Reconciling Jesus

Here’s how my sermon prep really goes. I read the text, I pick liturgy and hymns a few months in advance, then I don’t really look at it again until the week of. Then I read commentaries are the text works on me (yes, works on me) through the Holy Spirit all week. I look for stories and modern day examples to use, but don’t write a lot of words down, maybe an outline.

I knew this week would be hard because it’s the first time divorce has come up in the lectionary since I’ve been divorced. I looked at past sermons, wow… did I not have a clue how hurtful this text was.

So, here’s my sermon from today, the congregation loved it but so did I. I took a deep breath and disagreed with Jesus. Then, I decided to reconcile with him too. God is not black and white friends, and we can’t take scripture that way either.

Have a listen:

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You Will Know, When You Know

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At my first church I moved only a few hours from my Aunt and Uncle whom I didn’t really know. My parents were the older siblings in their families and had children young, my sister and I are almost a decade older than our cousins. My aunt, then having small children watched as I officiate Easter Worship and interacted with my congregation. I was 25 years old. I had been married for 2 years and she could not fathom how “grown up” I was.

“You have a very adult job” she told me. I really wasn’t sure if it was a compliment or a criticism (in my head I heard “you’re playing with fire, you cannot handle this”). I did have a very grown up job, and I was (and still am) good at it. Sure, there are times when my “youth” equates to poor judgement, but as I get older, it’s simply moments of poor judgement, guess what? Who has two thumbs and is human? This chick.

But it is scary for all of us. How do we know we are saying or doing the “right” thing? Sometimes I have to impart wisdom in life or death situations and it’s scary. Yet, I can say this with confidence, I’m a smart girl, I actually do have a lot of wisdom to impart (through the grace of God), despite the fact that I am only 36 years old. So… here’s some tidbits.

When you’re mad at God, it means that you love God with your whole heart, mind, and soul. Scenario: I am a chaplain in a hospital. A family is trying to care for their mother who is dying, it will be hours, not days. She is cursing God, she is in pain, she is grieving for her life. The family (a more conservative type of Christian) is sincerely worried that she will die and “not be right with God” and therefore go to hell. They believe this despite a lifetime of Christian service and faith. I sat with them, I talked through it with them, and then I asked them a question. When is the last time you were angry at someone, I mean really angry? Was it with someone you knew casually? Or was it someone you loved?

The last time we were truly mad is not over the guy who cut us off on the interstate.  The truth is, we only are truly angry at the people we love most. Our partner, our children, our parents, our friends, ourselves. When your mother is cursing God, it’s because she loves God, if she didn’t she wouldn’t care.

I know it hurts, but that’s how you know it is love. Scenario: I had trouble getting pregnant and high risk pregnancies, so much so that I became friends with the ultrasound tech. For over a year I saw this woman bi-monthly, weekly, and then bi-weekly. Each time we would talk for about a half hour. When I went back for baby #2, she had just returned from maternity leave with her first. “I’m scared all the time, and I cry, constantly, at everything, does this ever end?” Yes, sometimes, no- no it does not. Yes, the hormones subside and you will cry less, but this feeling of dread, fear, and hurt? This feeling that you no longer have full control of your heart? No. She looked at me with massive amounts of dread.

It’s the consequence of experiencing real love. Any relationship involves risk, it’s the nature of relationship, but putting yourself out there in the most vulnerable ways possible and allowing yourself to experience real love, well, there is always a fear of losing. I have said this with new parents, with people grieving for someone who died, and to people at the end of marriages. When the pain is so devastating, so raw, so real – that’s when you know it is real love.

You will know when it’s time. Scenario: A woman sits before me in kidney failure, she is tired of dialysis, she is exhausting her children and she hates it, she has been talked to about hospice over a dozen times. “What do I do?” she asks me. Of course I can’t answer that, so I say to her what I have said a hundred times in the past.

When it comes to life and death, you’ll know. And when you know, you know, until then, you’re not ready. When it comes to life and death – of a person, of a marriage, of any relationship – if you don’t know (no matter how hard and painful it is) then you’re not ready. Because when it comes to a death, you and the ones you leave behind have to know, beyond a doubt, in the midst of their grief that they did everything possible and that you are sure or they simply will not be able to live with themselves. I have seen it time and time again, the moment where the wrestling ends and every fiber of their being knows what to do. 

All these scenarios happened within the first 5 years of my ministry. They are words of wisdom I have repeated time and time again. They are not “new” and I did not “think of them” they were gifts of the spirit. Moments in which I got to be the incarnation of Sophia (God’s wisdom). Yesterday I was reminded of them again and I wanted to share. Love to you all.

Just Keep Swimming

I have a 4 letter word for you. Those of you who know me will not be surprised, I say a lot of 4 letter words. This one, however is different, it feels shameful, one I cannot speak in private or in public.

Debt.

Last night I sat in a meeting where we evaluated a 2016 budget. Well, 3 budgets actually. And when all is said and done, those 3 budgets will add up to over a million dollars. I read a story during the opening devotion of that meeting that talked about the way we grew up talking about money. Some grew up with small family owned businesses or farms where they very much “knew the value of a dollar.” Others, like me, grew up in homes that never discussed money.

