Why I Didn’t Post the Photos

I had a parenting win this afternoon. Yet, ever since I almost posted the photos on Facebook, I’ve been second guessing my motivation to share my success.

What is my purpose? Do I simply want affirmation that I’m really rockin’ this mom gig? Or is it a little deeper than that, a little darker? Maybe it’s a subtle way to prop my own ego up a bit because I know there would be people looking at the picture, reading the witty comment, and thinking, “I could never do that.”

The thing is, most of the time, I absolutely do NOT feel like I’m rocking the mom gig. Whether it’s arguing with my teenager, trying to explain to my son why “I’ll just get dirty again” is not a reason to eschew his body wash in the shower, or finding yet another dried out apple core under the couch, I find at-least-daily reminders that my mission to care and feed these growing humans involves a lot of failure.

I go online; I scroll through social media; I see other moms helping their littles make snowflakes to decorate their windows. I find friends taking their children on field trips across the country (or around the globe). I read about moms who are not only raising more kids than I have, but running a successful business to support their family, and enjoying Saturday afternoon mani pedis with girlfriends.

Taking all of this in, I want to be those moms. I want to make crafty projects with my kids and hang them up around the house. I want to see my kids smiling as we travel and learn new things. I want to support my family and enjoy time with my friends without my kids feeling neglected. Instead, I find myself sitting on my unmade bed, having never changed out of my pajamas after I woke up this morning, eating a very social-media-unworthy snack, and feeling bad about myself.

Perhaps, I wanted a change. Maybe, instead of seeing everybody else’s photos and reading the stories of how well they’ve mommed today, I wanted to be the one with the great story. But the fact is, I’m never going to succeed as “that mom” because she doesn’t exist. I watch little tiny snippets of other people’s lives, those pieces they felt were worthy of posting and pinning, then compare it to the whole mess at my house. So, what would I gain by posting my own winning moment? Fifteen minutes to bask in the glory of likes and way-to-go GIFs? Possibly. But in the end, I would lose.

Actually, we all lose. In posting another tiny, pretty snippet, and pretending like that’s what my life looks like, I am perpetuating this imaginary culture of almost perfect moms in almost perfect homes raising almost perfect kids. In trying to boost my own sense of self, I’d be the reason some other mom is looking at her house or her kids and feeling less than. And that would suck for all of us.

I don’t want to pretend to be that mom anymore. I already expend too much energy battling my own expectations of what a good mom is and does. I don’t have it in me to craft this airbrushed image of what reality doesn’t really look like.

Frankly, we’re a mess. Every day, we’ve got stuff we’re tripping over that needs to be away and plans we’ve set up that just aren’t working they way they probably should and people yelling  about something that may or may not truly be unfair. Right now, I’m listening to videos streaming from two rooms and music competing from another. And I was all about having Advent family devotions this year. That would be one of those plans not working as I think it ought.

And in reality, as opposed to the fantasy land of perfectly framed photos shared with mixed motives, I am loved. Period. I am not loved despite my mess; I am loved right here in the middle of it. I am not loved because I am winning at adulting today; I am loved in my jammies at 7:00 p.m., feeding my kids gingerbread cookies with rice and calling it supper. I am loved because I am me. I am even loved when I’m doing my best to pretend I’m not me, because I’d really like to be someone whose life looks a whole lot more put together.

I don’t know what your fears and failures are today, but you are loved, right there on your face in the mud wondering why you ever even bothered trying.

Dirty child crawling on wet black sand beach

And, if this has been a good day for you, you are loved. Love does not depend on how well you’re doing whatever it is you’re called to do. Love just is. You and I and everybody are all just loved. Just because you are you, you are loved.

Lately, a lot of my days have been one of those days. And in the heat of battle between what I know and how I am experiencing life, it’s too easy to get caught right back up in striving for perfection to prove something to myself about how valuable I am. I completely forget the truth I have already learned and need to be reminded of once again.

You are so valuable to Me, My child. You would like to roll around in the muddy shame of what a bad person you must be. I ask you to let me cleanse you. Let Me pour over you as Living Water. Let Me bring breath to your lungs. Allow Me the honor of washing you and purifying you and dressing you in brilliant white as My beloved bride.

