Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I just finished writing the short of their life story, telling how he got in trouble in his youth, and how his wife has always been there for him and his boys.  I just wrote about how her sons know that she loves them because she puts up with their crap and loves them fiercely anyway.  I just wrote it and was planning to send it all in so they could finish the legalization of what they have done since day one - caring for just one more grandchild and keeping their family together as only they know how to do.

And then...

The co-worker with the long blond hair and the sweet disposition came into my cube, holding her cell phone - looking down at it and not at me.  My first thought when she said their names was to sigh.  I didn't have what I needed to send it all in - the story and the forms and the legal paperwork.  She interrupted me.  At 8 this morning, she interrupted me.

Why do our hands flutter up to cover our mouths when we get bad news?  Why do the tears spring so suddenly to the eyes and the cheeks get hot?  Why does the breath suck back into our lungs with such force, keeping us from screaming?

I met this family a few years ago when I started working here, working with families that were in disrepair and needed the truth to set them free.  Their family was one.  They were caring grandparents then too, and I fell in love with how they loved their sons but didn't, not one time, accept their bad choices.  I loved how they hugged their grandchildren close and held them until they could go home again.  And three years later, when they had to do it all over again, I jumped at the chance to work alongside them again.

And then...

This morning, my co-worker stood in my cube and told me the unthinkable.

A woman that has loved her man for 40 years had to watch him leave her for heaven this morning.

Why THIS morning?  Why now, when they were doing it all again?  Why, when they were better together than apart?

I tried not to cry the messy tears I am known to cry.  I tried to keep them all in, but I ran.  I ran for a safe place to cry astonished tears as I thought of her - the wife and mother left holding onto the pieces.  And I cried, thinking of him...gone.  He would have never left if he had a choice.  But he had no choice this morning and no one knows why.

I am a strong woman, yes.  I love my job because I love the people - like this beautiful couple.  But I have no answers, and while I know I need to show up at the door of their home at 5:00 this evening to hug her, I don't have answers.  And I so desperately want to have answers.



I don't want to have answers.

I want to have him back in that house with her (the woman he has loved for forty-plus years).  I want my godfather back from heaven so my godmother isn't without him anymore.  I want my friend's daughter back from the arms of Jesus so she can be the princess in her family again - wearing her crown.

I don't want death surprising families anymore.  I don't want the grief and pain that it causes.  I don't want to answer why this has to happen now, as it does everyday somewhere.

This morning, I came in with no idea that this woman said goodbye to her husband while I laid next to mine in bed well before a new day could be embraced.  I had no idea the rock of that family would leave so suddenly.  And as I type this, I am speechless.  I am rendered silent with a prayer burning in my heart.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

This New Year's Life

We think we are barren when the seed that we hoped would be planted inside at the time we hoped does not come to fruition.  I thought the issue I struggled with was barrenness and infertility - both naturally and spiritually.  But it never was.  That has never been the issue.  My body is ready.  I am ready.

There is so much to living a new life in a new year that we don't often understand.  It is not about plans or resolutions or goals.  I do not have any this year, in terms of what I will do different or better.  I have realizations and revelations this year.  The first is that my life is not my own.  My time is not my own.  A new life within is Christ and His Presence and not simply this baby I am longing to hold.  His life is exchanged for my life.  When I accepted Him as Lord and Savior, His life replaced my own (Myowne) and whatever happens (no matter when) is up to His divine timing.  Whether the timing demands that I fight or stand or be strong in faith with reliance on Word, it is determined by Him and not by me.

Yes, we can speak things.  Yes, we can believe and hope for things.  That is the result of the new life beating and pulsing within.  But the truth is, the life we now live is not our own and He does what He will according to His own divine timing.  Our responsibility is to be aware of it and to live out the reality of it.

I have not been doing that; I have accepted the whisper from the enemy that says I will never give birth to my own child.  I have believed him because the melodramatic side of me believes that I have done so much wrong in my past that something as big as being a mother to God-graced children is not destined for my future.  How could I be a good mother when I am such a damaged woman - a woman with scars? I am not talking about simply carrying and birthing another human being.  Where I spend 40 hours a week of my time, I am all too familiar with the human nature of conception and birth and bad parenting.  I am talking about mothering a member of the next generation and doing it well.  Doing it so well that the child grows up and declares freedom to enslaved nations or changes the trajectory of life with the power of God.  That child. One of the many meant to make a difference even in the smallest of ways.

Secretly, I thought I must be barren - that my womb cannot be the place where life can develop.  What I was reminded of this morning is that there is life within me - a life that is not my own.  And He lives.  And if He can live there, how can another human NOT?  How can a baby not, if the Creator and King of the Universe chooses to make his abode with me in the highest of dimensions?  If He can live here and develop His life in me, then the path has been made clear and I am fruitful.

My life is not Myowne.

It belongs wholly to Him.

And everything that must come forth from it must come from Him, in His timing.  It is not up to me or my husband or a doctor at a fertility clinic or all the wishes in the world that will bring new life into being this year.  It is up to the Jesus that gave His life for me and now has decided to allow His Spirit to live through me.

I did not think of this while I was accepting a closed womb.  But I know now that my womb isn't closed.  My ability to bring forth is not denied.

I am not barren.

And His timing is perfect.