Twenty five years and counting…

Looking back, there’s learning. Lessons in the moments of my life over a long and winding road encompassing decades.

There’s also growth, change and healing amidst the stumbling and scrapping of knees, knees sometimes bent only after…

Twenty five years ago, just a crack at first, my heart opened and I bid Him come in. Actually, my heart was silently screaming to the Only One who could assuage the ache and settle the spirit. But in that bottomless, barbed wire, black ache, an anger burning hot and fueled by fear and hurt, held me hostage.

Learning to trust the hard way.

Fingers entwined, we began a journey of exploration and excavation. He unearthed things long buried. Sins, hurts, losses, pains, fears, all exhumed, brought to the surface, where the Light could heal.

And it has been a process for me. A steady stubbornness in a slippery direction. Others, Dearest Husband included, tell of a one-time major transformation. Of being brought out of darkness, then walking in Light. Like snapping a light switch.

That long ago March 8th morning — where three tiny sparrows perched and flitted in a bush outside the church while a gentle, spring-like breeze brushed my cheek and my first born slumbered inside me — I took a baby step on my meandering route, a breach birth of sorts, towards persevering after Christ every day.

None less valid for the long, intensive labor.

Was it my lacking in trust of His love or my fooling no one but myself pride that had me clinging to imposters? Whatever, always picking up again to carry on, one more time. One more time. One more time. Met each time by the everlasting arms of Unending Forgiveness, Unchanging Faithfulness, Enduring Patience, Lasting Love…

Somewhere at the end of 2009, once the dust had settled from another demolition derby of heart-wrenching loss compounded by sorrow-rendering sin, a realization: my life needed to be all or nothing. In Him totally, or not at all. Walk away from my past. No pillar of salt this time.

And there is something priceless that comes with age and experience: sight beyond the garden fenced, particulate parcel of your own existence, we gain a zoom focus on the larger realm, the others-land, the regal kingdom. And with it comes a modicum of wisdom, a clarifying view of the end of mortality.

Digging down deep into fertile soil, sowing a new batch of seed. Sequestered on high, alone with Him, a green house full of sprouts. Tiny seedlings growing stronger. First fruits foretelling, I pray, a fruitful second half of life and beyond. A bountiful harvest of good crops. Slow going and quiet, the Master Gardener tills and weeds and prunes so that only the most succulent, life giving fruit will form.

Hanging heavy on the vine, dripping with newest life. Bursting with flavor. A sweetness, rolled on the tongue and savored.

Quiet moments now, unlike the early days of chaos and drama. Youthful vigor, days full of activity with children to teach and boys bouncing off walls, and groceries to get and laundry and bills piled high. With daily problems to be solved as a single, surrounded by lots of noise and laughter, and a whole lot worse.

In Middle Heart, these mid-life years, now a peace, and the pull to Him grows stronger. My One and Only. My darling Jesus. The One who has held me through each and every storm. Each and every humble. Who has dried my tears as He has dried His own. Sweet Holy Spirit, how sorry I am for grieving You; hurting others made in Your image.

Stillness sometimes too great to bear swirls round a heart accustomed to craziness. Relearning life, to live in calm. And the voice that spoke so clearly in the days of drama, seemingly silent. A dark night of the soul, for sure, wrestling with leftover wreckage. Struggling in the still. With the unseen One ever close.

Surrender, slow and sweet, comes slowly. Into the Lover’s arms that have waited 25 years to completely possess.

Renewing tenderness, fears releasing, the Lord’s honeycomb of comely words to soothe my soul. Giving my heart a more grown up awareness of Truth and time and what is truly, vitally important.

And now, in a land that seems like forever in-between, I walk forward holding a new hand. The godly man God has sent. And we have rescued each the other. Out of our desperation and dinginess. Into Light and Love together, and our Longings End…

In Him.

Father, how can I ever thank you for parenting me all these years, for staying up late when I was afraid in the dark, for tucking me lovingly in, holding me through each heartbreak and forgiving me more than once this past quarter century? In this, our silver jubilee, let me sit at Your feet, drink in your holy beauty. Quietly, gently. Filling up and overflowing. You filling in any wrinkles, erasing the spots and blemishes so that I shine with Your Glory like never before.

And on this 25th anniversary of life with You, I renew my vows…I do.

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