Tag Archives: trust

Risk in Adventure

 

“The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.“ 

Alvin Toffler

I finished high school and spent four years at bible college- I could argue spirituality, biblically and theologically quite well, in fact sometimes I opposed just for the fun of it. From a twenty-one year olds perspective with such little life experience, I had certain faith in a big God despite any circumstance. Then when we lost Emmanuelle I had to unlearn and relearn so much of what I thought I knew about Jesus. In most ways it was easy to accept the sovereignty of God and place our grief and loss in His hands believing it was a safe place. Yes there was hurt and confusion, but sovereignty; who can expect to fully understand that? The ending of hope and beginning of faith.

I spent months and years relearning what I knew about Jesus; to truly profess His goodness from the deepest darkness and valley. Relearning my understanding of sovereignty, faith, trust and goodness in the storm. My whole worldview, my faith and really my whole person became totally different, I changed. It has taken me years to chisel out of the cement casing of grief; a place devoid of my own identity and all joy to finally feel the light and live in the world again. But in that place I knew and trusted Jesus, so I emerged with Him as I had found Him there.

My struggle now is how much can I unlearn and relearn about Jesus…. again? I did that once before, through grief and so many questions without answers. Now, to move forward from here, I have to unlearn and relearn once again. But they are fresh wounds, some are still scabby….

In your first pregnancy your body doesn’t know what it’s doing, the uterus is stretching for the first time and it takes time. With our first I was smaller at 15weeks then I was at 7weeks with Steven (five pregnancies later). My body remembered what to do and did it.

For my pain and wounds, it is fresh, and gushing blood is what they remember how to do. I’m afraid to open those wounds and lose too much.

It was easier to unlearn about Jesus after losing Emmanuelle. Then relearn after months and months of longing and trying for another healthy child. To throw out what I used to know, keeping only the foundational truths, and spend over two years building upon those foundations with completely different perspectives and heart state. To so soon do that again, I’m afraid.

 

When Daniel and I were dating we talked and dreamed of a life that was anything but ordinary, we dreamed of an adventure. We craved travel, new things, hard things that would make us grow, children, joy, life, obedience to Jesus no matter the cost. We desired adventure.

Last week my friend shared this picture on his Facebook:

Pretty much, no matter how bad it got- broken bones, getting lost or attacked by a bear- so long as you didn’t die it could be counted as a good adventure.

I don’t know that I really want to put my life in a questions flow chart like this… I fear the questions being blunt and compartmentalized. Never what we imagined or hoped, but life has certainly been an adventure so far!

I think that is part of the struggle, once again we’ve been blindsided with pain, something contrary to our resolved belief. There is disappointment in the unexpected. Do I fear unlearning and relearning again? Do I fear adventure? Do I fear getting suffocated in the cement of grief? That cases me in a moment of time the rest of the world long leaves behind? Every new day brings so much uncertainty as I strip back what I’ve had to unlearn and relearn.

So what do I know is foundational? God is sovereign. God is love. God is faithful. God is good. God is there.

Now, deeper than ever before, those truths have to soak again.

 

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord…when they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessing… When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings…you keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle…. I waited patiently for the lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on solid ground, and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing.

Psalm 84:5-6; 61:2-4; 56:8; 40:1-3

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Getting There | Part One

Getting there… I think that there must be some sort of metaphorical figment of our imagination? Because I don’t know that I know anyone who has actually got there yet.

 

When I was in Bible College there looked like this: full time paid ministry, married, children, and happy. A place I just longed to get to. It was a there that symbolized the end of essays and sleeping on theology books hoping they would absorb into my brain. Just kidding, I never did that… I don’t think- who honestly knows what happens in the 4am study “I’ll just shut my eyes for sixty seconds” delirium. Bible College is a few years behind me now, but I don’t find myself here, or there.

 

I’m somewhere, but its not the there I thought. Especially personally, I never thought that this would be me- I never thought I’d lose a baby. I never that I’d lose a second baby at all, let alone the way we did. I never thought I’d have the complications I did after Emmanuelle. I never thought…

 

So maybe when I actually think about it- I never thought my mothering journey would be like this. And somehow, well, mostly because it warrants it – my motherhood affects everything else. It affects my self, my marriage and my ministry. It greatly affects me that I’m a mother of three yet only have one to hold; though its different now to how it used to, it still does. It affects my marriage that we have experienced greater sorrow than joy in the past year. It affects my ministry that I feel like I’m leading from a barren valley as a broken old woman at times. It affects my ministry that I have now felt that pain, the pain of a select club no one wants to join.

 

This is not the there I imagined. This is not the there I dreamed of. This is not the there Daniel and I talked about on late night drives over Mt Nebo while we dated. This is not the there I thought God had in store for me.

 

Why am I disappointed? – Because I had a thought and expectation of my own and its not that. It’s a lot less joyful, a lot more painful and a lot more pressing. It’s exactly what God knew it would be, but not what I expected.

So do I still trust Him? Still believe that His way is best? Do I still praise Him because He is good and worthy of all glory?

 

If life is not what you expect… relationships, family, parenting, illness, death, circumstances…. Do you still trust Him? Still believe that His way is best? Do you still praise Him because He is good and worthy of all glory?

 

Do we trust that His version of there that is not yet seen, or what we expect will be better and filled with more joy than we could’ve ever imagined for ourselves? Do we trust that the way he gets us there is best?

 

This picture sums up exactly what I’m saying…. more tomorrow.

 

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Certain as a seventeen year old

I would  have to check with my parents to confirm but I’m pretty certain I’ve been independently stubborn and strong willed my entire life. They deserve a medal for still loving me today.

When I was seventeen (and young, with a purple tinge in my hair) I decided to change all my after school graduation plans three weeks out and go to bible college. I had no real reason to… And plenty of reasons to not. But I just had a small speck of certainty in my heart that it’s what God was asking me to do.

blog seventeen

So I did. One of the Best decisions I ever made. Life transformed by the Spirit, my heart learned to have friends and I got foundations for faith and ministry.

There has been maybe five occasions since then that because of a speck of God certainty, I or we (with Daniel) have acted. And because I’m independently strong I do what God says as the only reason when all else makes far more sense and seems a lot safer. Even when it isn’t the grown up decision. I get this determination in me that what He said He is capable to do.

When I was seventeen no amount of doubt or concerns would affect my stubborn belief in the faithfulness of God. No one, not even the negative voices in my own head could talk me out of it. Side note, isn’t it funny yet ridiculous how sometimes the actions you take that are God inspired are often the most questioned and critiqued?…

A lot of kids who came in my first few years of youth ministry are now starting to graduate high school, begin serious relationships, make life decisions…. Firstly it makes me feel really old. Secondly, you ask them and they have a certainty that Jesus says it’s ok…they remind me of myself. I just hope that I’m not now one of those negative voices in their heads. I’m so proud for their certainty when they act on what Jesus has told them.

Somehow seven years have passed and I’ve lost my seventeen year old certainty on the small speck… My personality can’t even get me through. I realise now however, that it only had very little to do with personality. And much more with vulnerability…. To the strong, sound voice and calling of God. A faith that takes Yahweh at His word, which is born out of a passionate, intimate, growing relationship with Him.

So I’ll stop wishing to be seventeen for my certainty now.. And just pray for a 24 year old faith that’s certain my seventeen year old God will come through on the small speck again. And again. And again.

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