January 15

Standing & Marching, Sitting & Praying

There are the beginning of days that are like no other.

When the culmination of all you’ve been asking, seeking and needing answers for comes together, it sets you up for comfort and joy.

There are mornings, like today, when God blows me away.

I should be marching. Somewhere in downtown San Antonio my mom and two aunts are marching, honoring, and demonstrating a desire to live united. I’m with them in spirit wearing flannel pajamas with a fully extended draw-string.

I’d intended to be there, but instead, spent more minutes than usual in my floral patterned prayer chair. It’s a place I find peace when there seems to be so much struggle.

When I woke up this morning, my own dreams from last night lingered through the first cup of coffee, and then the second. Seeking answers and solutions, I’m constantly questioning God about my life, my family, our purpose, and how we keep moving forward when life hands us sadness or setbacks.

In 1998 when the girls and I came home from church to find my husband was gone, I was devastated. I’d been a horrible person the night before, immature and unable to control my anger. I said the kind of things you live your life wishing you could take back. Not so you can bring them back, but because there are awful words that tear a person down and make a bad situation worse and they just shouldn’t be spoken.

I don’t like to remember that I have been that kind of person to people I claimed to love.

My pastor at the time, the pastor who’s last name was coincidentally brought up in church yesterday, offered me these words when I begged him to tell me what to do next. “If a non-believer chooses to leave, let him leave.” There was more compassion in the words he spoke than the way it reads, all typed out, but it still reminded me at the time of the Let her Cry lyrics from a song by Hootie and the Blowfish.

And that’s exactly what I did. For years, I think I cried. In the kitchen, in the closet, in the bathroom and in front of everyone. Any single parent will tell you it’s so stinking hard.

The strength of the Lord sincerely brought my three daughters and me through the past 19 years. The strength of the Lord, and at times, a few less-than-healthy crutches anyway. It wasn’t always holy, but often, we heard the hallelujahs in the midst of the hell. And I became convinced that God was real.

From this corner chair in my office, I try to make amends for all the mistakes and consider the confusion and chaos of things I cannot control. I beg now for help and answers and still ask questions about where we go from here, what is the purpose of it all and am I where I’m supposed to be?

1 Corinthians 7:13 was the inaudible whisper.

It’s okay to think that’s ridiculous, some days I do too, and hesitated a tad because I’ve misunderstood so many times and gotten it all wrong. So I took another giant gulp of coffee from my oversized Pioneer Woman mug and turned there in The Message. 

Chapter 15. You don’t have to hold on desperately.

Don’t we? Don’t we have to fix it and do, and keep doing and keep going and keep pushing and pulling and trying to make it all right? We don’t.

God has called us to make the best of it, as peacefully as we can. 

My ex-husband and I have an understanding now. We handle things peacefully, with mutual respect and forgiveness, valuing the friendship, the history and the child we have.

The super freaky part of this reading today is the way it validates what I wrote three days ago in the last post. Please read it. We have to take a stand, look at what we have, recognize what we really need and with the strength of the Lord, we make the best of it.

What I’ve found in moving forward and trying to make the best of it, is how God somehow takes it and makes the best of us. 

Those are the marching orders for today, and our best tomorrows.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” 

                                                                                      -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 




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