It’s not about what you’ve done wrong. It’s about coming to Me for all that is right. Even as you bury your head in shame, I lift up your chin. I wipe away your tears. I tell you how very much you mean to Me.

You are beautiful. You are beloved. You were painstakingly created and are being tenderly refined. You are loved beyond your capacity to measure. One day, you will see and you will know. In the meanwhile, continue to live in Love the best way you know how. I am here, always, everywhere, loving you.

Multiplication

Beauty is not just what you see, it is who you are. You are beautiful. You are a shining light in the darkness. You don’t simply reflect the Light, but Light shines in you and through you as you move and live and breathe in Love.

Be love, do love, make love today. Shine love into places where Love is hard to see. Shine love on people who are huddled far from Love. Let love grow and flourish and multiply in you.

How? How is a question I’ve grappled with most of my life. Sitting in Sunday School, listening to the lesson, my mind was already racing ahead to application. How could I take the truths I was learning and put them into practice in my own life? I’m not sure whether I ever really asked about it. Probably there were some points at the end of each class where we were encouraged to read our bibles and pray and be kind to people, but that didn’t really get to the heart of what it was I needed to know.

How do I love? How can I love when it’s hard? How can I act in love toward those who do not love me?

I was praying about that the other morning. I was caught up in a whirlwind of feeling ashamed, terrified that I don’t have what it takes to do all the things I need to do. Even as I was receiving words of delight and love and affirmation, I wasn’t feeling it. Instead, I was sitting down at the bottom of a mucky ditch, covered in grime from head to toe. I wasn’t beautiful. I wasn’t desired. I wasn’t even worth the time it took to waste on those words.

Then I heard something a little different.

You can’t be free of the muck if you keep picking it up and rubbing it on your face to prove how dirty you are.

Oh.

Perspective is an interesting thing. It makes what you are looking at appear completely different. Almost immediately, though, I was right back on the rug in Sunday School with questions I wasn’t sure I had the words to ask. How can I understand what I’m not really able to see? How do I see from another perspective?

The answer I got can be summed up in two words: with God.

Simple sometimes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Being with God, talking with God, listening to God, sitting still and staying silent with God, breathing in Love and breathing out Peace into all the circumstances and interactions I face everyday sounds like a lot of work. As I look at everything that’s already on my To Do list everyday, it seems more like a burden than a blessing to be trying to focus on Love all the time. But then there I remember multiplication.

Learning the times tables is a very unpopular activity here at the Hutchisson homeschool. It’s hard, it’s annoying, it’s (that dreaded word, said with an exaggerated droop of shoulders and rolling eyes) boring! I have spent years trying to teach times tables, but one of my kids still struggles with sixes, sevens, and eights. We are studying algebra this year. We’ve talked about how much more complicated the math gets when you have to stop in the middle of solving an equation to figure out the product of 8 × 7. You get distracted and lose your place and forget to bring down a negative coefficient. By the end, even though you’ve done all the computation correctly, you arrive at the wrong answer.

I think learning to love is kind of like math. Sitting at Jesus’s feet, meditating on love and grace and delight, starting the day with a reminder of the experiential knowledge that I am loved more deeply than I can even comprehend: all these things help me to see from a different perspective.

In the background, I hear younger me asking, “But how do I do that?”

And here is the place I don’t really have an answer. I don’t know how you most readily experience love. I can’t say what is the best way for you to interact with God. However, here are a few ideas I have found helpful in my own life.

