Monday, July 23, 2012

Don't Mistake the King for the White Rabbit

One of my least favorite holidays is 4th of July.  I love living in America.  I love having our freedoms here.  I even love the cookouts on the 4th.  I just don't really understand why we must celebrate all this by lighting rockets on fire in our back yards!  Every year it seems there is at least one rocket that doesn't seem to blast off as planned.  Someone will light it and everyone runs back to safety and we all watch (me from the living room window) and wait.  and wait.  and wait.  Expecting something awe inspiring.  And when it doesn't happen like we think it should, someone always slowly approaches the seemingly dud firework.  They either try to light it again or end up completely giving up on it. 

I'll admit I feel this way in life many times.  I expect God to do something by a certain time and either try to take over or end up giving up when it doesn't happen when I think it should.  I have so much hope for the future of my little family.  We have come so far and have witnessed God do some really great things so far and are still waiting on God to move in some areas.  I have God's promises on which to stand, as did God's people throughout the whole Bible.  But so often I act just like they did many times.  I doubt, get angry and frustrated, and ultimately try to take things into my own hands.  I have had to remind myself this week to continue in faith and trust.  I need to learn to wait on the Lord, as He tells us so many times in scripture.  How many times did the Israelites choose not to wait on God's timing and ended up making a royal mess of things?  How many times in my own life have I?  How many times have we all? 

What does God promise us?  Hope. Future. Provision. Salvation. Love.  He has always kept His promises and delivered provision when needed, so there is no need for worry or doubt.  There is also no need for my intrusions and trying to take over the plan myself. God's plans are perfect.  So when I feel like going all white rabbit on God and telling Him He is "late for a very important date,"  I take a step back and remember, the King is always on time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dark Shadows

I have been feeling guilty about not writing but haven't been able to nail down exactly what I wanted to write about.  I know there are some things I feel God wants me to share but I am just not ready yet, so those will have to wait for another day.  Based on the title, you may think this is going to be about either the gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows, that swept up young viewers from 1966-1971 or the new movie based loosely off the aforementioned soap opera, starring the one and only Johnny Depp.  As much as I would love to take this article to the realm of entertainment that either of those topics would provide, alas it is not.  Though, much a of my life this year has felt a little bit like a soap opera, there unfortunately aren't any vampires, werewolves, witches, or bad actresses/actors hidden in my closets; not that I know of anyway!

On a more serious note, this will be about my struggle to deal with the dark shadows of my marriage and be able to completely put them away for good.  On Sunday, as we drove up to visit Wes' parents, we were listening to a program on NPR.  They were interviewing a gentleman who served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He talked about some of the things he experienced and what it was like to know people who didn't make it home.  He mentioned how his therapist had told him that those experiences and bad memories are like a shadow.  Your shadow is always there.  Some days your shadow is more noticeable than others.  But just because your shadow is there, doesn't mean you need to go looking for it or stare at it. 

This really hit me.  I know my shadows are always there, they are with me everywhere I go.  But I have the power and the choice to live my life aware of them but not let them steal my attention.  The tricky thing about shadows is that they are deceiving.  In theory it should be a representation of the real thing, but often times our shadows are bigger or smaller or a different shape than the reality.  I have learned that I cannot waste time staring at them trying to find the reality.  Doing so would entangle me in a web of pain and lies that would only feed into the doubt and insecurities the enemy wants me to feel. 

It's hard to move on from things sometimes, but if we can find ways to ignore the shadows and keep taking one step forward at a time, we will discover that those shadows, though never gone from us, will just become part of who we are, a reflection of part of us but not our whole reality.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Moving on to Canaan

In the short 29 years of my life I have moved more times that is probably normal, this not including what is normal for military kids.  Some of the moves I have made have been superficial, mere locality, but some have been the most pivotal moves of my life, life changers.  And there have been some moves that fall somewhere in between.  Moving as a child to Mound from Bloomington, MN, the in between.  Moving to my Dad's house before 10th grade, life changer.  Moving to Arkansas in 2003, life changer. Moving several times in Arkansas, change in locality.  My move to Arizona, though at the time I believed it was a life changing move, looking back it is one that falls in the in between, same with my move back to Arkansas.  Not to say that those moves weren't a big deal, they definitely were, but it is more about the affect they had on me.  I believe God wanted me in Arizona, He taught me so much there, but it was a step in His plan, part of the process, not really requiring a maximum amount of faith and ultimately changing the course of my life.  The pivotal move was made just this past weekend.

To the average persons eye, it would look very much like just a change of locality, but for me, it is so much more.  When I came back to Arkansas over a month ago, I made the choice to stay with Wes' parents until we started marriage counseling and got a green light from the counselor to move back in together.  I wasn't about to rush anything.  We got the go ahead about two weeks ago and moved Caleb and I into Wes' one bedroom apartment.  I know, one bedroom!?  It's cozy, but after much prayer, we felt it was in God's will for us to finish out the lease Wes had signed in December and wait on God during that time to guide us to the next step.  This step required a lot of faith on my part.

I was pretty anxious and scared about the move.  I had to allow myself to vulnerable to someone who had previously hurt me very deeply.  I had to put myself in a place of complete trust, but was also the most important step in order to move forward.  I was uncertain of what my life would look like.  I was afraid of getting lonely with just Caleb and I all day long.  I was afraid I wouldn't be a good enough wife.  I was afraid Wes would get to overwhelmed again.  I had to take a step to face all these fears, knowing that they were just attempts to scare me away from the life God has promised, a step of extreme faith.

I think about the story of in Genesis about Terah, Abram's father (Genesis 11:31).  He was on his way to Canaan, the promised land, with his family but stopped in Haran and settled there.  He settled.  Instead of trusting God and continuing on to all that God had promised him, the best life he could have had and given his family.  I have to continue on to all that God has promised, no matter how scary the unknown can be, I cannot settle for less that what God wants and has planned for me and my family. 

As a reward for my faith, I have peace and joy.  Despite our meager circumstances, I take joy in truly being a wife and mother.  Fears and the past try to creep there way in everyday, but I have no use for fears or doubts, I am only interested in the promises of God and knowing that He has done and is continuing to do a mighty work in my life.