I haven’t been writing on the blog. And as I sit here examining why that is I feel a swirl of emotions. I love to write. I don’t necessarily like deadlines or required writing, but I like the therapeutic process of putting thoughts out there and trying to articulate and be open to God’s leading in my mostly ridiculous life. I love that dance of trying to articulate and reason and examine things that can be random and personal and hopefully my journey of trying to figure out how to be a Christ follower in this world. The beauty of this blog is that I’ve never done it to try to elicit some sort of response. It’s personal. Although I try to choose words carefully, I don’t always edit or re-read or censor myself. There’s pros and cons there of course.
I think that’s been the “catch” for me is the season of quiet. My life hasn’t been quiet in the slightest bit. We had a whirlwind end to the school year at Winthrop Wesley, the United Methodist Church’s General Conference, South Carolina Annual Conference, Florida Annual Conference, packing up and cleaning our house in South Carolina, moving all of our crazy earthly belongings to Gainesville, Florida, trying to get the kids reasonably settled in their new home, feeling the warmth, excitement and joy of Gator Wesley, going to Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference for our week of “vacation” with the family gathered in the mountains (this is a hilarious joke), and back down the mountain to the real world – back to our new home.
I think the quiet had more to do with things feeling so beautifully out of control and so full of conflicting emotions that my articulation-o-meter was a little busted. It’s hard to be super excited and grieving at the same time. It’s hard to hold the ache of disappointment and the hurt of betrayal in tension with the full belief that God continues to provide and call and ignite. As much as I tell students and others that God can handle our full range of emotions – anger, joy, frustration, fear, thanksgiving, doubt, trust, hope – it’s hard to go through those motions yourself. It’s personal. It’s real. Every day is not perfect. Some are pretty cruddy actually. And it’s hard to speak that when you’re trying to keep a “brave” face in the midst.
But we don’t have to do it by ourselves. And it’s more than just “a sin and a shame,” as some say. It’s wrong. It’s beyond prideful. As I can hear Evy say in my head, “All by myself!” We’re not all by myself people. We do not go on this journey alone. Just saying things out loud to our spouses, friends, loved ones. Asking for help. Going to God in prayer. Opening our worries, fears, frustrations up to the light takes away the power of the darkness. It’s not a magic wand where everything magically turns into fantasy land, but we more clearly see that we’ve got fellow travelers/warriors/truth seekers/justice workers/peace keepers.
I was looking at Ephesians 3:14-21 for this Sunday’s scripture and I kept thinking of it as a blessing, prayer, and hope for all of my students and loved ones. But it’s a promise for each of us. May we be rooted and ground in love. May we have the power to comprehend the love of Christ. May we be filled with the fullness of God. And may we trust in the power of the One within us that is able to “accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.” Does that verse give you peace or freak you out? Who knows what we’ll encounter along the way, but I know that when we call, God is near.
“The Call” by Regina Spektor (thankfully played on my Pandora and made me start thinking…)
A Prayer for the Ephesians
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.