Tuesday, February 23, 2016

How Can I Rest?

Do you ever feel like life just punches you in the face? I did yesterday. After an amazing week of being with sisters in Christ and praying and reading my Bible all day, I came home to life.

My family was wonderful. My neighbor-friend cleaned my house and it was all lovely. All the things in my life were swimming along. Then I opened the mail... and then I talked to the accountant... and then I went to the cardiologist... and evil knew right where to smack me. Money. The creeping sense of panic in my gut. The fear and urge to plan and strategize. The temptation to despair and shake my fist at God like the pirate I used to be. 

But God was there. He whispered in my ear while I got ready for the day. Am I not with you always? He was there in my words as I talked to my children about why I was upset. Haven't I always taken care of you? He was in the heart of my dear friend Melissa when she messaged, I'm sorry you're having a bad day. He was in His Word when I sank onto the sofa in weariness to read. The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. He was there. 

He quiets my soul and soothes my fears. I don't have to fear. I don't have to pick a fight with him so that he will remember me. My name is written on his hands. Hands that bear the mark of his death for my forgiveness. He will provide. Just as he always has. 

*deep breath*

Rest.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Oh the Deep, Deep Love

The body of Christ is a funny thing.

Augustine said, "The church is a whore, but she's my mother and I love her."

Sometimes she is hard to love.

Lori Sealy said yesterday, "If you're struggling to love the church, focus on her foundation."

But...

Sometimes the church is hard to look upon because her beauty is stunning. Blinding. Awe inspiring. Sometimes she is a beautiful reflection of her Savior.

I have seen her beauty this weekend and felt like a ten year old girl awed into silence by the bride at a wedding. I am struggling to find the words.

I did not realize that I was growing disillusioned with the structure of the church until I saw it functioning like it's supposed to. I did not realize I was functioning in fear and shame until I was challenged with freedom. I did not realize that I felt unimportant until I was told strongly and in no uncertain terms that I am loved, valued, and important... that my relationships with the women in my church matter.

I had forgotten that "community and compassion are covenant words," in the words of Susan Hunt.

I had forgotten that God is in the still, small voice - nose to nose with me.

Susan Tyner, one of the session leaders, said, "Our limitations lead us to a limitless God." What a thought. God - limitless, omnipotent, and all-knowing - meets us in our limitation and powerlessness.

What a day. What a great, great God we serve. What beautiful sisters I have.