Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Anthem in the Middle


Image Credit: Kyndel Wells

I have a strange little part of my brain that remembers odd dates.  I think it's because I journal a lot - less now that I have a baby - but I've always been one to throw my heart onto blank pages.  When something significant happens, I journal it, and the date and the memory become intertwined.

This morning, as I sat down to write in my journal, I scribbled the date and stopped.  April 10.  It's one of those dates.  Seven years ago today, my college boyfriend and I broke up.  This might seem like a weird thing to remember.  I am, after all, happily married.  I should forget that date, right?  Forget anything remotely related to that man and that season of my life, because I am Aaron's now.

But.

As I journaled, I thought back through the last seven years.  Living in India.  Moving back to my hometown and becoming a teacher.  Being afraid to let Aaron pursue me, but Aaron winning.  Four crazy roller coaster years of K-Life.  Summers in Lake City.  Tromping around Europe and seeing things I'd only dreamed of.  Anna kicking in my womb and Anna coming out into this world, bringing with her a huge and unimaginable weight of joy.

I realized it is okay to remember April 10.  It's an Ebenezer.  A pile of rocks that shout out to me when I pass by.  "Hey you!  Remember God's goodness?  C'mon, call to mind His faithfulness!"  Seven years ago, I was kneeling by a couch that had a big iron burn on the arm, sobbing into the brown fabric.  I was throwing out my prayers into what seemed a void.  My three girls came when I called and enveloped me up into hugs.  They prayed over me and believed for me what I could not in that moment grasp:  God was good, and He was there.

After the break-up, as graduation loomed ominously and I saw a question mark where dreams had once sat, I clung to Psalm 84:11-12.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does He withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
O Lord Almighty, 
blessed is the man who trusts in you."

Tears filled my eyes this morning as I returned to these verses.  In 2007, it was painful and intense to believe the Psalmist.  It felt like everything good was being withheld from me.  Sun?  No, darkness had befallen me.  Shield?  No, I was stripped and defenseless.

We humans, we tend to want to stop the story while it is still in the middle.  "The ending has come, the hero isn't going to show up, I guess this genre is tragedy."  Today, April 10 reminds me that the ending hasn't come yet!  In the ache of my past, and the ache of my present, God is working.  Some things I will understand seven years later.  Some things I won't understand until all of this is made new.

This will be my anthem in the middle.  When I can't sing it, I will find someone who can.  When you can't sing it, I will for you. 

He is good.  He is here.
He is good.  He is here.

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