And then God sets the sky on fire…for when He sends rescue

It has been a hard day.

A day full of sad news and gushing vulnerability and being reminded about love.

A day when the words, “God is love,” were spoken to me in a million different ways, as if God himself were humming out the mantra.

A day when it was hard to believe it.

And then, just when my stiff upper lip was trembling and the exhaustion of keeping my chin up was rolling over me…just then, in that critical moment of weakness where decisions are made about who God is and how he loves us….just then…

God set the sky on fire….

sunset

via Pam Chupp

And it feels like it is JUST. FOR. ME.

And I know then that “God is love” and that “God does love” and it is real and good and beautiful.

Beautiful Connections

“Beautiful, Beautiful,

Oh I am lost for more to say.”

-Kari Jobe, Beautiful

Getting out of bed this morning was really hard.  Sure, there was the standard post-holiday-Monday blues, but something more. A heaviness followed me into my day today.  Dreams of “other shoes dropping” and such haunted my Sunday night slumber- nightmares that riled up all manner of fear and vulnerability and left a pall over the sunny morning.

Thirteen years ago, I fell down and broke my crown….no, I mean literally bonked my noggin hard.  Hard enough to cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Hard enough to forget who I was. Hard enough to forget how to speak.  It was a terrifying and lonely year stuck inside my own head, unable to communicate…having to relearn the names of numbers and letters and objects and people that I loved. It was the hardest and darkest time I have ever had to live through.

And I don’t EVER want to go back there…..not ever.

Last night, I dreamed I did.  Last night was the stuff of my worst nightmares, and when I woke this morning, I carried that sadness and fear with me into my day.  I didn’t talk about it though (can anyone say vulnerable?), I was afraid my mascara might run. I just slapped some pretty pink lipstick on it and kept on keeping on.

I am not really sure why these memories are flaring up now.  Why these demons laid to rest over long fought months are rearing ugly heads today.

I think it may have something to do with the Alzheimer’s class I am teaching at Home Instead Senior Care.  I use my experiences to help our Caregivers understand what our clients are going through. Maybe staying in that space is dredging up baggage I thought long put away.But I do know that God opened a safe space for me to talk through the fear tonight after class in the most beautiful, unexpected way.

I love how he creates connections for us.  Beautiful connections…I love how each person is such a beautiful gift to the world with a story to unwrap and unfold.  As the students were leaving class tonight, one lingered. We began to talk and share…we found connection and interest, and before long were talking about my TBI and my rehab and then….out of nowhere….my fear. And then she shared her story and her fear, and together, well I felt, not so alone in it.  It was a beautiful moment of connection…one of many I have enjoyed through the teaching of this class.

As I drove home, I picked up a cd in the dark and popped it in the player…The first song, “Beautiful” by Kari Jobe. As I sang along, I felt the fear in me melt away.The sadness pushed back to dark corners by the force of the notes pushed out of my lungs as I laid my burdens down. And my heart felt light and free again.

Thank you, Jesus, for beautiful connections, for divine appointments, and even, Lord for the hard memories that help me encourage empathy in others.  Thank you for people who create safe places just with their presence and for music that allows our prayers to leave our hearts without having to fully grasp what is needed.   

His,

“Here before your altar, I am letting go of all I’ve held.

Of every motive, every burden, everything that’s of myself.”