  • Immanuel Prayer Journaling
    For me, the process of joy journaling has been incredibly helpful, more so than any other single activity. I heartily recommend the resource Joyful Journey: Listening to Immanuel written by E. James Wilder, Anna Kang, John Loppnow, and Sungshim Loppnow.
  • Bible Reading in Multiple Versions
    I have also found that reading the bible in different versions often offers me another view on familiar passages. My favorites are The Message by Eugene Peterson (I usually start here because the flow of the text is generally quite natural and easy to read) and the New American Standard Bible.
  • Research
    Sometimes, when I’m really wondering about the language in a particular passage or the cultural context, I’ll also check out other translations and commentaries and the online lexicons at BibleGateway.com or Bible Hub. And when these leave me with more technical questions than answers, I’ll often talk with someone who has experience in bible translation or biblical culture. It’s good to bear in mind when doing research that the bible was never designed to be an answer book, but a book of wisdom that offers the stories and experiences of others as they interact with the Divine so that we might discover more true knowledge of God in our own lives.
  • Sitting Still
    The term “meditation” had a lot of spiritual baggage in the churches where I grew up. I imagined it with brightly colored pillows, billowing clouds of incense, and chanting nonsense syllables. Really, though, meditation is simply a relaxed focus of your mind and body on a particular thought, feeling, or action. Honestly, I have trouble with the literal (in)action of sitting still. Thankfully, meditation doesn’t require actually sitting still, but can be part of taking a walk, doing housework, or any other repetitive task that can be done without to much conscious thought.
  • Every Day
    Okay, this is more of a note than a practice. Whatever I happen to be doing on a particular day, specifically setting aside time for God is the only way I know to make this work. Whether that means you schedule a time on your calendar, pray in the shower, listen to an audio bible while you exercise, or something else, making a habit of interaction with God only works when it’s actually habitual. For me, this means daily. Right now, first thing in the morning, often before I’ve even made it out of bed is the best time. At other points in life, lunchtime or the end of the day has worked better. What’s important is to keep reaching out, whatever it looks like for you. And when a few days (or weeks, or years) have passed, and you realize you’ve stopped, you can simply start again.

A popular author in the world of paleo eating has a catchphrase she uses when it comes to making life changes, “It’s only effort until it’s routine.” I have found that to be useful in my life. Adopting different habits, whether they are related to diet, sleep, or spiritual communion, can be a struggle. It can seem too hard and not really worth it. But I can tell you from personal experience, meeting with God every day, over and over and over again through weeks and years and good times and hard times is absolutely worth the effort, multiplied exponentially.

Meet with God. Know you are known. Be loved.

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To Bear All This

It doesn’t feel like love when I’m on my own
It doesn’t feel like love to be the only responsible one
It doesn’t feel like love in the hurting and hurting and hurting
It doesn’t feel like love when I’m scared and alone
It doesn’t feel like love to bear all this weight on my shoulders
It doesn’t feel like love in the tears collected in my chest and pouring from my eyes
What kind of love is this?

When things aren’t going the way I want or hope or plan
When nothing seems to be right and everything is going wrong
When I am overwhelmed with all there is to do, to be, to have
I need more
I need something
I need a love that feels stronger and closer and greater

So, here I sit with empty hands
Here I come, with my heart cracked open
Here I am waiting, demanding, afraid
Still hoping my doubts are mere shadows
In the face of Light
Still hoping my needs really will be met
In the face of Love

My blessings are on you, child
Even the ones you can’t recognize right now
In this cloud of doubt and fear and wonder
Blessing is what rests upon your shoulders
Let Me hold you here in the shadow of My wings
Let all you do be done in peace
For I am giving you all that you need

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Communion

The 3:00 a.m. hour is not a great time to be awake. My eyes are burning, my head is hurting, and my joints are achy. This all doesn’t sound very grateful.

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Thank You for the blessing of Yourself. Thank You for being here. Lord, I can only believe this is Your mercy, because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate. That is not, perhaps the best path to faith, but tonight I’ll take what I can get.

Thank You for the presence of so many people standing with us physically, spiritually, emotionally. Thanks for waking people up who are usually asleep, just to pray. Thank you for the gift of family, those who are ours by birth, those we choose, those who have chosen us.

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I thought I was sitting here ready to listen, but I guess I’m not. I don’t want to hear that You love me. I am not ready to hear how You’re right here with me in this now and whatever the next step is.

I just want to know I’m going to be okay, that it’s not going to get even harder. That’s what I’m afraid of: I’ll have to try even harder, to do even more. I’m afraid I am still not good enough to be loved, that I still have to prove it. God, I know that’s a lie.

I know that’s a lie.

I don’t have to prove anything because You already love me with all of You. There is no space beyond where You already love me that You could possibly love me more.

God, the thought of being even stronger terrifies me. How much stronger do I have to be? How much do we still need? What will I have to muster up the courage to provide? I feel like I’m all alone in this. I don’t know what to expect and I’m afraid to ask anyone my questions because just thinking them leaves me shuddering in sobs.

