Storms

Sometimes it rains very, very hard. And you don’t feel the rain falling. Maybe because you needed the rain or you were thirsty. Maybe you had your umbrella. Maybe you planned to play in the rain and the heavy drops don’t hold you back. Sometimes it rains hard and you don’t even feel the rain falling.

And, sometimes, you feel the storm coming. You are not thirsty and you have no plans for dancing. You wrap your arms around yourself and wait to see if you will still be standing when the rain stops.

I haven’t held onto myself in a long while. It is the kind of bracing that empties you of the buffers that usually are your strengths. You acknowledge fears and the truth as they are within you. You are spilled out so you know that, at this moment, there are not any more layers to peel back. This is a kind of core. This is the center of yourself that you are trying to hold together as the storm blows closer. While I hold on to myself, I press the tissue down in a crumbled ball on my nose and lips. I see that can’t hold back while I hold on. I don’t move, I just stand. I think to myself that, if there is a place to be standing, holding on to myself, it would be okay for that place to be the sanctuary of the house of God.

That is where I am. That is where I plan to be while I brace for this storm. While I watch the clouds of my fears roll in and swell up with water. While I anticipate the thunder and lightning. I do not know what my life will look like after the storm passes. I do not know what my life will look like after the storm passes.

I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set. Jeremiah 5:22

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope …” Jeremiah 29:11

Whole in His Holiness

Go to fullsize imageBy Bindu Adai-Mathew

Daughter. Sister. Wife. Mother. Friend. Employee. Aren’t there times when you feel like there are so many pieces of yourself that you give away throughout the day that you feel as though you have nothing for yourself, much less God? Since becoming a wife and especially after becoming a mother, between work and my family, I often feel like I am being pulled, tugged, twisted, and yanked in so many directions…and while at times I have no idea which direction I’m headed, the only thing that seems clear is that I’m further and further from accomplishing my personal dreams and goals.

I recall the person I dreamed I would be by this age. Married. With Children. That part doesn’t seem surprising. But yet even after marriage, for several years, I didn’t recognize the person that stared back at me in the mirror. The medals and trophies that line up my parents’ living room, tokens of a bygone era of accomplishment, now lay tarnished amongst my current reality—the reality that the person who was once voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by her graduating class now seems anything but successful and accomplished. Often I felt I was no better than one of the statuettes I had won in my earlier days. Like them, I was tarnished. Stashed away in the corner. Forgotten. Stuck in the past. Old. Hollow.

Somewhere, somehow, I had gone missing…in my own life.

But as JMathis reminded us yesterday…we are “missing no longer.” Despite our pasts, our wrong mistakes, how we’ve been wronged, God knows us. He knows every hair on our head. He knows our pasts, and He knows our future.

Once I realized that no matter where I was…in a good place…in a bad place…all that mattered is that I get my focus back on God. It is while basking in His light that chases the shadows of lies away, that illuminates the truth that was there all along. When I focused on that rather than my own life and my own mistakes, doors that remained shut slowly began swinging open. Regret began melting in my heart, and I could once again start living my life, believing that I was right where I needed to be. I was right where God wanted me to be. Soon my “wrong” turns weren’t so wrong.

Even recently an open door now seems to be shutting. And while I waded in self-pity for a few days, I soon straightened my shoulders and began looking around for my next open door. For I know the truth.   God promises us blessings and a future.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.

Daughter. Sister. Wife. Mother. Friend. Employee. Child of God. All these are fragments of me, but it is the latter than makes me truly whole. It’s the latter that allows God to fill in those gaping Holes, piecing everything together, making me Whole in His Holiness.