Wednesday, December 28

Broken Things Stay Broken

I ran into an old family friend at the bookshop today. She asked me how my Christmas was; whether or not there is a "weird dynamic" now that my parents are getting divorced. I gratefully related how my auntie had given me a plane ticket to come see her for Christmas, effectively rescuing me out of a morass of family dynamics that I am completely befuddled as how to face. A hero, that auntie is.

She asked me whether or not I had seen the divorce coming, and I told her my parents have been unhappy their entire marriage... their entire lives. That I wished that they would have divorced twenty years ago. She was aghast, told me that she had had no idea. I told her that my childhood had seemed to go fine. It was when I was in junior high that I realized that the gloves had come off. They came off prior to my knowledge that there was even a fight.

If you've ever read "Wuthering Heights," you have an idea of the wretchedness of my parent's relationship. As a people-pleasing oldest child of all this, you can well imagine my need to be a peacemaker. Peace at all costs.

I am now 38 years old. I am 38, and just now absorbing the fact that I am not the peacemaker. (What did Harry Potter have? A "saving people" thing??) I did such a good job of it for so long...

Wretched things stay wretched. Broken things stay broken. They say that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and I'm sure He is. But nobody promised that peace would come in this lifetime... and it sure as hell won't be accomplished through me. He Himself chooses to let un-peace reign in those that are determined to have it.

I must (can?) rest now. Broken things stay broken.

Tuesday, December 6

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

"You whisper Your love to me and comfort me with the simplicity that You are in control,
and I am not. 
You shelter me with angel's wings that hold me up and make me sing
About the Lifter of my head, the Lover of my soul, the One True God who is always in control.
And maybe if I weren't so stubborn, and maybe if I weren't so prone to wander away,
And maybe if I'd learn my lessons and be perfect... but that's not how I'm standing here today.

Today, I need You; I need You."

~Greg and Rebecca Sparks

 Life is good. It is. I have been given a wonderful community of friends and loved ones, a bungalow I love, friends, activities, wonderful work to do in a place that is safe and loving, comfort in worship and prayer.

Yet there are moments even in this bounty of goodness that are excruciating. My parents are divorcing. Sad, abysmal memories surface. Sad, abysmal memories are being created even now. I had a little cancer scare. Many, many things have occurred this autumn that shock and disappoint the heart, and it seems I am always denied the blessings I most crave. (Except the house. God was just crazy nice on that count.) Life is like this.

In this autumn, it was the cancer scare that stopped the panic, at least momentarily. I am given life. Life is good. God gives me Himself daily; His Body and Blood in Communion, in the sunrise, in the smiles of loved ones, the purr of a kitten.

I have always been a questioner and struggler; a girl with a dark turn of mind. My heart knows no other way. Maybe I was always made to be empty. Maybe the places in which I am empty, it is that way because I have not filled those places with Him. (Maybe, supposedly, possibly... we will never know the answer to our "whys" when we want to.) Maybe it's not for a lesson, but just that we live as broken, fallen selves in a broken, fallen world. Maybe none of us are truly full until we are Home. 

A dear new friend reminded me recently that God will always give us the medicine that is needed to heal our souls. To be whole, His. The experiences life brings are that medicine. But it is our job to take the medicine. To be comforted that He is in control, rather than any of the other lesser emotions that surface when we feel the control of Another. To offer up the struggle and pain, instead of nurse and shelter it in our hearts. 

But that's not how I'm standing here today. Today, I need You; I need You.

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