I was privileged in my childhood, I grew up in a middle class family where we had more than we needed, but we also lived above our means. If you didn’t have the money for it, that’s okay, that’s what credit was for. There was an, “I’ll deal with it later” attitude.

When you live like this, I have learned as I continued this pattern for a while as an adult, you have “everything you want” but are constantly under the weight of debt, and that, friends, is a heavy burden.

I have spent very little of my adult life where I did not owe someone something. Some of this is “good debt” like student loans, mortgage, car loans, etc. these are not the things that weigh me down as much, they have good interest rates and were “investments” (although NOT what they used to be.) Other debt is “bad debt”, like credit card debt.

Credit card debt didn’t become a became a problem for me after my first child was born. I worked full time out of the manse of the church and my husband was in law school, then the financial decline of 2008 and he graduated and no job. By the time we moved to Maryland in 2012 my daughter was 4 and I the amount of credit card debt I had accumulated was equal to the childcare costs for my children over the last 4 years. I didn’t think this was bad, I made $30,000 a year and was the sole income provider for 3 of those 4 years. It felt manageable.

At that time my husband and I had been married for 9 years, we had 2 kids, gotten 2 master’s degrees during that time and the only way we lived outside of our means was equal to what we had paid nannies and preschools.

So what changed?

The rabbit hole that is credit card debt is deep and great. I was taught how to move money around to get the best interest rates and “tried” to pay off the debt. Then, divorce.

Now, divorce is devastating emotionally and physically. But here is my public service announcement: Divorce screws you financially in every possible way.

First, I lose half my household income. My ex and I make roughly the same amount right now, he is a lawyer who has been practicing for under 5 years and I am a minister with 12 years experience, and share our kids 50/50. All of which is good, no one pays alimony or child support until our income changes (which his mostly likely will significantly and mine incrementally over the years). We took our respective debts (cars, student loans, mortgage) and split the joint debt in half. All of this is great in theory, but…

Banks are the devil, we all knew this right?

It all makes sense and all, BUT I was married for 12 years, most of the credit card debt was in my name alone, and some of the larger debts (car, personal loan, etc.) was in our name jointly. I had the better credit and for half of our marriage was a sole income provider, so it makes sense that the majority of the debt would be in my name.

Banks could care less. You think Chase cared what my divorce decree says when I tell them, “yeah, my ex-husband is responsible for that debt, so really, when you run my debt to income ratio, that’s not right…” no. And they also cut my credit in half due to the fact that my household income is less.

I get it, I understand it mentally, but after all the pain, after all the emotional turmoil, after all the investment in a life that will no longer exist, I feel as if I have been stripped to nothing and shackled with large chains of debt – a car I wouldn’t have bought (and yes, I have one of those, thanks VW), a house I wouldn’t have bought, a lifestyle I wouldn’t have lived if I had known that I would be raising 2 children on a pastor’s salary alone. I am standing in quicksand and someone is yelling “just keep swimming” and so I simply sink faster.

It’s stressful. It’s heartbreaking. It’s exhausting. It plays into the “never enough” fear and I have no idea what to do next. This is not an unusual story, especially for people my age and in my position. This does not make it better…

(Update: I don’t ACTUALLY need 6 million dollars, but you get the idea…)

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Part Time Mother

 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.        ~ Romans 8:38-39

For the last year I have shared custody with my ex-husband. We have 50/50 custody, we live about a mile apart, we are (for the most part) amicable in this arrangement. I am lucky. There has not been any scaring or damaging court battle. We do not pin our children against each other. We have our complaints, but overall, we co-parent as well as two people ever could. We do not speak ill of each other or put our children in the middle of our own disagreements in front of our children. We make every decision together. This is the way it has always been since we became parents, this is the way, we both pray, it will always be.

When we first separated I read a lot of articles like this one and this one about brave women being honest about how they enjoyed their time away from their children and how they are better moms for it. I admit, I thought this would be me, and some days, it is. Some days are hard and I’m glad I don’t “have my children” those days. I have the flexibility to schedule meetings without the “guilt” of not being home for dinner. I can go to yoga without having to worry about what time the kids need to be picked up. Last night I didn’t eat dinner until 9pm and no one complained but me.

Truth is though, I had that before too.

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I was never intended to be a “mother” the way my foremothers were (BTW- spellcheck wants to change that to “forefathers” or “housemothers” I kid you not). I didn’t seek, nor ever intended to be a stay-at-home mom. In fact, I really wish I had it in me, I feel like a lesser mother because I don’t. (guilt for women if you do, guilt if you don’t…) But alas, I am a career mom (and proud for many reasons of it).

The agreement with having children in the first place was we had to be equal partner in it all. I was not cut out to do it alone. My ex-husband stayed home for 6 months at a time with each of our children when they were babies, I went back to work 8 weeks after giving birth both times, and was ready to do so. Yes, I took care of them as I worked from home many days a week, parenting was never one sided, it was always together. Seriously, he and I could write a book on model co-parenting. (PS- It’s consistency. Particularly with communication and scheduling).

