the view from my broken marriage

It’s Holy Week.

A week of remembering the moments surrounding the single-most important person and event in all of human history:   Jesus.  

Life. Death. Burial. Resurrection.

A week to remember the everything before and after and to rejoice that we can now live from the center of

“It is finished!”

the view from my broken marriage

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Yesterday, my youngest and I occupied a pew in the little Episcopal church here in town for the first of five services our community will host this week. Today we’ll be at the Methodist church. It’s one of the many things I’ve come to love about this small country town. One week out of the year we gather in one another’s churches before God, united in the Spirit to worship our Lord and Savior; Jesus. How beautiful is the body of Christ.

 In the brief moments before the service began, I recalled this time from years before and was filled with so much peace and joy for the life in Christ I have today. Because I was remembering how just 4 short years ago, I sat in a pew alone, sin sick and heart damaged by so much pain and confusion.

 Everything I thought I knew about all I thought I could depend on was falling apart and crumbling beneath my feet. I was lost amidst my own shattered illusions of what it means to be a minister of the Gospel, a woman, a wife, mother, sister and friend.

I’d come face to face with my own empty definitions, which somehow had become detached or maybe had never been truly attached to their meaning in Christ. I was a lost sheep in crisis and didn’t know if I’d ever find my way back home.

I didn’t know where home could be found and mine……… was falling apart.

Let me tell you more…

bravely growing older

Today I invite you to come with me into the back rooms of Lorretta’s mind as I access the file drawer labeled “crazy thoughts and panicky moments.” This file comes  right before the one marked “stuff I probably shouldn’t say out loud” and right after, “things I’d do differently if I could.”

bravely growing older

I don’t know who makes the rules for these things but apparently a new car depreciates in value by nearly 30% in it’s first year off the lot. I googled it. #truestory. The same is apparently true for mobile homes although that doesn’t seem as shocking for some reason.

There are days I feel the weight of depreciation –especially when it comes to my writing and ministry. I want so badly for these offerings to hold Kingdom value and to KEEP working miracles in my life. I want them to produce healing miracles in the lives of others as well. Any edgy shard or fragment– I so desperately want God to use. Because otherwise, it seems like a big waste, you know?

Fear of depreciation sometimes keeps me from ever beginning. I get stalled in the water, stuck at the gate, too afraid to move on.  But if I have to be honest, probably my greatest place of personal wrestling has had to do with personal depreciation. Getting older.

Our culture places a ridiculously high value on youthfulness and looks down on aging as something to be avoided. Seriously? As if only the new thoughts, new ideas, new methods or new stories hold any weight or value.

Seriously?!?!

Let me tell you more…

bloom where you’re planted

the coming of Spring********************************

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns. (Psalm 46:1-5)

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Winter’s scrape and ache has left a bounty of blooms in it’s wake seeming even more bountiful after the harsh weather in previous months.

Participating in the 40-day Lent challenge has been doing the same sort of scraping work in me as well.

It’s been a greater awakening than I’d first thought it could be. I didn’t expect to be completely untouched by the process but I stand amazed at how deeply into my soul and awareness the Light is now shining.

New understandings I never imagined are greening, budding and blossoming in me and pushing out fresh areas of growth in my ever-expanding soul. It’s a lovely place. Terrifying and lovely.

It’s the exponential promise of God’s word..it’s very nature is to NOT return void. AND Even that;  it WILL return and it’s going to bring it’s reader along too. Carried through the hum and vibration of each “Let there BE” sound and syllable singing and bringing life to dead places in the heart and mind.  What a ride!

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Four times I’ve watched His story unfold: birth, ministry, miracles, testimony, death and resurrection. Four times to various depths and degrees, I’ve winced as those around Jesus fumbled the ball while embracing the call. I’ve read the parables, the prophesies and pronouncements and have witnessed the passionate love of God for us enfolded and enfleshed for 33 years through the life of his son, Jesus.

Twelve times the rooster has crowed. Twelve times, Peter has denied his Lord. Four times he has run away into the darkness of his own soul, tasting only the bitterness of his own betrayal.

 It’s a moment never to be forgotten--almost as important as the crucifixion and resurrection because…as a wise preacher once said:

it’s Friday…but SUNDAY’S COMING!

Never before has the beauty of Peter’s FULL Gospel restoration resounded so sweetly in my ears. His testimony given before the crowd on Pentecost, fearless and bold screams of the determination my own soul knows and understands: REDEEMED.

Redeemed and restored so miraculously that nothing could shake that rock again. How do we know? Because we have the testimony in our midst. God’s word, the Bible.

We know those 12 (including Matthias) continued to bloom into and beyond their Spring even facing the threat and actuality of being “cut down” through winters to come.

We know because…..here we are: Believers 2000-plus years later.

Keep blooming.

 Lorretta signature

 

Sabbath Linking with Deidra and Sandy,  Shelley and Barbie and Janice