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I’m afraid I’m not enough to handle this.

That’s it, God. I’m afraid I simply don’t have it in me to do what I’ll be asked to do. I won’t have the strength to love in the practical, mundane, frustrating ways we each need to be loved.

I don’t feel loved right now. I feel expected of. I feel impinged upon. I’d hate for anyone to feel like a burden. And yet, how is it that’s how I’m thinking about them?

I need to hear Your wisdom. I’m starting to really bother myself with these thoughts. Please, God, give me truth!

You are not alone. You are never, ever alone. In every frustrating, heart-wrenching, terrifying step, I am with you. Through each relentless, bewildering, devastating emotion, I am in you. There is nowhere you can be where I am not.

I need to be done now. I’m full. I’m exhausted. Amen.

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The Homily

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Adam’s funeral was this weekend. I gave the homily. This is what I said.

In 1 Peter 4:7-11 we read: The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen (NASB, emphasis mine).

Adam was a thinker. He lived much of his life inside his head, hidden away from the rest of us, even those of us who were closest to him, who loved him most deeply. I will be sharing with you some of Adam’s own words from a couple of the last letters he ever wrote to me. I also have a few words that have been impressed upon my heart as I’ve tried to listen to what I believed God was trying to speak to me. I offer those because I understand they weren’t merely meant for me, but for every one of us. I’ll start with Adam’s words.

I ended up getting brain cancer. Honestly, even though it’s been really hard on so many levels, there is a part of me that is truly grateful that it happened. Even though I’ve been dealing with so many things and it’s taken me a long time to really process and think through things, the cancer, with all the feelings and fears that came with it, eventually helped me get to the bottom of everything I had been thinking and feeling and dealing with inside myself.

I made my life about being right, because I thought that would make me safe. That if I believed the right things, and did the right things, and said the right things, that would protect me, that would justify me, God would take care of me. What I’m beginning to understand and believe is that’s not really what it’s about at all!

What should be obvious, given that it permeates life with God, is that it’s all about love.  And love is rarely, if ever, is as simple as right and wrong, this side or that side, the right doctrine, the right actions. In fact, Love covers a multitude of sins, which suggests to me that God’s not as concerned about WHAT we do as he is with us LOVING him and others, regardless of what they do or how they do it. Regardless of what they believe. Regardless of whether they’re in line with the right doctrine. Regardless of whether they go to the right church. Regardless of whether they believe in the right religion or god or no god at all. 

I don’t know about others, but for myself, focusing on being right made me feel safe.  Allowed me, on some level, to continue my hypocrisy and sin and not feel bad about it because I knew I was right. I could feel justified, without any accountability. I could hurt you and turn it back on you and blame you because I was right and that’s all that mattered. I could feel superior without having to take a good hard look at myself and my own heart.

Obviously it doesn’t work that way, and putting it down in black and white like that, it amazes me just how deluded I was, just how blind, because I couldn’t admit or accept the truth.  And because of that I’ve wasted my whole life not only not loving you and the kids and others, but not being able to be loved because I couldn’t admit or speak the truth and truly receive love and forgiveness.

The words I heard from God went like this.

Remember who you are, My child. Remember you are Mine and I am yours. Remember the flames of my fire are burning away the cords that bind you, setting you free. My beloved one, you are free. Live in your freedom and don’t chain yourself to fear. I love you. Always. You can never, ever lose My love.

I am not destroying you, child, but instead, everything you are trying so desperately to hold on to besides Me. I am the only true Source for the life you desire. You won’t find it in fear or anger or money or stability or being perfect. Only in Me is there life abundantly.

Live in Me, let Me love you, let Me live and breathe and have My Being in you. Then you will know Life as you never have before. Then you will experience Love in ways you haven’t even imagined I love you. 

Trust Me, Beloved. Will you do that? Will you loosen your grip on what you think you need right now and let My grace pour into your heart? Will you allow your hands to be open to My blessings? Will you let go of your preconceived notions of what must be best and invite My thoughts into your mind? Let My faith fill you. Let My hope sustain you. Let My joy bring you back to life. You are so loved, My child. Even when you cannot see Me for all the walls you’ve built between us, I am loving you beyond your comprehension. Be at rest, knowing I am who I have said I am and I will redeem and restore all that you are afraid of losing. You can trust Me.

