Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oh. Hello 2013.

Well, well. I have a blog. What do you know about that folks?

It is 10:22 in the post meridiem. (Thats p.m. yall. Add that fancy knowledge to your brain.)

I am gonna write for 5 minutes. Without stopping. Without edits. And see what happens. If it turns out, I may possibly do this again every week, and thereby resurrect this here blog.

It is a new year. 2012 is over and gone, and I am enough into 2013 that I am remembering consistently that it is, in fact, not November anymore. Enough of the new year has progressed for me to even begin to process and ruminate to conclusion, many things about last year, that were worthy of note.

Most Significant Note:
I think this is the first year of my life that has left me looking back with a sense of positive, encouraging, spiritual growth. Is that weird? That is not to say that I have not acknowledged the moving forth of the Holy Spirit in my heart before, but this year, this month, I feel as if I can inhale with confidence and declare "The Lord did big things in my SOUL last year, and GOOD GRACIOUS I AM ENCOURAGED."

We began last year jobless, unsure of the future, full of questions, lacking in answers and A Plan. We had been watching the Lord steadily provide for our needs financially for several months, and were confident in His promise to continue to care for our family. The Plan was basically, "Wait. Do not fear. Wait. Stay where you are and await My further instruction." and had been unchanging for longer than we were comfortable with. By March, the plan was suddenly "Thou shalt uproot thyselves and traverse to the distant land of Memphis, and ground your small clan there." The end of May arrived, bringing with it, a moving van, an empty condo, tearful goodbyes, an 18 hour drive, and arrival into the 112 degree heat of a Memphian summer, already in full force. June brought transitions, new friends, long days, and suspicions of a growing baby Abel. July brought joyful confirmation of those suspicions, a sick and discouraged me, a husband in the thick of his residency year, even longer, hotter days, and somewhere in there, I started attending Bible Study Fellowship. Or was that in August? August, a less sick me, more hot weather, ... its all a sort of blur... October MTR life had settled a bit, I began to be desperate for Christmas break in Maryland, etcetera, etcetera, Thanksgiving happened in November, I began to realize it was no longer the summer, December arrived and we were headed to the state we called "Home." Two weeks back, immersed full speed in our old stomping ground for the first time since parting from it, surrounded by family, food and the familiar, two weeks waiting for my heart to start breaking over having to leave... And then suddenly we were back in Memphis and it was January 1, 2013.

And I was home. I wasn't comfortable, it wasn't familiar yet, but we had come Home to Memphis. I had returned to Maryland, confident that it was where I really wanted to be, and realized at the end of our visit (still so strange to think of "visiting" Maryland,) that our lives didn't fit there anymore. We slid back into our old niches quite cozily, but somehow, it didn't feel right. I felt a bit like a traitor when I realized this, and was frankly confused by it. I still am not completely comfortable and "at home" in Memphis, but we belong here. Memphis is home. I was given the opportunity to compare it to where I thought I wanted to be, and found unbeknownst to me, my heart had changed.

And January rolled along for a few days, and I returned to my habitual dwelling apprehensively on the upcoming spring/summer of Crazy, Unpredictable, and Intimidating, and suddenly realized, I wasn't afraid anymore. I had peace and confidence. Weird. So I looked even further ahead into the shadowy unknown of The Future Years, and realized, I was pretty darn content (for me) to not have The Plan. As a creature of Great Emotions and High Levels of The Stress and Anxious, I found, unbeknownst to me, that my heart had changed.

I thought "Well isn't this interesting. Well how do I feel about the rest of my life?"

I looked at my marriage, and discovered, "By golly, We are standing on new shores, and the sand is prettier here, and oh look, there is a seashell." Three years, going on four, smiled and said "Yep, we are moving along, by the grace of God." and I realized I was inhabited by an unfamiliar sense of content. As I have said before, I am a creature of Great Emotions and High Levels of The Stress and Anxious, and I am also deeply affected by the Discontent. To realize that I no longer felt smothered under these blights, as I was accustomed, was freeing, to say the least. I found, that unbeknownst to me, my heart had changed.

I felt the bouncing bumps and crashes of the little boy (MY SECOND CHILD, ohmyword) inside my belly and realized (but not for the first time) just how utterly in love with him I already was. My toddler ran by on some important mission, and my heart swelled with a joy that is starting to feel familiar. Motherhood is an often overwhelming, scary calling, and my job is only getting more complex, but the Lord has brought me to a place of fully embracing it. My little ones, and the complete investment of myself that they require, brings me joy. I have come through those dark early months of Adjustment To the "End" of MY Life (as I knew it) and stepped out into a fascinating, messy and intense world of child rearing, and I see New Life, and Joy in the midst of it. (Insert so very much more that I could say on this subject.) I found, that over the past two, almost three years, my heart had been changed. 

A flicker had been lit somewhere deep inside, and when I peered at it in curiosity, I found that it illuminated a new Face. A familiar, dear one, but a New one just the same. God looked different to me this year. Bigger. Stronger. More dashing and attractive (weird?) and much closer than I had realized. His face had changed as He quietly, insistently had revealed Himself over many months. I found, unbeknownst to me, that my heart had changed, as it had quietly been filled with Him.

He changed my heart last year. Somewhere in those months, He changed my heart. I have not arrived anywhere, but I feel as if I can say I have been somewhere. I see more clearly than ever before, the messy, wretched, selfish little person that I am, but with that deeper understanding, I see Him as more beautiful, more Good, more faithful and just More than ever before.

A word struck me in the midst of all this mental rumination. I was looking for one (It is apparently the trendy thing to do instead of New Year's resolutions.) but this one seemed to plop right into my lap and say "Hi, I am The Point of all those goings on last year. All those rumblings and Aha! moments and tears and Great Emotions were all about me." That word was SATISFIED. The Lord had graciously gotten my attention with lots of hard, uncomfortable, upsetting and unfamiliar and begun to show me that He is enough, and that my soul wearying discontentment needs to end. One can have enough, and still not be satisfied. I have always had enough in Him, and in Him alone, but I have never been Soul Satisfied. Again, I am not saying that I have arrived at a state of saint-like contentment and peace, but rather, I am walking down a path with a clearer destination. He is teaching me to be deeply, wholly completely Satisfied in Him.

Five minutes has come and gone. My husband has gone to bed without me, tomorrow is approaching and there is a child all up in the personal space of my bladder. Rude. It is time to conclude.

I am a sad, sinful human being who tends to do a two-steps-back-with-every-half-step-forward kind of dance, so I know all these heart changes face a tough battle to stay firmly established. But I am not going to be fighting it. HE will be.

For today tonight, I know my heart looks different than it did last January. Because of this, I can look at this New Year and not quaver with uncertainty. I am pretty wimpy and I have zero strength or ability on my own, but  my God is bigger than you, 2013. He can take whatever you dish out. And actually, He is in charge. So Bring It.