Where Do I Begin?

The sky is a solid pale gray today. The rain comes in that haphazard way of most Northwest precipitation, large drops gather on the eaves, weighted heavy with January thoughts.

I sit in my recently renovated “guest den” that was once my daughter’s domain, and I wonder What comes next?

I waited through many seasons, motherhood being my primary vocation and requiring so much more of me than I ever could have conceived.  It wrung me dry. I asked the Lord to let me be poured out for my family and the reality of that prayer was so much more than I bargained for. Let that be a lesson to me – the Lord is not to be bargained with. He alone understands the terms and I speak from a place of ignorance and bravado.

I have always wanted to write. Stories. Novels. Places of escape and adventure, of emotion and transformation. I have taken many runs at it but always fall short, gasping for breath, frustrated at the pace and my seeming inability to progress.

All of my excuses are gone. New ones have quickly taken their place. But there is something about Fifty. It’s not just an age, it’s a doorway between Eras. It is letting go of childish ways and looking around at what remains. For me there is more than candles on a cake, pages of a calendar. The earth beneath my feet has been shaken. It has opened wide a chasm and threatens to swallow me whole. I am the girl laying on the ground, her fists grasping the long grasses so tightly her fingers are raw and red, eyes swollen with tears, face wet and muddy. And I am not letting go. I know Whom I have believed. And while I cannot tell you much with any kind of certainty right now, I know without a doubt that I am here for a purpose.

I love God’s word. Do not take that as pious posturing or some kind of code. I mean it plainly. From the day that God called me I have chased Him with my heart, my soul and my mind. My mind is insatiable and when I get onto a topic, I don’t want to know only a little, I want to know all there is to know. The thing about God’s word is it is completely unlike any other human resource. It is infinite. It never runs out. It is living and active. So, no matter how much I read, there is always more to learn. Early in my faith walk, I was fourteen or so when God spoke to me in as close to an audible voice as I can attribute to what resounded within the confines of my own head and heart, and I was all fired up in the way that fourteen year olds tend to be. Those who raised me and thought they knew me far better than I knew myself were certain this was a phase, a quirky sort of rebellion. I was afraid they might be right, so I prayed. I prayed hard and I prayed often, “Please God, don’t let this be a phase.” And I devoured His word. I read it out loud to myself every day, chapter by chapter. Decades later, I’m still just as hungry. I have tasted and it is so satisfying that I can’t get enough.

I want to share this with you. In this time of COVID and hyper awareness of germs it’s almost unthinkable to offer someone a bite of your meal. So let me hand you a fork; you can take a clean plate if you’d like, it’s all the same to me. Though I can’t promise you will be safe from contagion. In fact, I rather hope that what I have found is highly infectious. Taste and see.

That’s what I’m doing here. It might seem contradictory, the cries of terror intermixed with shouts of praise… tears fall and sometimes it’s nigh impossible to pinpoint their source. But I think that’s life. And I’m here to write about it. I hope you’ll stick around and join the conversation – whether you know the Jesus I know or think I’m just a bit crazy, you are welcome here. Pull up a chair.

Keeping my eyes wide open, because God’s love is here, even on the hard days.