Ultimately, (Adam said) I believe it’s not about what I believe. It’s about learning to love. And you can’t reduce that to a single thought or belief or doctrine or response. Jesus comes to each person, as we are, in this moment, with our individual needs and desires and brokenness, and loves us exactly as we are, in this moment. No pretense. No excuses. No softening the blow, and yet no condemnation. JUST LOVE.

(And God spoke to me,) My beloved child, you live in My love, no matter what. Your heart beats with Mine as you walk in My footprints. When you feel lost, know that in Me you are found. When you feel afraid, know that in Love there is no fear. When you feel alone, know that I am with you always and everywhere. There is no place you can go where I am not. When you feel that things are broken beyond repair, know that in Me all things are redeemed. Nothing is lost. This is My promise to you.

THANKS BE TO GOD

September 11, 2019

I wrote out some thoughts and feelings yesterday. A friend expressed her hope I might publish it more publicly. So I am. Please, feel free to share with anyone you think may benefit from reading these words.

One year ago, I got up about 4:30 in the morning to take Adam to the St. Marys Campus of Mayo Clinic for brain surgery. I remember standing in line to register and filling out forms and waiting. My brother, John, arrived and we all met with a chaplain who prayed for Adam. John then asked the chaplain how we could pray for him. I can’t remember what he said, but he told us he appreciated it; not many people ask if they can pray for him. Then I was helping Adam change out of his clothes and into this gown that had its own heating system. We met with a local pastor whose church had welcomed us to Rochester and all together too soon they wheeled Adam away and I was sent to the waiting area.

I’d expected to spend the day anxious and possibly crying, but overall time passed calmly as John and I chatted about theology and community and ADD and a dozen other things. I got text messages from the OR system, letting me know surgery had begun, then it was continuing, later that it was over, and then Adam was being moved to recovery. After that last message, I kept waiting to see the surgeon, but it would still be a few hours.

About supper time, we got the official news that surgery had gone well and Adam was moving from recovery to the neuro ICU. I was so relieved he’d made it. One of my biggest fears had been that Adam would die on the operating table or that he simply wouldn’t wake up.

Finally, I was allowed to see him.  His head was swathed in thick white bandages, wrapped tightly to keep the swelling down. As I walked in the room, his nurse commented that he’d been waiting to see me. Adam was a bit out of it, but less so than I’d expected. He was able to speak pretty clearly and the drugs he was on made him very happy. Apparently everything was, in fact, awesome.

Thinking back, twelve months later, I wish I could have told the me from last year that everything would be okay. I’m not sure I was totally ready to accept that everything could be horrible, but also be okay. I’m not sure I can accept that a lot of the time now. I really wish I could have told myself that everything was going to be absolutely fantastic and Adam would recover and a few years down the line this awful, long day would hardly be a blip on the radar. But that isn’t the way things turned out. While Adam did recover from surgery, he never fully recovered from the devastation glioblastoma, and the best medical efforts to curtail it, wrought on his brain and his body.

I often wonder, knowing what I now know, would I have done anything differently? I honestly don’t think so. We understood right from our first days at Mayo that the likelihood Adam would soon die far outweighed the possibility he would recover and live a long life. We consciously chose to hold loosely the uncertainty of life and death as we did our best to live one day at a time. Some days that was easier than others.

There is a certainty to life this year: Adam won’t be with us. As we move through the last days of summer and jump headlong into the fall and winter holidays, Adam isn’t here to laugh and cry and celebrate and tease and enjoy. We can’t joke about that one week in November when he was only one year older than I rather than two. I can’t surprise him with a heartfelt letter or a gift card to someplace fun for his birthday or Christmas or some random Thursday.

At times, I still forget he’s not coming back. I RSVP for an event and almost choose 5 instead of 4. I’ll see an ambulance running lights and sirens when the thought will hit me that Adam never did get a stork pin, and now he never will. I have a night to myself when I’ve actually managed to get all the kids sleeping in their own beds and I remember he won’t ever lie down beside me again and invite me to roll over and rest my head on his shoulder. He won’t be rubbing his hand up and down my back while I cry over something silly or something serious.

