While sorting through a bunch of old memorabilia, my sisters came across this short essay I wrote when I was 9 (I think).
An Unusual Day.
It was an unusual day when my pants got wet and I had no pants to wear! I had to wear my sister’s blanket. I had to do everything when nobody looked! I had to lay in my brother’s bed. I had to write a story about it in my blanket. My sister wrote the story because I didn’t feel like writing it. This all happened in California. True story
I have no idea what happened to all my other pants, or why I had to lay in my brother’s bed instead of my own, or why I chose to write a story about it, or why I couldn’t write the story myself. Really 9-year old me. Really.
On a more recent note, pray for my family if you think about it. We are needing to move out of our house by the end of the month and we don’t know yet where we are moving. We have some ideas, and we feel God’s peace, but nothing is certain yet! That is why my sisters were sorting through old stuff.
It’s tough because this is the last house where my Mom lived and where we were a complete family unit. This is the house we lived in when we were out here in L.A. “by ourselves” with only a handful of friends. This is the house we lived in when we saw more teammates move out and ministry grow. Where we got to know people from L.A. and build local connections.
And now our roots are being torn up again. And I wonder where home is. And I realize that it’s with the people I love–but it’s more than that–it’s wherever Jesus is.
Life has not been perfect for me. Lately, it’s been kind of rough. But I’m realizing that it’s in these rough times when life is swirling, and roots are mangled, and loved ones are gone or hurting, and the enemy is attacking–it’s in these moments when I want to check-out, when I want to scream at God “This isn’t what I signed up for!” When I want to shrug my responsibility–to lay down my sword–to curl up behind a tree and sleep while others fight–that I sense Jesus with me.
It hasn’t always been this way for me. There have been times in my life when I thought God could care less about what was happening to me. But not right now. Right now I sense His peace. I sense that despite all the lies, and feelings, and chaos Jesus is with me, loving me, holding me, teaching me, pruning me, filling me with more of Himself.
I’m realizing that–at least for now–I feel closest to Jesus when I feel the most desperate and lost. I feel God’s presence at the same times I feel the rawest anger and frustration.
Everything within me wants to avoid hard work, pain, and raw, real relationships–but, yet, they are very precious and, in a certain way, I cherish these times.
I remember, as a kid in Minnesota, boating on the lake with my family during storms or windy days and feeling the safety of my Dad’s arms or the comfort of my Mom’s lap. Nowhere else did I feel more at rest.
I think that experiencing Jesus isn’t so much about Him making my life comfortable, but about Jesus being with us in our pain and trouble. It’s hearing Him say, “I’ve got you, Son! I’m here. I’m with you. I’m holding you. You’re going to be okay. You are safe. Just rest in my arms.”