“…He has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord…” Acts 17:26-27
Today marks the year anniversary of living in the little red house at the bend in the road.
I love an adventure. I love going places I haven’t seen before, learning new things, change. I LOVE LOVE LOVE our new life at the bend in the road! I loved building a new house. I love my new church, neighbors, and friends, and I feel so incredibly blessed! This has been one of the most wonderful, difficult, stretching and growing seasons Dean and I have ever experienced. And we wouldn’t trade it for anything.
We left a life of decades where we raised children, lived life with fellow believers, served, laughed, wept and grew. We left carefully tended land and home and a loved neighborhood. I closed a business and left very loved clients and friends, Dean changed jobs, we changed churches and our home address. I don’t think we could explain why we did all this other than God shifted us. We suddenly felt like we didn’t fit anymore. The house was too big, our road became too busy, Dean’s job too stressful, our new neighbors hated us, my horses became ill and died, I lost an election for local political office….you get the idea. The grace for living there lifted.
So, God took us on a bend along our life’s journey. If we weren’t convinced He orchestrated this bend we would have lost heart. Saying “goodbye for now” hurts. Having the sale of our house sabotaged by angry people frustrated us. Getting sick with adrenal fatigue was no fun. Being sued by Dean’s former employer was shocking and confusing. BUT GOD. May I say it again? BUT GOD. He is good when things don’t seem good. He brought us through and continues to bring us through what He places in front of us. The house eventually sold, the suit was judged in Dean’s favor, and I am healthy again. We are learning to seek the Lord in a new way– which really was the whole point of all of this. Oh the beauty of living at the bend in the road! Oh the joy of having the King of Heaven appointing my time and boundaries!
How could I forget to mention it? God gave us little Caroline Dale on this day last year as well!! Blessings abound…..
And I replied, “there are so many blogs already being written, I don’t want to reinvent the wheel.” But when my husband, Dean, says something like this, I take note because he rarely gives me directives. He’s also wise. So here I am.
A couple of weeks ago we had communion at church. I took my turn filing up to the table holding the elements and in a bit of morning brain fog looked at the deep red of the juice filled communion cups as I plucked one and thought, “what a pretty red.” I am easily distracted and a pretty color is like yelling “squirrel!” to a Labrador. I picked up my little gluten free cellophane wrapped “bread” wafer and promptly dropped it on the floor. Careful to not spill my little cup of juice, I bent over and picked the wafer off the floor and made my way to my seat. After mulling over something I needed to confess to Dean later, I unwrapped my wafer, ate it, and then brought the cup to my mouth. It was empty! My first thought was “Oh great, I spilled it after all, I wonder where I am wearing it?” And then I realized there was no little telltale ring of juice left in the bottom. No little last drop you can never get to. It either had never been filled and my eyes were playing tricks on me as I marveled over the red color, or something God did to get my attention. I turned to Dean in astonishment and said “I’m losing my mind. This wasn’t empty when I picked it up. It’s empty now and I didn’t drink it! What is going on?”
During the drive home, Dean turned to me and said, “honey, I think God is saying to you through that empty communion cup that you don’t have to be enough. You don’t have to behave in all the right ways to earn His love and favor. You don’t need to be doing the religious things like communion to gain points with Him. They’re important, don’t get me wrong, but your obedience is not going to make Him love you more or make you more acceptable. You don’t need to be the perfect woman, to be all that. He is enough.” Dean knows me well, his words dove deep into my heart and the tears ran. He added “You see God in so many different ways, He has been doing some big things in you and for you, and I think you need to write a blog about it. It would encourage others.”
So here were are, and what I think I took away from all of this is: I can take a big breath and let down. I can KNOW the things that are concerning to me are part of the tapestry God is weaving in my life, circumstances, my loved ones’ lives, our world. He holds the big picture and takes the things I screw up and redeems them. He takes the senseless and tragic and makes them beautiful. He is constantly working to make me more like Jesus and I just need to slow down and rest in Him.