Saturday, April 21, 2012

{perspective}

i'm staring at the cursor, hoping for something to place words where these feelings lie.

where do i begin?  

i've mentioned a time or twenty that my husband and i served in the institutional church world for several years.  our last journey carried the title of senior pastor.  it's a position that no one can understand... unless you've literally walked in the shoes of that title.  i don't say that with a haughty spirit.  honestly, i've never been one to get caught up in titles.  they don't impress me.  i want to know the person behind the title.

as pastors, the highs were high and the lows were, well... low.  a couple of families who disagreed with the direction my husband was leading personally saw to that.  it was no secret.  most people knew there was something brewing behind the scenes.  said family's dad had even been labeled the 'don' of the church.  as if he were the god-father of god?

our 'resignation' mourned by several in our congregation - celebrated by a handful.  that hurt more than i could have ever imagined.  they were, at one time, like family to us.  even sharing holidays together.  tears came quickly for an entire year.  everything i knew was now unfamiliar.   

i also struggled with anger for an entire year.  that's the ugly part.  i know. i know...  turn the other cheek, do unto others, forgive if you want to be forgiven... i'd heard it all.  yet, this smile-n-nod pastor's wife had reached her breaking point.  through it all, my husband's only response was, "if vengeance needs to be taken, let it be the lord's."  i really wished the lord would have used me to do 'his' work that year.

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then something happened.  after we rode a roller-coaster of emotions, our hearts softened.  we no longer felt anger, heart-wrenching hurt, or resentment.  i could drive by the church building without crying.

my identity in christ deepened more than this blinking cursor has vocabulary to explain.

while driving the mom-taxi, i saw him {the don} walk across the street near his business.  and it struck me.  hard.  he was a broken man.  truly, it takes a broken person to be so malevolent of someone.  i still believe that to this day.

this blog neglected to mention that we made it through the doorway of this church building we once pastored back in december, when invited by great friends to watch their christmas performance.  a bit unusual, i know.  but years had passed, and we were there to support our friends.  

surprisingly, there were enormous hugs from one of the few families that hurt us.  they cried tears, without words.  somehow, my heart interpreted them.  their hearts must have taken quite a journey since we saw them last.  we only had one icy stare. ironically, her husband was playing scrooge in the play.  i let it roll off of my back like water along feathers... because she, too, must be broken.

the 'don' and his family were not in attendance for this special service.  i sometimes wonder what his greeting to us would have been.  would his face hold the cheerful grin of victory it expressed when we made our grand exit?  or would he join a few others in a language of tears?  

today, he is mourning a loss.  a loss i would never wish on anyone.  his high-school sweetheart, and wife of many years, passed away last night of a sudden heart attack.  they were gearing up for their oldest granddaughter's bridal shower this weekend and celebrating the youngest graduating high-school this year.  this family is hurting... 

and i'm hurting deeply for them.

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sometimes, life throws a curve-ball that puts priorities in perspective.  

perspective.  i've been thinking about that word a lot lately.  

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complaining comes easy in this life when we focus on ourselves... but we've much to be thankful for, too.

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it would be quite easy for me to focus solely on the fact that a gas station is going up right. behind. our. house.  actually, we are all quite bummed about that.  we were given the impression when we bought our house that the field behind us would remain just that. a field.

but... when i look for it, i can still find a beautiful sunset.  and appreciate a young tree the girls named "thumbelina" when newly planted.  

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my mom doesn't have liver or breast cancer, as she thought might be the case.  that roller-coaster alone aged me this year.  especially after losing my step-dad last year. 

speaking of wrinkles... or crinkles... they seem to be picking up speed.  as deep as they run though, the stories they tell run deeper.  i think i'll keep them.  i think i don't have a choice.

my husband works a lot.  he doesn't teach the girls a homeschool subject, nor does he check my tank for gas each week.  but he is a hard worker; a tech-savvy, cool nerd.  he believes in and supports our homeschool by providing the funds for curriculum that i've spent hours researching.  he cooks the family team breakfast on weekends. he's the vacation planner and tour guide.  he's my help-mate.  he's a keeper.  we wouldn't trade him.  even for another homeschool dad who teaches french.  besides, he gives the bestest hugs.

the mom-taxi van.  oh, yes, it is full of broken handles, an air conditioner which only runs on high - causing an embarrassing awful noise, a hood-liner falling on our heads, etc.  however... for the past 3 years, it has carried priceless cargo without the expense of a monthly note.  for that... i am thankful.  

i will try not to complain about a monthly note when purchasing a new mom-taxi... for it, too, will be carrying precious cargo.


