I'm away for a few days with our band family and so I'm having a few people guest post for me. Enjoy their words and as always, leave them a comment so they know you were here reading!
Death has a way of drawing a big black line right down the center of your life. June 5th was the day that death drew the line right though the center of my life. To it's left, a life with my dad; to it's right, a life without my dad.
I was not under any impression that my life “to the right” would be easy to adjust to, but I was not ready for the fall out that took place next.
Before this moment, I would have felt pretty secure that my identity was found in the Lord. Sure, I had weak days that would allow me to momentarily be enticed away, but for the most part I thought my personhood to be grounded in the Lord.
This was until, by the help of some close friends, my eyes were opened to see my graspy, clingy, panicky hands reaching out for anything to tuck under my feet to stand on.
I had begun to feel like everything I knew to be true, felt to be solid, trusted to hold me up had been completely vacuumed out of my life when he left and everything I was reaching out for was in that frustrating distance of just barely out of reach. I would lather my hands in sticky manipulation to try and get anything to stick. I would cry and pout and wish and hope and stomp my feet and theologically justify. I would go to any length to find something to stand on.
Turns out, as it always does, a job, a husband, a home, food, parties, friends is still not enough to stand on.
My dad was one of the strongest voices in my life. His words created so much of my life. His rules drew boundaries around me to keep me safe. His grace was there when in my bratty rebellion i walked outside of them anyway. His pat on my back and warm hands holding my feet were the affection I needed after a long day of one failure trumping another failure. His silly stunts were there when our family got too serious and hardened by years of ministry. His theological discussions were there when I needed to be sharpened, or challenged, or pushed to articulate even what we disagreed on. He always answered his phone – whether he was in a meeting, reading a book, playing with his grand kids, or running errands – he was never that far away.
And now, he is the furthest he has ever been and until I leave this earth as well, I don't have hope to have him close again.
How does this connect? I'm not quite sure, but I'm starting to see that somehow it all comes together. That somehow I had built my identity, my person, my value, my meaning on being my dad's daughter. Every decision I had made to be where I am now felt so much closer to my dad, than to my Father…hence, the fall out.
So, this is where I am today.
Weak, grasping, beggarly to belong. Somewhere. Anywhere. With whoever. However.
This actually could be a good thing. Would I rather learn that my identity was found in my dad without having to lose him? Sure. Would I rather not have to fight the sin of idolatry of anything and everything while my heart feels foggy and tangled? Sure.
But this is where I am.
And whether I look to God to seal up all of the cracks in my soul that are leaking my joy in whimpering neediness, strong resolve, or humble gratitude…he still wants me to look to him. He wants to be the one to tell me who I am. He wants to be the one whose voice is the strongest in my life. He wants to root my feet in him. He wants to be the one to strengthen my weary bones.
I long to be known again. To not have to tell my story or try to maintain a reputation or manage someone's understanding of me. In my darkest days, I go to the Psalms. Here, David reminds me that I am not alone in this desire…
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
What a promise! What a truth!
Why do we go searching all over the place and digging through the almosts of comfort instead of trusting that God knows our hearts, our ever-longings, our hopes, our desires, our needs.
He knows our every moments.
He knows my every moment.
And in Him, I choose to stand.
And in Him, I bury my feet.
Not because I feel it every day, but because He makes it impossible to find anything better.