Refuge & Strength

I can feel the trembling in the ground under my feet.
This world is uncertain and unsteady.
On the radio I hear of radiation and evacuation and it reminds me of a story I read about Chernobyl - mutations and a toxic deserted fairground. I see a Japanese five-year-old being tested for radiation by big masked people on Reuters.
And I hear of wars and rumors thereof -
Libyan rebels desperate for power,
pleading for an air strike,
and I sigh as I feed my ever-thirsty gas tank, wishing for integrity in power, and the stability it would bring.
I think of The Economy and wonder if any of these well-known names really care, if any names printed on the ballots for May second truly desire the heavy responsibility of the office they all lie for...
Like I said, unsteady ground.

I think about my own plans. Sometimes I don't bother to make plans because it seems God is always changing them. Then I remember, hey, this is a good thing. Maybe I'd better make some more plans for God to work with. My life is on uncertain turf too, never mind the nation. Will my teacher assistant contract get renewed? If the offer is given soon will I accept right away? I never was given reason to assume this job was for more than this school year anyway... What should I do in the summer? Am I too late for the job I wanted? Should I go to school? I want to - but what about OSAP and coming up with money to do it? What about homeschool and admission for the transcriptless?
And what if I just went to CCEF? Move to Philly and learn about Biblical Counseling and then what? It's very impractical and I don't really know why I like the thought so much. Maybe because when I audited the classes I was so full of hope for change. The very halls echoed with hope. It was like knowing we need to get somewhere and then seeing a road map after you've being trying and trying to envision it. I liked that feeling. A lot. Maybe I just want to get it back. I wonder, am I a humanitarian? Do I just want to fix other people's problems instead of my own? Do I desire to help other people so I can feel good about myself, to get drunk on the wine of good works?
Why am I so restless? Big question. There is a little fluttery restlessness in my soul that never stills. Not these days. I wonder, a lot, why the only place it has stilled, and always stilled, was Okreek? Is it a sign of some sort?
I think of my future. I worry about money and I think about foster parenting. I dream of adoption and I worry that I'm idealizing it. I wonder where and when and how to become a certified foster parent; where I should do respite care and when.
Some days I decide I am sitting around waiting for love like letters in the mailbox and then I cringe and tell myself there's got to be more to this than that! And I know there is. I just don't know what.
I think about cities and try to envision living in Hamilton or Detroit or... I wonder why the USA stills feels like home and then I laugh at myself for trying to evaluate whether that could be a sign that I should go back or not. In my subconscious I have a nice little yes-no-maybe questionnaire entitled "How To Certify Something A Sign From God (Or Not)".
I wonder if my restlessness has something to do with unused equipment. Like having an exercise bike in the basement collecting dust and feeling guilty because you're not getting any exercise and you have no excuse. So you haul the thing off to the thrift store or sell it on Kijiji and you sell the guilt with it, two for one deal. Only difference is spiritual equipment can't be sold or dumped. And then when I've basically decided that's what my problem is, I realize that bit of diagnosis does nothing to tell me what to do about it.
Do I even have a clue what I'm talking about?
Do I know how to love? What is change? What does hope taste like?
I read a book that was very helpful to me a little bit ago. It's called "Blue Like Jazz". Inside the cover he explained the title by saying,
"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music. Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
I used to not like God because God didn't resolve.
But that was before any of this happened."
I am being told, by many different voices in my life lately, that whether I believe it or not I do not need all the answers. I might even restate that to say 'I don't need answers', period.
Because that's part of who my God is. He's not about head knowledge and cold hard facts, He's a God of breathing, bleeding heart truth and relentless, unfailing love.
That's why I am not afraid of tomorrow. I will not fear "though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea... God shall help her, just at the break of dawn." (Psalm 46)
We are watchmen on the wall. We are like a tree, planted by rivers of water. The ground about my trunk may be quicksand but I can stand because my roots go deeper than the surface. They're deep in the Rock of Ages.
I want to be taught to love by Love Himself. And because I am surrounded, pursued, enfolded by this love I will close my eyes, trust, and play on.


Melany said...

Lizzi, thank you for allowing this window into your beautiful heart. I love your love for others, I love your love for Okreek, but most of all, I just love you! I can relate to the pain of questions, I can relate to the frustration of waiting, and I can relate to your conclusion that the only answer we really need is summed up in the phrase, "God so loved..." May He continue to demonstrate His abundant love to you, and lead you in the way you should go.

Mom said...

My dear treasure, all your blog entries leave me speechless! Truly speechless. Like adding a comment would break the magic. But I do want to say that no matter what uncertainties are going on in your life, I am so glad that you are like a deep rooted tree on solid ground, even if surrounded by quick sand. I am always waiting to help you and listen to you, don't ever forget. Even in our busy life, you know where my priorities are! Love you buckets!

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Sometimes I am melodramatic... Bear with me. My favorite thing is finding hope in hard places. If you enjoyed something (or not) I would love to hear from you! You can make me very happy by leaving a comment :)


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