my soul has stirred like swells building into waves since my return from Israel in early summer. Unable to find words . . . I have found myself circling wanting to share the peace I found on this journey and waiting for the right words to come. Yesterday that day arrived as a week of tears and hurt opened the space in my heart where the words were hiding waiting for light.
This ancient land changed me forever . . .
my life is no different than most . . . childhood in a family that loved, parents that worked hard to provide, church on Sundays, education a priority, manners a must. Adulthood came and my own story started. I married the love of my life, we set out on a path that was full of love and laughter, then a child, jobs, responsibilities, sick parents, death, a marriage on the edge of shattering, heartbreak, forgiveness, rebuilding . . . rebuilding led us back to church on Sundays as along the path that had quit being of importance and our own desires had overshadowed how we were raised.
With every hurt, every tear, every stress I found myself holding tighter to the need to appear to have it all together and perfect. Who wants to see a person falling apart. That isn’t a fun friend that will be accepted by the crowd. And acceptance is so important in this world today. So as my world was falling apart on the inside I put on a smile and held tight to the illusion praying all the while for God to fix the hurts buried within.
I have learned that prayer is an opening for God to work inside us in His own ways and time not ours.
I prayed relentlessly . . .
Please God take this emptiness and sadness that are left in the hole that my parents once filled
Please God heal my marriage I don’t want to be another statistic and I don’t want this for my child
Please God help me to find the job that will support us and provide insurance
Please God help me to lose weight and be a better me
Please God . . .
I look back and the prayers were all about me yet he answered me in my selfishness.
One by one in ways different than I expected God began moving and putting the pieces back together and not until May of this last year did I get how significant His plan was for my life and that I would find a true and deep relationship with Him in a land I never dreamed of falling head over heels in love with.
May 2016 changed who I am forever.
a call came one evening from my amazing client Mat Staver telling me I probably should get a passport because he would like me on a trip with him, his wife, other client staff and 40+ college students in Israel in just a few weeks. That was a lot to swallow in one phone call. But I felt the Lord moving . . . pushing me out of my norm . . .10 days around the world without my family with almost strangers. This was the beginning of breaking my carefully built wall of protection into pieces.
For 10 days I was out of my self made comfort zone. I walked hand in hand with God as I took in His land the steps His son walked as he gave his life for Grace to be provided for all who seek His face and accept it. I step after step took in that it wasn’t the perfect nor the powerful that Jesus sat with, healed, or asked to follow him. It was broken souls and the least likely. He opened his heart and his arms to bring peace, love and grace to all. For 10 days I battled my health (lets just say dehydration is a real thing as is arthritic knees when you walk 5+ miles a day and flight after flight of stairs overweight) and my sanity as I missed my family, I dealt finally with my mothers death and years of guilt, I realized a love for my husband I had let get buried, I found myself, God crumbled the wall I had built up and I left it at the Garden Tomb at the feet of my Savior.
I accepted that His grace is all I need in this world and everything else is icing on the cake.
I am me and that is enough because He made me and loves me for exactly who I am in all my brokenness.
a favorite song is a constant reminder “I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God”
Today I pray that with each breath I will glorify Him.
I pray that if I witness someone in need I will be brave enough to hug them and tell them they are loved.
I pray that in me my daughter will see that perfection is not the goal for this life . . . that being humble, honest, kind and letting God direct her path is the way to a life worth living.
I pray that Todd will always know that I love him despite our brokenness because it is what healed us and showed us what true love really is in a marriage.
I pray that I don’t get lost in this world again and that those moments in Israel are always just a grasp away in my heart as a reminder of all that He gave to provide Grace for us all.
I pray that if you are reading this and in the dark place I have been that you will realize how loved you are and reach out for a hug, a kind word and His grace to free you too.
“Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me.”
for in your love I am finally broken and free