Tag Archives: trust

The Delicate Art of Flying Blind

This crazy phrase. It’s been creeping around in the back of my mind and simmering just below the surface of most every thought these past few months. I just can’t shake it. I decided to look it up.

Classically it means: “To fly an airplane solely by relying on instruments”.  So, I imagine it’s dark, maybe stormy, or otherwise disorienting, and there’s very little, if any, outside guidance or support.  To make it through, you’re gonna have to rely on experience and the tools you have right where you are.   Uh huh. I get that.

The phrase came into use during WWII and was soon after jettisoned into the broader understandings we refer to today.

This “urban” definition summarizes it nicely:   “Doing something tricky (flying) without the basic faculties for doing it”
Oh, and this one: to “Feel one’s way, proceed by guesswork”

Lawd yes… that’s the one.

Y’all… these days are full of emotion and tricky business.    I mean for me.    Personally.    In addition to the headlines and general craziness of the world at large, right here — for me and the man— it’s “ramping up” a bit.

I’ll try to explain: imagine hand-crafting a boat. You’ve spent years planning, researching, acquiring materials, and working on it in your spare time because you’ve had to hold down a job to keep the project going. It takes a little longer this way but it’s worth it. You learn a lot. You’ve got a great deal of “sweat equity” invested and it’s a very personal experience. As you get to the point of near finish, you start planning The Maiden Voyage. All this time you’ve been building in the safety of the harbor, taking a few shorter test runs close to the shore, but that’s not what this boat was made for: it’s time to consider the longer journey into deeper waters.

So here we are: deepening waters.

Not long ago, our youngest home schooled student submitted the final work to complete his high school journey thereby ending a journey of my own.  Second only to raising 3 children (a lot more “flying blind”!), home schooling them was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done— but I’ll go down on the record here and now: it was worth it.    Sure, I didn’t get the family “math gene” to pass along, but they are strong-willed and wonderful, beautifully artistic and creative communicators who know Jesus, and I am oh so proud they are ours.

A page is turned.

Like many churches, ours has a Graduate Recognition Sunday. A few folks searched my heart for sadness and sure, I sniffled through a mixed bag of tears.  However, the blessedness of the moment was not lost on me. Earlier in the week that young, strong-willed, and adventurous one had surgery for a major mishap which nearly robbed us all of this moment of celebration. The Mama in me could clearly picture every other scenario alongside the one before me and I was just SO thankful we were all there. So the few times someone remarked about our “empty nest”… all I could think about was our “full next”.

It’s “pleroma”, the God-kind of full.

I know this….even on the days when the fog of fear and doubt threatens to cloud my vision. Navigation seems trickier (is it really?), and the unknowns start to pile up like mountains all around us. How will we ever ________ ??  On these days, in these moments, it really does feel like I’m flying blind….just ”Feeling my way… proceeding with guesswork”.

I have a plaque with Isaiah 42:16 written on it once belonging to my sweet mother in law. It was a gift we gave to her on the occasion of her retirement and I honestly can’t say that then I gave the verse the kind of consideration I give to it now. I see this plaque every day, several times a day and I’ve pondered this verse deeply. It’s become personal…a place of abiding with the Lord.

However, I didn’t notice this until recently: the verse on the plaque is wrong. See it there… at the end?  For some reason the makers of the plaque decided to use the word “you” when really, in every translation I can find including in the original Hebrew (thank you Biblios.com), it says “them”.     God “will not forsake them”      Them what?

Well, depending on which translation you’re looking at, the verse may read that God is not forsaking those He’s leading… which is true. I mean, if you belong to God then you belong to God always. He will not forsake you. However, other translations— including the Hebrew seem to point to how God is not going to forsake “these things”… things that He will do: lead, guide, enlighten, straighten, make smooth. This is what God will do because this is Who God IS.     To whom?

To the blind.
The dependent.
The needy.
To those Who trust and obey and submit to being led step by step through those places they do not know, through the dark, rough and unfamiliar territory.

It’s a trust thing.

For me it always boils down to a trust thing. Can the control freak in me handle “flying” blind? Can I handle that there are things I do not know, being weak and dependent on God to lead the way?          Do I trust Him?

