Mighty God

In a Year Where Things Just Fall Apart

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It's been a year where things have just fallen apart. Ever have one of those? Or a season?  

First there was a book. There still is a book, but at the beginning of 2013, there was great excitement and a publishing director who said things like, "You're not a one-book author" and a literary agent and hope for publication. 

But by June the publishing house decided I was a risk (a "homeschool platform" apparently doesn't count) and the agent told me she'd bitten off more than she could chew this year and she was dropping me, too. 

It just fell apart. I laughed a little, cried a little, and then remembered the original vision for Mighty God: How We Find Freedom in the Power of the Gospel. I wrote it for my readers, those thousands of sweet people like you who don't count because I'm a homeschool blogger ;)  

It will get published. We're just seeking God for exactly how. 

And then our second son dreamed of a university and he gained acceptance there. He forged a path, but he was short on finances and his wise grandfather helped him to see that amassing nearly a hundred thousand dollars in debt was not a good move when you're 18. Or ever.

May I just say something here? This is a well-established, well-respected Christian university, and when Nate spoke to his admissions counselor about financing options, she said, "Just take out loans. That's what we all do." Come again?

What, I'd like to know, is that university going to give a student that is so incomparable, it surpasses the wisdom of Scripture, which clearly warns that debt is a curse? You don't even have to be a Christian to recognize that. 

You know, too, about our oldest son's wedding. It fell apart 5 days before it was supposed to happen. It's October now, but we've been riding the ripples since July, and this one feels like it will go on for awhile. A long while. 

What's a family to do? 

These are stories of the fall, but they began with creation, took a nosedive into what seems like depression, and now we wait and watch for redemption and reconciliation. Those last two will come. That's the meta-narrative -- the grand story -- of Scripture, and we can see it in our own small stories as well. Creation, fall, redemption, reconciliation. 

Won't you wait and watch with us? We're looking for Jesus in the midst of the rubble. He's shown up at every turn, or rather I should say that we've shown up where He is already dwelling. Redemption. Reconciliation. That's my Jesus, and He will redeem the year that fell apart.

 

Two Little Words She Whispered to Me

It was the end of a worship service, sermon delivered, voices singing quietly.  I felt someone plop down next to me in the pew. She and I are casual friends; we enjoy talking and spending time together but I don't know her intimately and couldn't tell you the longings of her heart.

She leaned into my right side and nervously whispered, "I don't know why I'm here except that I know God told me to tell you this: keep going. That's all. Keep going." 

I whipped my head up to look at her, searching her eyes. How did she know? She just smiled. A tap on my arm, and then she got up and headed back to where she was sitting.

Keep going.

Unremarkable, really. Anyone could have said those words, and yet, no one could have known what they might mean to me on that day, in that moment.

I am my own worst enemy. I slander myself with words of discouragement and darkness, and I have to tell my weak brain, Stop. What's the truth here?  What's the truth?

The truth is that I began to write a book for my family. The truth is, that book took on a life of its own. The truth is that it's going in a direction I can't see to a destination unknown, and in the meantime there are columns to write and people to encourage and blog posts to pen.

But those dark moments. Jim, pastoring my church and heart, reminds me, "Don't question in the dark what God has told you in the light." I could do that every time I open my laptop.

But she said (and God put it there), keep going.

The Vexed Man

The Vexed Man

I told our story to a group of young moms gathered together for friendship and grace on a cold morning in March. Heavily pregnant, wearily carrying that weight, she told me before I began that her daughter had died, still a newborn, a victim of SIDS. She discovered she was pregnant again almost the moment after the tiny grave was dug.

Humbled, I told of Mighty Joe and the holes in his brain, of running over Annesley, of finding Caroline barely alive. I talked of shifting hope and loving the gifts we'd been given more than the Giver. I glanced at her from that stage and felt my vocal cords wobble. She, too, had been through the Refiner's fire, but the dross was newly flung and the edges didn't seem so worn and shiny yet.

She waited until the rest had left, and then she quietly approached me, too. "Keep going", she said. "Keep telling your story and articulating the gospel. Just... keep going."

Garrulous I was rendered speechless. She, hurting and recovering, and pressing in to her Savior, she had told me again what the Holy Spirit was conveying. I got into my car that day and looked up. I hear you, Lord. 

Keep going. I am.

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Thank you, Kari and Ruth.