
I really don't know. I'll cross that bridge if I come to it!

5. what helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
Depends on why, but ice cream works at times. :)

7. what is your bedtime routine?
Brush my teeth and put on my pajamas.

8. if you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner? 
At church. He was the Sunday School teacher.

9. if you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be? 
Watching my husband turn steel into a piece of art.

10. what kinds of books do you read? 
Mostly nonfiction

11. how would you see yourself in ten years time?
I don't do that anymore. It's pretty apparent that what I think is not what the Lord has planned!
12. what’s your fear?
Never being a mom again.

13. would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?
Mmm, no. I have no desire to go to outer space.

19. if you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
Coconuts. Evidently they're an excellent choice when one is in a survival situation. ;)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


All alone, this word brings gut reaction. We think through our lives and name times we have experienced it. We know friends who are experiencing it.

Our world is in agony. Our world needs redemption; for God's Kingdom to come in the here and now.

Sunday we learned that our friends gave birth to a son, three months premature.  His tiny body is suddenly having to work in ways it's not even developed for yet.

And so the parents wait. They love him knowing risk.

We love, but we love with open hands. Our love does not equal possession, ownership, or control. We want it to. We want to cling to those we love, and in some way prolong our sense of security.

But God is not safe. Our trust in Him does not give us the "get out of agony free" card. Instead it promises us a life where we will experience agony. And this is where we can live God's Kingdom and walk through the agony with each other.

God IS good. His goodness is, at this point for me, quite amorphic. I see His goodness, but I find myself most often unable to articulate it.

I find it after the agony. A quiet sense that He is Lord God Almighty.

But I don't understand His ways at all.