Thankfully, God knows I’m a nervous “flyer”. He’s very patient with my weakness.  He knows I trust Him even while He’s teaching me to ever trust Him more….that’s one of His “these things” He’s not going to forsake.   It’s helpful you know, to recognize that this verse, these promises are not about us. Sure, we benefit but ultimately all the things….are about God.  

I don’t know what the makers of this plaque were thinking when they decided to use the word “you” but I’ve corrected it.  Does it really matter?  Yes, I believe it does. 

Because although I know that as a child of God He will not forsake me, I’m not dependable enough to base a promise upon. Maybe right now I’m somewhat “blinded” by circumstances and realities and can not fully see how to get to the other side.  That’s ok.  God sees and I can trust His unchanging nature and promise to lead, guide, enlighten, smooth and fly us safely to that “full next”.

Pleroma…God’s fullness. In His way and in His time.
   This blind little bird can bank on that.

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

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 a few 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.
Two decades of denial had taken their toll and I could no longer hold back my overwhelming dissatisfaction with the temple prostitute I had become. Angry. Fearful. Frustrated. People pleaser. Need meeter.

 Years of inattention to details, false starts and unkept promises on both sides of my marriage added more and more kindling to the pile of dead wood smoldering  inside of me and before I knew it,

this girl was about to self-combust and burn herself to the ground.

 Of course, the enemy wasted no time… slipping in the well-placed attentions of others under the guise of tending to my neglected intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs. Needs I’d forgotten I had; deeper places and pieces of me I’d set aside early in my marriage thinking I’d get to them later…things all too soon forgotten until I couldn’t forget any more. The 2 Timothy “weak-willed woman”?      That was me.

I was ripe for the picking and I had no clue.

My marriage was in shambles.

Can I just say that? Yes we are both sold out followers of Christ and yes, our marriage was in trouble.

 Honestly, we were both doing the best we could with what little we understood all those years . We’d both come from homes decimated by sin and divorce. Simply staying together would have been enough to do it better than our parents had before. But that wasn’t enough and we knew it. We loved each other and we needed help. But how?

 You know I’ve written an awful lot about mentoring and accountability. It’s because God has used these relationships to change my life and marriage.

God has used other men to minister to my husband helping him to stand firm and walk the walk and other women have counseled me and loved me back from the brink of disaster. It’s scriptural (see James 5:13-20) and it’s necessary.        Do it. 

God's real help******************************

Divorce was not an option but marriage the way we’d been doing it for 20 years wasn’t either. 

We loved God. We loved each other.

However, my husband didn’t know how or where to lead,  I didn’t know who or how to follow and after 20 years, we were getting nowhere fast. The fight was on. We fought like we’d never fought before.  Something had to change; through the prayers of others and constant humbling,  something did:

We got broken.
More broken than our marriage.

Somewhere in the middle of all the battles we stopped fighting…. each other and started to realize we were actually fighting for something far greater, and it was really worth the fight. We also realized we weren’t fighting alone. So we kept fighting for it and kept talking and listening even when it hurt.

I had to find the courage introduce my husband to the woman he actually married (once I found her again myself)  and he had to find the courage to accept and encourage me here.

I had to learn how to communicate my needs respectfully and to encourage and spur him on to greatness in Christ –trusting God to do the work in His life, and he had to learn how to listen CARE-FULLY and not finish my sentences. Ha!

He’s learning how to lead…and where; through and to Christ.
I’m learning how to follow in all the same ways.
We’re both learning to trust and share the load of leading and following under God’s direction.

We hope we get to grow old together with the emphasis on the GROW in the midst of the old.

We are partners.
We are friends.
We are warriors.

Marriage as Co-creation************************** 

It’s Holy week; the time when we remember the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who is so very real, active and alive in the world today;

I know.

 Because this is the very real life, death and resurrection story He’s made of my broken marriage.  It’s still broken but we’ve decided to keep it that way.

 Because God is teaching us both to do whatever it takes to stay broken ourselves before the Lord and this marriage…this broken marriage… is our testimony and offering to Him; broken and made whole again by God


Dear reader,  I don’t know where you are today but if you are anywhere near where I once was, I want to offer you this testimony of hope; healing IS possible.

Maybe you or someone you know is struggling in this place today or from where you stand, disaster is on the horizon.


Remember! It is FINISHED! Jesus is risen for you and for your marriage today.

And know this: you do not fight alone. I’d love to pray for you and hear your heart.

Broken and Mended,Lorretta signature