Sunday, February 11, 2018

these are the days of upheaval...

These are the days of big feelings.

That feeling when you realize it's all gift, and sometimes He takes gifts back, or exchanges them for others;

That feeling when you realize (again) that you have control over nothing, nothing that truly matters;

That feeling when your heart bursts with both grief and excitement, and they both just keep getting stronger;

That feeling when you unsettle the world of the children, and some shoot off fireworks of questions with excitement, while others curl up on the ground in a ball of sadness and fear;

That feeling when you trust and pray and commend yourself to God and you still just can't fall asleep;

That feeling when you realize your future is only as steadfast as the love of the Father for His children.

That feeling when God makes it clear: it’s time to move.

I walk in the kitchen; the lilly has bloomed. “It figures,” I think. The flower blooms right before we have to leave. Just like Seth’s friend -- the sixth grader who has never once spoken a word to his classmates (save one) his entire time at our school, last week he participated in the all school spelling bee! And his lips were unloosed and he spoke to Seth and to everyone, and we all got to taste a bit of the miracle that comes after years of loving loving-patience.  
We were blessed to see the first bloom… but we do not get to see the full coming of spring.
I am sad about the flower. I’ll have to give it to somebody. I wonder if the raspberries I planted will feed anybody but the birds. And the lilac bushes! It grieves me to leave them.
There are goodbye notes to write. I consider writing, “I feel like if we had more time together we would have been really good friends...”  But instead I try to be encouraging and thankful for the gifts that God did give.

“He was made for this.” this thought surfaced sometimes against my will as we deliberated. I think I knew it from the begining, but it took longer to accept it.  People prayed for us as we went down to Kentucky to check things out. “Are we praying you stay?” somebody asked me. “Just pray for clarity.” “Did God make it clear last time?” someone else asked. “Yes he did.” I admitted that even as I doubted He would in this case. The unsettled waiting is so hard.
We drive down, deliberating all the way. The details make my head spin- things are moving too quickly.
The land begins to change. I’m not used to all these mountains. (“Hills,” he says. “They get much bigger.”)  I'm used to living where it's flat. When it's flat you can see where you are, you can get your bearings more easily. I find myself turned around, queasy, and always wondering what’s down that winding path.
There will be no steamrolling over nature here.
Here, I remember I am a creature, and my place in tis world is small. What else can you do on a winding Kentucky road but consent to descend and ascend as the path unfolds?

And somehow, along the way, God works that consent in my heart.   I should have known He would
He was made for this. God is making the way plain. Alright Lord, alright. I consent.
The truth of it is, I’m sad to go. I’m grieved to watch everything that makes up my “normal” be taken away by the hand of God- again! Didn’t we just do this!  Why don’t we get to have roots like so many other people do?  But we dont get to claim people forever, or places, or niches. None of us do. This seems to be a loud and constant lesson of our lives.
And yet, it helps that we have done this before. Because I know this God who takes things away a little better this time.  He takes, but He gives courage. He takes, but gives strength and clarity. He takes, but gives friends to comfort in grief and remind us of HIs goodness and promises.
And though I can’t see it now, I know that even as He is taking away from our lives with His right hand, He is also preparing good things for us with His left.

Our future is only as stable as the steadfast love of the Father for His children.
Steadily unsteady, we move ahead.

Pastor Cook’s last Sunday will be Feb 25, and then we will move to Louisville, KY so that he can finish his PHD in Christian Preaching.

Your prayers for us during this transition are much appreciated.

Please also pray for our St. Peter’s church family who, much against their will, are riding this rollercoaster with us.  May God provide abundantly in our absence for His dear people here, and surround them with reminders of His faithfulness.

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