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housework.  how many times have i wondered aloud to myself when the rest of the team will become more diligent in this category?  but the piles that begin to overwhelm me at times serve to remind me that i have people to care for... and who love me in return.

see the lips i found on the mirror?  there are two more just like it... all side by side.  they are still there.  i have an inkling who left them.  no, not the hubs. *giggle*

these are the things i will one day miss.  my mama heart even wants to preserve the messy moments.  well, maybe not the dust on the mirror... just the lips. ;)

i guess what this blinking cursor is trying to say is that life is sometimes messy...

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but if i keep my thoughts and eyes up.  
on what really matters.  
it all falls into perspective.

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maybe that's why i have an affection for the sky... 
when you're looking up,
everything else fades into the background.

16 comments:

  1. Best of luck to both of us with our messy lives. I hope I remember to look up once in a while. I like that thought.

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  2. This is…beautiful and heart-wrenching and so very encouraging. Thank you, my friend, for sharing your heart.

    We've been through something similar, (did you know that, I forget?) and it has taken about 2 years to get through the hurt and anger. I don't honestly know if we could step back into the building like you did.

    Your thoughts on perspective were encouraging and challenging--I've been a bit of a whiner lately.

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  3. Oh sweetie, this was a perfect piece of reflection. And perspective. You have things nailed, and I'm sorry for your once friend's loss. Life is incredibly messy and sometimes it is so. hard. to forgive, but when you do it is a huge weight off your heart. However holding onto anger has its advantages, too. It keeps your wits about you. I know the Lord looks down upon anger towards our fellow man. We are human. And we learn from our mistakes. Also, I would be pretty ticked about the gas station in my back yard. Go ahead and stew about it. I know you will let it go, too. You are strong! You are. :)

    And this was perfect. Hugs! - Alita

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  4. I so needed to read this. It was beautiful. I have had my heart hurt recently in the ministry....am needing to forgive....needing perspective....thanks.

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  5. Really, really good post. Yes, perspective! All too often the "church" becomes a place of strife over power, methods, programs, and carpet color. How beautiful when the "church" acts as the body of Christ through love, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, grace and care. Fresh perspective always happen when we look up! My favorite song sings it...
    "And on that day when my strength is failing
    The end draws near and my time has come
    Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
    Ten thousand years and then forevermore"

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  6. This really touched my heart. I love your funny posts, the ones that leave me snorted Dr Pepper through my nose, but this one made me tear up...for your hurt but mostly because your heart came through it all intact..better than before I would bet.

    You are so right..it is about perspective. The beauty of the life, the lipstick smooches, the tree, the sky, the princess van, all of the really important things.

    I. adored. this. post.

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  7. I love your honesty - and the dust on your mirror :)

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  8. Wow. Such a beautiful post that reflects the heart behind it. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. this is one of my favorite posts of yours so far... it is raw, unbridled honesty and that is refreshing in this day and age of "masks".....beautifully written and full of truth and lessons for us all.....

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  10. Absoulutely beautiful post!!! And a beautiful perspective! Keep looking up! He definitely desires for us to always seek Him. He alone can heal all our wounds.

    I have missed coming to visit your blog. So glad I came tonight to read this!

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  11. This post, more than any others I've ever read by you, made me wish I was near enough to stop by for coffee and a chat. Your heart inspires me, and I could use some time looking at the world with the perspective that's been so hard-won (sometimes painfully) by you.

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  12. oh gosh, i needed this today. we are going through my fil's cancer diagnosis, there is such incredible broken-ness in my husband's family, i changed my blog and started all overa few months ago because of that and now i may be faced with having to somehow let a person who hurt our entire family - extended family, every single member of my husband's family - GREATLY back in. i am going to try looking upward.

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  13. What a beautiful post.

    Today I saw so much of your heart, and it's incredible capacity for not just love, but for forgiveness. Your leaving that church was not your loss, even though it may have hurt as if it were. You were doing God's work, and still are.

    Many hugs.

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  14. so beautiful.
    it's amazing how God can change your heart, and how sometimes time can help with that too...age can be a great perspective changer as time marches on we see what's truly important!
    hugs!
    tara

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  15. just seeing this... I love how God redeems, restores and helps us gain new perspective on past situations. what an encouragement to those around you.

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