My mind has been in a million different places this last week. This makes writing a bit challenging. I struggled with trying to wrap up all the craziness into one concept that could possibly make sense let alone interest anyone. So I decided to just write about the craziness.
I choose to think of it as shifting.
Shift: verb–to change the place, position, or direction of (MOVE)
I referred to one of my favorite websites to refresh my mind on the concept of tectonic plates and the shifting they do. If you refuse, as I do, to believe the silliness of evolution and ever need help explaining why, check out this site. Anyway, the idea is that our earth’s surface is made up of a bunch of puzzle-like plates that move and shift due to the molten stuff underneath. This is what causes catastrophic events like volcanoes and earthquakes, but this is also how God provided for the earth to build itself back up. The movement of the plates builds up mountains, and the volcanic activity also builds up land.
So, I guess perspective would determine whether one would look at this shifting as good or bad.
Since my life has
been upended shifted so very many times in the last few years, I find myself contemplative. Perhaps, it’s due to the fact that Christian and I celebrate 20 years of marriage next week. Happy Anniversary to us!!!
Twenty years ago, I never could have visualized what life would look like now. And, though I look at it seeing the hand of God protecting and holding me through all of it, I also feel a bit shell-shocked (affected with combat fatigue) in some moments.
When the kids were all little, days were filled with schedules for school and soccer and swimming, and now my kids are just about grown and for two of them the topics are graduations, and moving away, and marriage. And while these are really good things, not one of them can be taken lightly and can really shake up a momma. I knew when we began homeschooling that I was setting myself up for some serious adjustments when the kids graduated. Spending most moments with them and the benefits of that far outweigh the drawbacks, but I am smack-dab in the middle of feeling the plates shifting underneath me.
Addie graduated last week–a year ahead of schedule which didn’t quite allow me to recover from Justin’s graduation last year and subsequent move to the nether regions of the dirty south. Her plans aren’t one hundred percent clear yet, but I hardly want to look. I kinda want to close my eyes and have someone wake me up when it’s over and she’s settled and safe. I don’t think I really mean that, but these changes are not my favorite part. And that is the understatement of the year.
This is why I hold on to what is constant and what I know while the rest of the world sways and shifts.
“I know Your heart is good. I know Your love is strong. I know Your plans for me are much better than my own. I will trust You. I will trust You, God. Even when I can’t see the end.” —I Will Trust You~Steven Curtis Chapman
Last week, I read several books. One of them was called Choosing to See: A Journey of Struggle and Hope by Mary Beth Chapman. After the unthinkably tragic death of her five year old daughter a few years ago, she writes from a place few of us can imagine. I couldn’t put the book down. She wrote very transparently and let us into a view of her grief, but more importantly the choice to put her feet back on the road to hope and healing.
I would not even put my journey in the same category as hers, but the loss of two parents in horrible circumstances, loss of friendships and church families, and the beginning of empty-nesting has taken its toll.
This is why I write about the need for perspective and finding who I am and rejoicing at how God has kept me. It’s also why I am trying to learn how to ride the shift. Either I get bashed by the waves and sputter and spit (and I’ve done my share of this lately!) or I figure out how to climb up on a board and ride it out!
For so long I’ve been a Martha. For years I laughingly claimed my life-verse was, “Martha, Martha. You are worried and upset about so many things,” as spoken by Jesus, Himself.
I’ve been learning how it feels to be a Mary. There are many Marys in the Bible that inspire me. I’ve been reading about them, and I have much to learn.
Mary of Bethany was “Busy Martha’s” sister, and she had a deep love for Jesus and loved spending time with Him. While her sister ran around making sure everyone had enough food, Mary sat at His feet and clung to every word. In an act of pure worship, she spent a year’s wages worth of perfume to pour over His feet, so deep was her reverence and love.
Mary of Magdala was healed by Jesus and spent the rest of her life following Him and supporting His ministry every way she could. She was present at the cross throughout His suffering and death, and was one who witnessed Him after His resurrection. Though others doubted what she had seen, she KNEW and for her it was enough.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, went through some serious shifting and is quite the example of obedience no matter the cost. My favorite verse about her is Luke 2:19, “But Mary was keeping within herself all these things weighing and pondering them in her heart.” I relate with that so much. She was the mother of God, but she was also just a woman trying to survive the shifting.
So, in looking at their examples, I have a lot to learn. But here’s what I know. No matter how deep the hurt or unclear the path, my God is in control and He is holy. Though I cannot see the reasons or the plans, He loves me and that is enough. I have experienced His love in the deepest, darkest moments. No one can ever tell me that is not real. It is real, and it is enough.
I can choose to focus on the volcano or what it built up in me. I have lost, but I have been given much more than I could have dreamed for. I have been married for twenty years to a man so amazing I couldn’t have ever known how to dream him up. I have had the privilege to know and love the three most amazing children God ever made. Every day they astound me with their wisdom and beauty. I have had way more days of laughter and joy than moments of pain. Truly my ashes were made into beauty, and that can only be called a miracle.
Our God is in control.
And that is more than enough for me.