It’s a gray day out there.
A gray, gray day and so much fog in my heart. And in my head. (And I’m double-tapping the spacing between my sentences because my mother told me to.)
It started off not-so-well. I couldn’t get moving. Woke up too late, grateful for so much sleep, reminded of my chipped tooth (and I’m secretly so afraid, so afraid that now I am someone who doesn’t work right, and my mom might have a blood clot in her lung.), then showered and took too long shaving my legs, took too long figuring out what to wear, but mostly spent a lot of time online looking for…something, probably peace (looked at http://aholyexperience.com). Finally I found something to wear (I wanted to wear that coral braided leather belt so bad, I love it, thank you), did my makeup and hair, spent minutes, minutes, minutes — wasted too many minutes just wondering where I should go to do my homework, what I should do…
And this thing that was supposed to happen at 8 am, now it’s 3:45 and
I’m too afraid to do anything.
After lunch I went to Perry Farms to just sit with You, and I did!, and it was good — there by the water, remembering that You watch the sparrow and so You watch me.
Then Christine, lilacs, John Denver’s “Country Roads Take Me Home” on my iPod when it was on shuffle — these three little blessings You gave me all at once. And I was encouraged.
And still I haven’t started. First I didn’t know how–then I got that e-mail from Dr. Mellish, that horrible e-mail saying that the homework he told us we didn’t have to turn in we actually have to.
And I can’t handle this. And tears are filling my eyes but You remind me, gently, You whisper that thing again that You said to me–“I will carry you through.”
(You will? This is my whisper back. Can You really? Did You already know about this before I did? before Dr. Mellish did? Did You really already care–did You start caring the day I was born? No–before I was born, before I took my first breath, before I was conceived in the womb. Maybe as You were knitting me together, Lord, with each stitch You thought of what was to come. “With this stitch, she will become a woman… With this stitch, she will skin her knee. She will run into the only lamppost in the parking lot when she learns to ride her bike without training wheels. And this — she will realize that I have called her to preach. And this, she’ll start–this very day she’ll begin–to see that she LOVES studying origins and original languages, and that this is an integral part of her calling to preach, to dig in and get into it and share it. This day she’ll have her first sermon, and she’ll be glad that Billy Brackenridge came to the altar, and that she feels like she spoke the Truth, and got to use her Greek she learned from Dr. Manley. This day — April 3, 2012 — she’ll start to realize she wants to do what she can to combat deforestation. And one day she’ll realize why, from a theological standpoint. And with this stitch — I am thinking of the day, that first day in May, that Tuesday, when she just got back from Valparaiso with the Olivetians, and she woke up too late and was feeling so gray, and Christine blessed her, and I gave her lilacs and the John Denver song that blesses her heart and comforts her so much, and — and she found out that she had to turn in her Hebrew homework after all. And all of these other stitches — every single moment before this — has been preparing her for THIS MOMENT, and this moment and all the others have been preparing her for the next. She will feel sad — and discouraged — and she will not ‘know.’ But I am with her.”)
O Lord… Every stitch, a Knowing. Every stitch, a Freedom — a Preparation. With every stitch, You prepared my story (which is Your Story, Lord); You created and sewed together my heart, a gift for You, a gift from You.
And so I count some gifts You gave me today —
1. The raspberry green iced tea Christine bought for me. (Does she even know that I’ve been struggling extra hard with money these recent days?)
2. That she came with me to Starbucks to study. (I’m sorry I haven’t yet… Please help me.)
3. Thank You for taking me to Perry Farms to just sit by the water and Listen, and read Your Word and look at the birds and remember that Your eye is looking straight on the sparrow, and so You watch me. Thank You for the gifts You gave me there, Your presence and songs coming on that talked about water, and just right, and putting into practice and making connections with what I’ve been learning in every other class (water).
4. That gray makes all the colors outside be real, be shown for what they are.
5. Thank You for being the Faithful One who is right next to me, who is watching me! The One who is comforting me up in Your arms, and blessed, and beautiful, and that even though I’m Gomer You (and Casey) are Hosea to me, the Faithful One who is kind to me, who prepares me and provides for me, who keeps marrying me and buying me back and pursuing me though I am the lost sheep who, though pitifully wandering off in confusion, sometimes willfully runs away — and still You come to me and it is good. Oh I’m grateful. Oh I don’t know how to love back but I am learning, please teach me.
6. For this coral braided leather belt. How I love it. Thank You!
Yours forever. Now give me strength to accomplish this, what I have before me, what You have placed here and will carry me through, and maybe I won’t do all I think I will or all that’s required, but “Everything God intends to do will be done.”
Now I keep needing Your grace.