Undone...

Lord,

Thank you for the grace you cloak us with. It is palpable and brilliant. It causes my knees to tremble – staggered by the sheer weight of it! Lord you are MERCY! You are JUST! You are so BEAUTIFUL! A breathtaking treasure to behold. That I can touch the hem of your garment, be healed, and blessed by you for my meager faith! Thank you! I worship you!

Apathy is my norm. I hate apathy. Yet, it is a safe space for me. A comfort.

I want to be uncomfortable. Oh Jesus, cover that statement with gentleness. I want to dredge deep. There is an end. I want to seek the beginning at that end. Just like little Reepicheep, brave little mouse he was, I want to go over the edge of the end of the world.

Thank you that I can pop my tent in despair and ‘poor pitiful me’, but that I don’t set a foundation there. You come seeking me in that dark place, pulling me out, and setting me on Your firm foundation!

Lord, let me be overwhelmed by You!

Lord, let me be overwhelmed by You!

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Thank you for all you do…for all you don’t do! A lot of grace is wrapped in what you don’t give me. Those prayers I think I need answered with a ‘yes’ are met with a redemptive ‘no’.

I do not want to hide from you. I do not want to fear my nakedness. I want to be clothed in Your garments.

I cannot do this on my own!

I cannot do this on my own!

Faith kills sin! Faith KILLS SIN! FAITH KILLS SIN!

Shed my old skin down to the marrow! Wash the filth from stagnant skin – stinky and wretched as I am! Oh Jesus, I am soul exhausted.

Thank you for the restarts.

I must give up.

This is a righteous beautiful space!

I love you! I love you!

Thank you for running to us. Thank you for loving us. You delight in us! Oh, you delight in us!

You have caused me to be faith-filled. I do not need to worry! You cover my mistakes. Where would you have me transformed?

Glory unto glory unto glory! Amen!...

I watched a movie on Netflix recently: Stuck in Love. Amidst dirty dishes and soap the illumined screen played in the background. It held many facets of “Hollywood” love. Yet, at the core of this quirky film was heart. It spoke, inadvertently, about the love, patience and care our Lord has with us.

Greg Kinnear was the lead gentleman in this film. He was a writer whose wife left him for another man. When we meet Bill, his character, has been waiting three years for his wife to return. His daughter is detached from the idea of love, promiscuous, and determined never to have her heart broken. In the end she finds a boy unwilling to let her not feel loved. The son falls in love with someone who cannot extend love in return. Brokenness and healing abide in the ups and down of this storyline.

Greg Kinnear’s wife, Erica, played by Jennifer Connelly, ends up returning on Thanksgiving Day. Her words cut through so much ache and vulnerability:

“I got a little lost. I was wondering if there was still a place for me here. I completely understand if there isn’t, because I know I really don’t deserve it. I am so sorry…”

Bill wraps his arms around his wife as he ushers her through the door frame and says, “We’ve got food in here.”…

“Your life is something opaque, not transparent, as long as you look at it in an ordinary human way. But if you hold it up against the light of God’s goodness, it shines and turns transparent, radiant & bright. And then you ask yourself in amazement: is this really my own life I see before me?” – Albert Schweitzer

I am undone.

So much of my journaling is of me falling apart – striving to put the pieces back. I know, as I strike black keys, thoughts racing faster than my fingers can type, that I want this particular journal entry to be of what is right in my life.

This world can beat us raw. Our battered ship often limps into port, ever thankful for the lighthouse that guides us home. I understand the pain and hurt of this life, but I also understand the profound beauty and joy.

Suffering is such a strong swallowing emotion. It definitely interrupts. It swats hard at a day that seemed perfect – at the moment you feel you have passed its grip. I have been thinking about that today as I add another person to our deceased list at work, as loved ones deal with heartbreaking loss, and as I contemplate the hard damaging and heartbreaking journey a family member is facing. It is almost more than I can take.

I told a friend that it would be easy for me to go crazy, give up, and succumb to this life. Trying is hard. Showing up to this journey, participating, and holding the lamp of love for others is not easy. In a fairer age I assumed that life was meant to be ideal. I further assumed that the blessings of God were manifest once you reach that ideal life.

There is always an ache for Eden. Our souls were made perfect. The fall tarnished perfection as oxidation turns copper to green. The soul mires a bit, searching for that perfect whole of Eden, but never finding it. In the end, I think, this is why we struggle with our imperfections so much. We fight not to fail. When we do, our hearts cave in just a little more.

I had promised “uplifting” in this post. How easily I become introspective?

The joy of the struggle is the struggle. For much of my life I felt as if I merely existed, waiting for someone to stoke the fire that would warm my life to something magical. Now, I know that in order to live you give. You give pieces of your heart away, all the while binding pieces of others hearts to yourself. The peace, purpose, grace, and understanding found there is equal parts humbling and invigorating.

So, I need to shout of what is good in my life…give thanks, remember to give thanks: My beautiful Savior; my faith tangible and moving - a fluid living thing. My amazing family! The wonderful sisters the Lord has blessed me with. The beautiful Scalf Family – every single one of them! My wonderfully weird, beautiful, complex, incredible friends – you keep my journey worth it! The amazing job that God has chosen for me, each and every day a gift that is more than the last! And on and on it goes…

This life! WOW! It is truly a transcendent miracle. The ordinary becomes extraordinary.

In Bob Goff fashion, I would say: I used to think I had to have it all together to be fulfilled, but now I know all I have to do is lay my life, undone, and let God fulfill His will in me.

33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy,[g] your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy,[h] your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” – Luke 11:33-36

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. – 1 John 3:1-2

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