Instead, I recognize just this open space where he used to be. I look down in surprise, again, to see the gaping hole in the center of my chest. In moments like this, I wish I could look forward to a “getting over” or “moving on” from grief. Yet I know that isn’t what grief does, and, in my saner moments, I am glad for it. Here, surrounded by pain, though, I just want to know there is still beauty, still hope, still glory that I can’t yet see, because this ragged hole, this open wound where my heart has broken hurts more than I think I can bear.

And sometimes, sometimes grief doesn’t feel like pain, it doesn’t feel like sadness. Instead, grief puts on an odd mask and becomes a restless anxiety that I fear will hold me in its grip forever. I worry that I’ll never move forward, or that I’m trying to move forward too soon, or that someday, when my kids aren’t kids anymore, they’ll move out of the house and I’ll truly be all alone.

And then I make it through another day, another night, another moment, and I catch a tiny glimpse from the corner of my eye. It looks like the tail feathers of a bird of paradise who just finished dancing and spread his wings to fly up above the trees. So I think of Adam and I smile, remembering he was the one who first introduced me to birds of paradise that were actual birds and not just flowers. Before I knew Adam, I’d never known that.

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I take a deep breath and I take another and I remember that as long as I keep breathing, life will go on. Even when the itinerary I thought I’d booked has been inexplicably changed, adventure still awaits. Somewhere, beyond the dense forest I’m currently hiking, are sights worth seeing.

Even in the pain, the anxiety, the loneliness, love is still worth the price of admission. And even when that seems too good or too trite or too crazy, truth sits there in front of me, unmoving, daring me to disbelieve. Or perhaps the dare is to believe, even when I’m afraid none of this can possibly be true.

To Pivot

Physical Education class was rarely my favorite place to be. Once we’d moved beyond the age when going to the gym and playing with an old-fashioned parachute constituted a class period, most of the lessons weren’t very much fun for an overweight, uncoordinated child who came from a family more likely to sit together, noses stuck in books, than participate in any sort of organized sporting activity.

Epiphanies, however, sometimes arise from the most unlikely of sources. I discovered today I’d learned a very important concept right there in gym class. Studying the basics of basketball all those years ago, I stumbled (probably literally) upon the term “pivot.” A pivot is the only legal way to move while holding on to the ball: one foot must remain in contact with the floor, allowing a player to turn, but not travel in any direction.

Lying in bed this morning, I poured out my words of disconnection and feeling pulled in too many directions at once. I complained to God that life was just too cluttered, too exhausting to spend any real and authentic time together. I suggested a lack of structure was perhaps my problem. I wanted something more established, some ritual I could invoke to allow me to come to the table carrying nothing but hands, empty and open to receive.

I realized, eventually, as my stream of words slowed to a trickle, I was in need of rest. And with rest, with the very idea that I didn’t have to add one more burdensome weight to those I’ve already been having trouble carrying, came tears.

Life is already so heavy, I don’t need to add more; I just need to be. Rest and peace are always on offer, yet I persist in the belief I must push and press and stretch and strive just to be allowed in communion. That’s utterly twisted!

Stretching and pressing will happen, to be sure, but it’s not my responsibility. I can simply let myself be stretched and pressed, to be loved so much that I am changed from the inside out, and quit trying to do all the work myself.

God spoke to me, then, a few words that changed my entire perspective.

My beautiful beloved one, I am so pleased to look upon your face. I am delighted to have you turning toward Me once again.

Have you ever heard, “When God feels far away, God’s not the one who moved”? Or “God is always just one step away”? I’ve long believed some variation on this theme. I don’t anymore. I don’t believe God is one step away or there is any possibility I can move away from God, even a single step. The only thing I can do is turn my back.

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In reality, I don’t have to run to keep pace with a God who moves on without me. I need not expend my energy racing to return to the opposite end of the court because I’ve been headed toward the wrong basket. I don’t first need to learn the skills of dribbling with one hand and protecting the ball with the other, all while sprinting full out toward the goal, before I can see a smile on the face of the One whose approval I most desire. I don’t even have to take a step forward before desperately launching the ball in the general direction of the backboard.

I need only to pivot.

I only have to turn around, and there I am, face to delighted, adoring Face, basking in the radiant heat of Love.

And that is the best lesson I never learned in P.E.