When your marriage needs a miracle, start by remembering that your marriage is a covenant, not a contract.
And [Jesus] answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6
My Aunt Mary recently told me how she and her sister, Ann, sat in the family pew at our wedding, holding hands and praying. She recounted at how they looked at each other and whispered, “Do they have any idea?” Continue reading
“Get a grip on things. Hold tight, you who are listening to what I say through the preaching of the prophets. The Temple of God-of-the-Angel-Armies has been reestablished. The Temple is being rebuilt. We’ve come through a hard time: You worked for a pittance and were lucky to get that; the streets were dangerous; you could never let down your guard; I had turned the world into an armed camp.
But things have changed. I’m taking the side of my core of surviving people:
Sowing and harvesting will resume,
Vines will grow grapes,
Gardens will flourish,
Dew and rain will make everything green.
My core survivors will get everything they need—and more. You’ve gotten a reputation as a bad-news people, you people of Judah and Israel, but I’m coming to save you. From now on, you’re the good-news people. Don’t be afraid. Keep a firm grip on what I’m doing.”
Zechariah 8:9-13 MSG
I can’t even write this post because I keep sobbing. Tears roll: tears of peace, tears of relief, of Oh Lord, are we really here?
The wilderness was beginning to feel like my inheritance. I was beginning to think we were the bad news people, the cautionary tale. Maybe some people aren’t supposed to be happy now? Maybe this life is just a precursor to heaven? And maybe joy would flick through the clouds for me, enough to sustain but not to grow this heart of mine?
This once-parched and starving Girl now walks in lush. Green grows fast around me, and I look ahead. There is time: time to breathe, time to work, time to date my husband. I cleaned my house all day yesterday–down to the ceiling fans in the bathroom–and it was fun.
Standing in front of the stove in my pajamas last night, cooking dinner and giggling with my kids, I stopped and looked at them: “We have a great life, don’t we?”
“Yeah, Mom,” Bram agreed. We do.
In a very short time, our family has been ushered off the gravelly, mournful shores of the promised land right into green. We received wonderful news from Sam’s doctors last week. His heart is functioning well, and they are confident that reconstructive surgery will not be necessary until he is at least 8 years old. While we realize their opinions seem to change every six months, the consensus seems to be that Sam’s heart is stable. He can play sports and live a normal life.
So much has changed inside of me, even if nothing has changed externally. It takes a year to get over something as traumatic as your two year old being sawed in half to save his life. It takes time to sit and eat cookie dough and drink a little too much wine and break in half once it’s all finished and no one needs you to be strong. It takes everything a mama has to be brave and big when you hand your treasure over to strangers in exchange for a pager and an eight hour wait. And it takes a while for Mama to get that everything back into herself. It took a year for Jesus and I to piece me together again.
I can’t say that every bill is paid off and every area of my life is in perfect order. I really need to shampoo my carpets, and there’s a humongous crack in our windshield. But if the wilderness has taught me anything, it’s that I am truly, ecstatically, grateful for the energy to vacuum those carpets, and for a car that runs. I see a day of cleaning–a day that I am able to focus and have the physical ability to work–as a blessing. I marvel that Sam is well enough to go to preschool, and am grateful that his struggles are hidden under his polo shirt (or his Woody costume today).
So, today I’m walking with my two feet in the promised land, friend. I’m walking forward into a new life, and I am taking God’s promises to the bank:
I’m your good news girl.
I know who goes before me,
I know who stands behind
the God of angel armies
is always by my side.
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
is always by my side.
And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in your hands
I’m holding onto your promises
YOU ARE FAITHFUL.
So, come along with me. Let’s walk this promised land together, learning to grow and cultivate in a season of harvest. Let’s learn the Unforced Rhythms of Grace. Let’s walk hand in hand with Jesus; let’s work together. Let’s use our wilderness lessons to become Love in a world that needs Jesus.