Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On {not} living in Why

 I just don't understand.

I wonder if a friend can help me gain insight.

My friendly companion is comfort for a season, but waiting...

is the hardest part.

Maybe {more} waiting will help.  At any moment, I'm sure I will understand "why".

Maybe pleading will help.  Prepare yourself for the 'pitiable-brown-eyed-puppy-dog-look'!

Okay, let's try being obedient?  If I sit pretty, I will learn 'why'.

I have to potty now, and...
  they won't let me bring my rawhide outside.


Boy, how many times in life have we asked ourselves that question when it comes to life, with all of its twists and turns?

I never asked myself that question more than during the season of life in which we chose to resign from church  ministry altogether... after serving 20+ years.  I never could make sense of the hearts and motives of some people in the last place we served.   Honestly?  I still can't, and that's okay... now

 Even throughout our transition leaving 'church ministry', I believed that many things in life simply happened due to natural consequences; however, for a long time, I was convinced that the weight of the pain we felt must serve some greater purpose.  The wounds of 'conditional love' were felt deep.    For at least a year, I over-analyzed everything.  Tears were my constant companion.

I know I'm speaking in code, but it took 2 years before one of our staff members came to DK and said, "I finally get it.  You guys should not have gone through that."  It's complicated.  There are many layers, but ultimately it's saturated in politics.  Oh... have I ever mentioned how much I really don't like politics?  ;)

DK kept saying, "People are people, and as long as there are people, they're gonna be people."  I think he repeated it for his own sanity, as well as mine.  Seems simple enough, but it's a great thought to keep in mind.  We're all people. We, ourselves, never claimed to be perfect.  {hard to believe, huh?}

Hubs also gently reminded me that if vengeance needed to be taken, let it be the Lord's.  For the first time in my 'smile-n-nod-Pastor's-wife-demeanor', I was tempted to ask the Lord to let me help Him with that part.  I'm just keepin' it real.  You really can't expect a mama bear to remain docile while someone messes with her family.  {Although, it would not have been right to pray for them as written in the lyrics, Pray For You, by Jaron and The Long Road to Love.}  Just sayin'.

We actually feel sorry for them now.  It takes a broken person to desire damaging someone else.

I didn't understand why God would want us to have this experience.  What possible purpose could it serve?  Today, I don't believe He wanted us to.  We should have resigned when we first felt the nudging in our hearts.

Other than being reassured of God's love, what {finally} gave me the peace I needed?

Strangely enough, it was realizing that even in some of life's most painful seasons... gulp... we don't have to respond with 'why'.  Truthfully, it may not serve a greater purpose in the tapestry of life.  Thankfully though, God will make it beautiful when He gives beauty for ashes. 

Sometimes... it's just life, even in the big stuff.  I don't know why I didn't allow myself to come to this conclusion years ago.  

I know many will disagree.  I'm okay with that... I think.  Just keep any comments nice, mkay? :)  Honestly, the me from years ago would have disagreed with the me today... on many thoughts.

After coming to this light-bulb moment, DK asked me if I loved him more after resigning from church ministry.  I gave him the confused puppy dog look.  He said, "Let me rephrase that.  Do you like me more?"  I still couldn't imagine what he meant by that, so I said, "No, I like you the same."  Then, I asked him the same question.  His answer?  "Yes."

I said, "What? Why do you like me more?"
He replied, "You just seem so much more... relaxed."

It's true. I've come a long way.  Realizing that everything is not so... black and white, is quite liberating.  The shackles of religion are heavy.  Relationship in Christ without shackles = peace = relaxing.
Ummm... Did anyone follow that?

What I've learned... besides the fact that this is the longest post ever.
  • to trust my heart more.  That's where God resides, and I know I can trust Him.  He works it all out for good.  We pray that for our girls, too.
  • that I need to change the songs on my workout iPod before I get completely bored with them and use it as an excuse not to go to the gym.  If not, the cellulite monster may start taking over.  Oi.
  • that it's okay to ask questions and not have all the answers, even the tough questions religious institutions seem to always have a generic answer for.  Having all the answers is a sign of having 'religion' anyway, right?  My desire is relationship without religious 'bling'.
  • that I will get dizzy when trying to mirror my girls' ballet spins. 
  • just when I think I know stuff, I'm really just getting started.
  • that asking and knowing why is not as important as it used to be, and I'm okay with that.

Look how I transitioned from Jasmine's need to go potty into what I'm learning.  Over the years, my gift of turning anything into a spiritual devotion was one of my many quirks.  My quirks haven't lessened, they've only changed.
Aren't you glad I spare you?
You're welcome.
{Oh... By the way, don't worry. Jasmine let me hold her rawhide while she excused herself to the 'ladies room'.  She didn't ask me why I had to hold it for her.  She just trusted me.  There's a spiritual lesson there, too, but I'll close... for now.}


  1. I don't think I knew you were in ministry. As a pastor's wife myself, boy it can sure be hard sometimes! and hurtful and many other things. and we don't usually know the whys, do we? I know for me it has caused me to grow in my personal relationship with God even more, every day I choose to please Him and not man. I choose to care what He thinks more than what man thinks. I understand... I really do. Just coming through something myself... praying for you!

  2. Thanks, Jenilee. That means a lot. We resigned 4 1/2 yrs ago, so we are much better today. (((hugs to you))) I know it can be tough.

    I like to document some of our journey in processing everything, so that one day... maybe our girls can have a better understanding. I hope that makes sense.

  3. Yes, we are not always going to know why. Sounds like you have learned a lot through all the pain. There's something to be said for that...life with a different outlook.

  4. I still live by that motto, "People are people..." Our journey has taken many turns, some good, some... eh... not so good. But all in all, there is no one else that I would want on this journey with me. And yes, I do like you more and more and more and more and more.... get the picture?
    The most important thing is that we keep learning.
    By the way, you're the greatest blogger ever!!! And I'm not just saying that.

  5. since I'm still getting to know ya, I didn't realize you were in the ministry?!! wowza did this post bring up some feelings and memories for me. we went thru a real raw, rough "winter season" in the ministry before we moved here. not pretty.

    one thing I learned after the fact was how hunkering down and waiting for it to be over was not the right move on my part. I needed to wake up and see that church, pastors, leadership...we are all sinners and capable of destruction. I needed to learn all I could from God thru it instead of waiting, pleading and begging that He would spare us from it like I did. cuz ya know, it has made me who I am today and for that I am grateful!

    as for the "whys" I still feel are unanswered, they are so beautifully covered by God's grace that although I have to swallow that lump sometimes....it's getting easier!

    great post H-Mama. you have one beautiful heart!

  6. Could I throw in a reason to the *why*? Because God is using you in HUGE ways to encourage my heart through a kindred spirit of *life* that most friends will not have. You chose to cling to the Savior, not to people. As much as the politics kill me--I have to be careful not to join them but to continuously be washed in grace, breathing in the Gospel so that I can breath out grace. Thankfully, we are finally in a season where the "politics" are at bay. Praise Jesus! Thanks for sharing your heart! Posts like this make me excited for heaven...I think there's going to be a big bloggy meet and greet...right after worshiping our Savior for a lifetime!

  7. Whew! I bet you feel so good just getting all that out there. I love that you've been able to make a list of things you learned instead of being bitter. Awesome attitude!

  8. no right words but just... good post. Thats all. :)


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