Finding God in the Ruins – A New Journey Begins

Psalm 121 FTI
I saw this video and wept. Maybe because the song is so beautiful.

Maybe because the sentiment is so honest and timely for me to hear since my own recent diagnosis of cancer.

Breast cancer.

It’s hard for me to type those words much less admit that this is really happening to me.

But it is.

And so begins a new journey for me, one I hope I will be able to walk through with grace so that God is glorified in the process.

At the moment, all I see is a body broken, the life I once knew crumbling around me. But I know there’s more to the story, that God has a plan to redeem this pain; and I pray a better me will emerge after finding Him in the ruins.

Where Light Finds Me

~ Here’s something I wrote when I was wrestling with a decision recently. Thought I’d share in case someone else out there is feeling a bit lost in the dark too. ~

The moon is rising and the world is hushed as a sea of blue cascades through sleepy-eyed window blinds into this room. The soft light spills over my desk, piled high with books and other discarded papers.

I’m here again at my computer. Struggling for words. Lost in the half-dark. Searching for answers that don’t come easy.

LIght Photo & Verse

I cannot hide. The Light has found me, exposing my angst. And I know a cleansing must come.

In the quiet space that holds my unspoken prayers, I let go and breathe slow. Suddenly, it feels as if this room, my heart, the whole, big, crazy world has been washed in glistening grace.

God is here, and my heart floods with peace in the warm, liquid glow of twilight.

______________________

I pray the Light finds you today, wherever you are.

Keeping on Track

It’s the middle of January. And doesn’t it always seem to happen this way?

You come into the new year with a goal in sight. Your adrenalin surges and you begin this race with a strong resolve to win. But you’ve barely gotten started when something like a pebble on the path causes you stumble.

Sort of like the head cold that knocked me down this past week.

You trip over all your good intentions and find yourself lying on the couch cradling a box of Kleenex.

But no worries.

Photo Credit

When we feel like giving up
God reminds us to look up.


And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is perfected in weakness.”
2 Cor. 12:9a
The truth is, we serve a powerful God. If He is strong enough to move mountains (and He is), He can certainly move us.  

And in the meantime, really at ALL times, there is grace. 

This wonderful, abundant, unmerited, God-given grace encouraging us with the fact that no matter how many times we get sidelined,
we can trust Him to keep us on track.

Losing Control and Finding Grace

So I’m sitting in the dentist’s chair, nervously chattering with his assistant as she preps me for impending doom the crown that will soon adorn my cracked tooth.

Photo Credit

She had apologized for calling me by the wrong name and I told her that was okay. I quickly brushed off the minor infraction without a second thought unaware that it might be a foreshadowing of things to come.

Her: “Your heart rate is 103!” 

Me: “I’m not surprised. I can’t believe how nervous I am.”

I then proceeded to remind her that I had requested the gas. You know. It’s the gas formally known as nitrous oxide and informally known as laughing gas.

I’m not sure why it got that funny little name because, while I have experienced it’s soothing effects, it has never caused me to get a case of the giggles.

Especially today.

Her: “Oh, yes.” Her reply is a bit hesitant as she studies the computer to confirm.

Me: Heavy silence.

I quietly reflect on the situation. My mind starts racing as fast as my heart. 

She didn’t know about the gas. What else doesn’t she know? They seem really busy today. Maybe she is distracted. What if something bad happens to me because she’s not paying attention?

I considered running, but it was too late. She had turned on the gas and the dentist had now made his entrance.

Him: “How are you today?”

Me: “I’d be better if I didn’t have to be here.”

Him: “Me too,” he says with a slight laugh.  

Maybe he’d hit the gas earlier, I thought.

For a person with trust issues, I did NOT need to hear that the man who held the fate of my tooth in his hands might be playing a round of golf in his head. I could only hope that his brain was present and focused – not sitting on a white, sandy beach somewhere soaking up rays.

Photo Credit

Now, for those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of having a crown put on, I can tell you that the procedure involves several steps. And in between each step, the dental professionals leave the room and give you a few minutes to panic “relax”.

For some reason, instead of relaxing, I found myself with a heightened awareness of my vulnerability. I kept thinking of all the things that could happen that I had absolutely no control over.

At one point, I remember praying out loud. “Help me, God!”

Here’s where it gets a little pitiful.

By the time the dentist and his assistant came back in the room I was muttering through numbed lips “I can’t calm down!”

Mercifully, the dentist upped the gas because the next thing I know his assistant is telling me “It’s okay, Leslie. Everything is going to be just fine.”

Leslie?

WHO IS LESLIE?!

I had no idea when I woke up this morning that I would walk into the dentist office today with a cracked tooth and leave with a temporary crown and an identity crisis.

But that’s what I’m learning about life. I have no control. I never did and I never will. That kind of power belongs only to God. 

And maybe if I can just keep reminding myself of that fact, I’ll start to relax a little more.

Because I can trust Him. Even when I don’t understand or have all the answers.

Even when I’m crazy scared.

HE is trustworthy and completely capable of taking care of me if I will simply surrender my delusions of control to Him.

After I got home, I was still processing everything when I saw this post from Jennifer White.

I guess God knew I needed that extra dose of confirmation since I’ll be headed back to the dentist in a couple of weeks to get my permanent crown.

Isn’t it amazing how God gives us what we need just when we need it? How, when we breathe His name, He breathes calm into our storm?

And how, in our most vulnerable moments, we can hear His voice gently singing over us, whispering peace. Whispering our name. Because we are His children and He knows us so well, loves us so deeply.

When we trust Him to repair all that is cracked and broken in us, we can rest. Our hearts protected. Sealed with grace.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
Isaiah 43:1
The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

The Dawn of a New Day

A new year, like the pages of a book, lies open before us. 

Each chapter offering new adventures.

Each adventure drawing us further into God’s story,
closer to the Author of our days. 

We owe everything to Him. 

From sunrise to sunset, every second we draw breath is a gift. 

So let’s dedicate our 2013 to finding the inspiring,

praising our Creator for every single moment of grace
we are given along the way.

The failures of the past are past. A new day dawns…



…forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before…

Philippians 3:13