Saturday, April 19, 2014

When God Sends A Tribe To Restore Me


Sometimes I lose my way.

Life gets too hard. I feel beaten down. Two by fours upside my heart...my head. Sometimes I hibernate. Sometimes I strike out. Sometimes I offer grace to all but myself. Life wins. Heather loses.

Last weekend I wrote about how difficult the past few weeks had been.
Trials and tribulations that were breaking my spirit...and my will.

Easter weekend is a painful one after the loss of a family member Easter morning several years ago. My Sis and I are always a little "off" in the week leading up...as everyone is joyful and excited over Easter celebrations...our souls are disheleved and it takes awhile (every year) for us to make the connection...at least me...to what is bothering us.

I write all of this to note, that as I pushed against my own natural instincts to hibernate away this week (still reeling after a tough several weeks)...having dinner with friends, making weekend Easter plans with family, looking for alternate ways to overcome some recent disappointments and setbacks, moving (literally) forward in faith, doing for others, and even pushing through on some expansion plans for our company. God rewarded me (and showed me over coffee this morning) with restoration. 

I slept last night harder and longer than I have in weeks (thank you Jenn for the oils). I felt heard and loved in my pain (thank you Tom for the joint tears and words). I felt remembered (thank you Sis). I felt joy (thank you Sam/funniest guy I know). I felt cheered on (and without judgement or expectation) and re-inspired (thank you Lesley). I felt missed and loved (thank you Mark). I felt needed (thank you Lee). I felt excitement and joy and help (thank you Holly). I felt....Love. 

God delivers angels exactly when and where we need them. He sends them to our hearts and to us in person. God sent me dozens this week, and as I started coming out of the weighty fog of a disappointing world that asks too much of all of us...Every. Day. A world that has asked too much of me as of late. I was reminded that I am not of this world. I am simply a guest here. I am a child of a God who loves me. A God who needs me. A God who waits patiently while I try and Do. It. All. on my own more often than I should....even now...even after all I have learned...because I can't do this alone. I was made for a tribe. We were all made for a tribe. 


This Saturday morning I am hitting my knees in thanks and gratitude that I am not alone in this walk. I am blessed beyond measure to have a tribe of men and women who love me...who KNOW me....who believe in my better self (even and especially when I am far from showing it).

Jesus' resurrection is not simply a testament to his conquering of death for himself, but of his conquering of death for US. I am humbled this morning as I am gently reminded through love he sent to me through earthly angels, that he conquered death, the grave, this world for little old me. I am not of this world. 

Ugly crying now.

What is God conquering for you in your life? What have you yet to give to him to conquer? 

My own list increased ten fold in the past five weeks. He has revealed yokes I didn't realize I had...ones I thought long sense removed...he is healing me in all of those new and old places.

I lay it all down...once again...at the foot of his cross. All for him. Trusting only him. 

What do you need to lay down this Easter weekend? 

Tomorrow I am celebrating not only Jesus' resurrection and conquering of the grave, but his resurrection in and of me.

This world is difficult, but it will not break me. It will not change me. It was never meant to. 

Happy Easter! Whatever your beliefs and wherever you are in your walk or space....I send you blessings and love! ❤️☀️

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I Was Not Born For Easy

Life is hard.

I wish God would let me end this post there, but after a long, early morning drive through the Delta this morning....as I crossed the majestic Mississippi River...God revealed to me what he had held hostage from me for the past few weeks. 

Life is hard. You, my child, were not born for easy.

Well...damn.

{insert nervous laughter here}

The past three weeks have come each with their own emotional, gut-wrenching two-by-four(s) upside my head and heart.  I have barely escaped into each of the last three weekends with my mind and heart dangling, barely hanging on. Whiplashed by life. This week alone saw me crumble into a mess of ugly tears...at. my. desk....to which I have not yet fully recovered. 

When I got in the jeep early this morning...I turned on my IPod and selected my Haiti playlist which is a collection of songs that have been sent to me by friends, or God, on my different trips to Haiti. After this last one, I thought I should put them all on their own playlist so that when I felt Haiti slipping, or me slipping, I could turn it on. Be brought back. Be brought whole. Once. Again.


This morning as I had "Haiti" church in my jeep. I let the highs and lows of the past few weeks wash over my heart. I dropped the load heavily at the alter. I begged God to take it. I begged. 

As the miles of Delta farmland swept by and the sun rose in front of me...I sang. I prayed. I wept. 

As "I Stand Before Almighty God Alone" played (for the fifth or tenth time...who knows), I thought of my own death...how I would love for this song to be played at my funeral...how I hope my friends and family would take comfort that I was standing before God...alone...and suddenly I hoped that they believed and remembered me as having lived that way too. Then I asked why I couldn't come home now (this is not a suicide rant people)...there where I would be free to love and be loved...All. The. Time. I am ready God I said...this life is too hard. I am so tired.

As suddenly as I had the thought, I heard him say, "Heaven is home. Heaven is easy. Everyone there is already free and safe and loved."

Tears.

"I need you where you are. I need you to love the unlovable. I need you to do the hard stuff."

More tears.

Sometimes I do not love like Jesus. Ungrateful employees. Ridiculous rulings. Bureaucracy. Red tape. Bad decisions. Poor planning. Insensitive partners. 

Strikingly...much like me in my worst moments on my worst days.

Deep. Sigh.

I was not born for easy.

A few years ago, I deeply embraced "easy" and gave it my all to live and be in that space. It nearly strangled the life right out of me, but only when it was ripped from me did I realize that the yoke had been too tight. The loss of that "lifel ill-fitting as it was, still wrecks my heart on the bad days. 

I know that I am not made for easy. I. Know. That., but Sweet Jesus help me...oh how I want it some days. So very much.

Sigh.

My yoke is easy. My burden is light. 

Which yoke? Which burden? 

Ugh.

This is a hard post to write. This will be an even harder post to let go of...

What judgement awaits me on the other side of the "publish" button? 

I am so tired of people thinking my life is easy or perfect or under my control.  

My life is hard (though there are easy moments). My life is not perfect. Period. My life is NOT under my control. I am a ship being tossed against the waves....just like YOU.

What I am is...Blessed. Forgiven. Loved. 

Life is hard. It is not for the faint of heart. Each of us have our battles. Our challenges. 

Today I am resting my heart. She has taken a beating as of late. Living heart exposed is beyond any explanation I can give in words. My heart feels raw, vulnerable, broken, and beaten. God is restoring her though...a sunrise drive through the Delta, the Mississippi River, and a day in Memphis with the very beats of my heart (family). 

I am looking for restoration this weekend. The battles (wins and losses) of my life are not over. I have another day in me. A heart, with arms, wide open.