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Saturday, January 23, 2016

I Didn't Mean to Be So Angsty...

...this year... or, you know, my whole life...

I ran across two Scriptures, this morning, that stand in contrast to one another and resonate so deeply it hurts.

Psalm 30:6, "When I felt secure, I said, 'I will never be shaken'" (NIV).


Psalm 42:3, "My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, 'Where is your God?'" (NIV).

I choose my words very carefully.  Go ahead.  Laugh.  Get it all out.  But, actually, it's true.  The people who are closest to me often re-read what I write multiple times before drawing a conclusion, because they know my words are chosen in such a way that a quick read-through will probably impart some sort of truth, but what I really mean is hidden beneath layers upon layers upon layers.  And somewhere, buried deeply, you can likely find the unshaken core of who I am under the desperate cry, "Where are you, God?"

To remain unshaken, when shaken, is in many ways the proverbial story of my life.

Personal Reflection is an important spiritual discipline.  It is, essentially, paying close attention to what is going on inside of ourselves in order to be transformed into more loving people: people who love God more, people who love people more, people who love ourselves more.  It can be very difficult to become this kind of person in the midst of insecurity. 

On the surface, quite honestly, all I can see is uncertainty, lately.  But the surface doesn't really matter that much.  I was just thinking about cells (weird, right), and how our skin replenishes itself approximately every 27 days.  Whatever you're looking at, today...  it's going to be gone in less than a month.  Taking this a step further, borrowing from Donald Miller, again, "The human body essentially recreates itself every six months.  Nearly every cell of hair and skin and bone dies and another is directed to its former place" (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years).  I'll take some creative license and amend his next statement.  We're not the same people we were last summer.  At least, not mostly.  Reflection matters, because it transforms the parts of us that last.

Over the past few weeks I have made and amended some commitments.  They include things like:

If there is something that I feel God would be pleased with, I will do it without worrying about the details.  I may have already mentioned this.  Huge step for a compulsive planner.  I have reservations for six flights sitting on my printer, and I am considering eating only cupcakes for three straight days in March.  Wait.  Let's not think too hard about whether or not God put that particular plan in my heart...

I will continue to help people, even if I don't know where the resources will come from.  Huge step for someone who is terrified of letting people down.  It's hard to say, "I will help you," without knowing if I can actually do anything practical, but interestingly enough I am finding that other people are sometimes willing to kick in the resources if I just ask.

I will continue to raise funny kids.  Huge step for a mom who used to think it was important for socks to match and children to refrain from sharing embarrassing family secrets in public.  I added this one, last night, after a dear friend sent a message thanking our family for the gift of laughter.  So, even though Miah says things like, "Oh no!  Why do you have to post that," I will continue to leave this family vulnerable if it brings joy to others.

I sat down and started making a list of all the things I have seen God do either for or through me/us (because much of it has been a community effort), just since I began adopting these unconventional life rules.  The list is longer than I thought it would be.  Oh look.  There's my God.

Whatever you're looking at, right now...  It matters, but in the end it won't last.  Dig deeper.  Dig deep.


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