If you're just joining us, my family and I moved from the Boston area to a small town in Texas last summer. We have lived in our new town for a little over three months. Much of what I've written on the blog since our move has to do with all that the move entailed: leaving a home and church that we loved in order to answer the call of God. I promise that I won't only write about that forever. But that is my reality now, so it figures prominently in what I post.
What follows comes from something I wrote in my journal on October 11, almost a month ago.
What I've found, and what may seem obvious to some, but was nevertheless an epiphany to me, is that we take ourselves and our sin wherever we go. Moving strips away all the things we used to hide behind. What we are left with, in any monumental change, is our grief and our shortcomings. We cannot get away from ourselves and the things that hold us back from becoming who we are meant to be.
When I find myself wishing that we were back in Arlington, in our old life, I realize that the problems I am experiencing now would not disappear. Rather, I would have the old, familiar ways of making those same problems seem not-so-bad. I would be able to find comfort in things such as place (my old bedroom, my old walk to the store) or friendships (people who know me and who speak the same spiritual language). But in a new place, the old fightings and strivings seem amplified, for there is nowhere to hide. There is no familiar routine for dodging such things. The problems, they stare us in the face and dare us to do something.
So, we can either stew in our misery and wish for it to go away (it won't). Or we can face it. We can realize our weakness. We call out to God and say, "Help. We are failing. We are falling. Hold us up, as you have always done, only we've been under the illusion that we were somehow responsible for that. Now we know that we weren't."
In removing everything familiar, the illusion of control is mercifully smashed. We never WERE in control; we only thought we were.
So now, I desperately awake 30 minutes earlier simply to intercede for my children. To talk with my Father and tell Him how weak we are, how sad, how mad at each other, how grieved, and we are desperate for His joy and His help and His presence.
Tiny comments become huge victories, like the night at dinner when Walter said, "I really liked the weather today."
Thank you, Jesus.
Psalm 94:19 When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.
Isaiah 40:11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in his arms; He will carry them in his bosom and gently lead those that are with young.
NOTA BENE: For those of you who have prayed and are praying, THANK YOU. Nearly a month later, things are so much better than they felt when I wrote these thoughts. We have more peace amongst us, and God is meeting us. Truly. If you have been especially praying for Walter, THANK YOU. He is better. He is happier. His heart is softening and we are thankful. It's not perfect, but it's BETTER. God is here, and you are here by your prayers. We love you.
Linking with Emily today and the Imperfect Prose community.