November 10, 2013
I feel a bit as though my life is lived in cycles, and in themes. I have written of these themes in the past, and have found that they often last for quite some time. And they come in the form of a sentence or phrase that pops into my head, clearly and distinctly, in such a way that I cannot take it as anything other than a divine word, spoke directly to my heart by its Maker.
Now, before I continue with this thought, I should perhaps mention that I am actually hesitant to put it onto writing. As real as these words are to me, I feel sheepish about claiming them, as if it is presumptuous to state out loud that I have a word spoken straight to me from God. But admitting that hesitancy makes me realize that it would be more wrong for me to deny it than to admit it … For is that not a clear promise to us, that we have a direct line to a loving Maker? So, that said, here goes …
When I was living in afgh@nistan, the theme I was living into was that “He deals with me gently.” The very real truth for that year and a half of my life was that I had stepped into a beyond-me reality. I stepped in fearfully. But I stepped in. And as He has always done in my life (but that I did not really recognize till then), He accepted my feeble steps and gently led me along a path that terrified me, providing Grace at every fear-provoking point. Gently.
Soon after I had moved on to the next phase of my life-yet another path that I had not anticipated in the slightest but that I had to just walk forward, in faith, into-I realized that I was still living into that “gently” reality. But I also realized that the time of immediate danger was over. The life I had stepped into here was a more predictable, more “normal” sort of existence. I am aware as I write this that I may draw some amused raised eyebrows by this assertion. Many would see this place I live, and life I lead, as anything but “normal” … But for my quirky standard of normalcy, the designation works :-)
Here I should perhaps mention that I skipped over one theme that arose from the in-between phase: “Lord, break my heart.” I do not need to delve into that one now. But I will simply explain that yes, He did.
Which brings me back to here, now. In some ways this past year has stunted my writing life. I have been occupied with so many endeavors here that I have seen neither need nor point in taking the time to write about it. It occurred to me not long ago that perhaps I should be worried about this fact. I mean, I am, after all, a contemplative, processing sort of person … Aren’t I? Am I being too lazy to do the writing I should be doing? But, wonderings notwithstanding, there has simply not been the time lately even to worry about this question.
This weekend, however, a bit of a window of time and space arrived. And this morning I ended up quietly musing for the bike ride into church (well, quiet interspersed with several amusing passings by others heading the same way, waving at each other from our various different modes of transportation). As I did so, I heard a clear word spoken to my heart. I am tempted to speculate on reasons and manifestations of this word now. But I think that instead, considering the newness of it, a better course of action at the moment may be to simply state it, and let ramifications follow as they should, in due course. That said, this is it: “Anna, claim your life.”
Yesterday I went to a park with fall leaves. Real fall leaves. E and I picked the best of the leaves to make a bouquet out of their colored loveliness. It was nothing grand, and certainly nothing world changing, but it was done for someone special. And that was enough.