In fact, I didn’t notice the problems in our marriage for so long because we were such great co-parents. We had great communication. We rarely had issues where the kids were concerned. We covered with and for each other, we were in agreement with the daily decisions and the big ones, we worked together. We do still, but it is very different.

I have no idea what they’re doing when they are not with me. We have issues with little things like not brushing my daughter’s hair or using the right shampoo (with my kids, hair is a big problem), did they get their allergy medicine? All the shoes and coats got left at his house and change of weather clothing is a demon in and of itself!

When I first separated people were trying, and trying hard to help me see a bright side. “I would kill for a weekend alone!” Guess what, those weekends alone? I don’t know what to do with myself! When I have my kids it’s exhausting and overwhelming, when I don’t, I get depressed. It’s all or nothing, no moderation. But it’s actually not “nothing.”

Because I may only have my kids part of the time, but that does not make me a part time mother. 

YES- I like going out without paying a babysitter. YES- I like having a Saturday without catering to every whim. YES- I like eating cookies and ice cream for dinner without explaining myself. YES- I love sleeping in.

But that does not mean on those days I stop being a mother. That I don’t think about, make decisions for, or feel guilt about not being with them.

In Romans, Paul lends beautiful pros to how God loves us. There is nothing we can do or not do to separate the love. If we reject God, God does not reject us. There is no way for God to STOP being God.

I am doing the best I can. Truth is, I have the “ideal” setup for divorced parents and it sucks. I want my kids all the time AND I want to share the responsibility of parenting, we just can’t be married or live together anymore. Do I stop being a mother when my kids are at school, or when they’re on a play date? No. You cannot separate me from my motherhood. Not having my kids all the time does not make me a part time mother. There is no such thing as being a part time mother. Period.

I am a mom. I am divorced. I share custody of my children. On the days I do not see my kids, I am still a mom.

By the way, If you sang Steve Wonder when reading this title, we are bonded forever as friends.

Belonging

This last year has been horrendous. I can’t even tell you all the things. The people that know every story of the last year are sick of me (they just have to be). They love me and say I’m not a burden, I am SO grateful, but this year has been more than “drama” it’s been nonstop pain, sadness, depression, circumstances that could have been prevented and some not. Loss after loss after loss.

Every week my therapist braces himself. I don’t think a week of this year has gone by without him tearing up at least once a session. Do you know what it’s like to have your life so broken that your therapist cries for you? Consistently!?!

For the last 2 years I have waited to fall part. I’ve been worried about myself. I’ve had to let others worry about me. I’ve had to let others help me in ways I couldn’t refuse. I worried, they worried. How long can I handling being under this amount of stress? How much more can my body take? Physically? Emotionally? Spiritually? When will this end? The most hopeful and promising things the people closest to me have said is, “I will not be the next thing.” (*Deep Breath*) “May it be so,” I pray.

This past week the Jenga tower fell.

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Over the last two years pieces have been removed one by one slowly, the tower was close to falling over and over and over again, but this week, finally, the piece that held the tower up, tipped the scales. I have never felt so hopeless. Ever. Where did I belong? To whom did I belong? If one more thing happened I can’t handle it. Where would I go? Who would I lean on? Then, in full traumatized fashion, there was a moment of needing to push those people away before I had a chance to get hurt. Then I stopped.

When a Jenga tower falls it never completely falls, there is at least the base, maybe one or two left on the second level. I reached out to the base when the tower fell. The people that will never leave, the people that will never betray, the people who will take me seriously when I say “it’s bad.”

Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die– there will I be buried. May the LORD do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.

I am a complicated woman who has had a complicated life. Like Naomi, I have lost much. Not everything. But enough. People have left as it got too hard for them. I let them go, some freely and willfully, others with gnashing of teeth and covering myself in ashes. But to those Ruth’s in my life, I say thank you. You have bound yourself to me, and deserve more than I could every repay.

You have bound yourselves to me in the worst of times. I am a child of God, always, but you have proven and insisted that I also have other family. No matter my name, no matter my city, no matter my heritage. I am my beloveds and my beloveds are mine. God help them, as they have insisted: they will go where I will go, they lodge where I will lodge, their people shall be my people and their God, my God. They will not be the next thing.

I am not alone, I belong.

Safe Space

Everyone needs a safe space, a space they can be themselves in, completely free. No filter, no judgement, no worry, even just for a small time.

In a safe place we can actually talk a lot of the pain of life, the pain of the past, self-loathing, existential crisis. We can also talk about joy, no doubt, no question at all. But in our pain we receive support from this person/group; love, caring, a sense of community that we all long for. Scratch that, it is not a sense of community, we receive community if it is truly a safe space.

No one is going to tell on you, no one judge you badly. There may be push back, lively discussion but we will not turn on each other. I admire that our Jewish sisters and brothers have kept this in their use of theology. Argument is key when discussing faith and scripture. For them argument leads to divine revelation. For us, argument is bad, Christians imply there is one right way and answer.

So we hide our thoughts and our feelings, all of us, on some level, because we are not “safe”. I spent most of my seminary days feeling like they were going to kick me out because I wasn’t “sure” if Christ was “the way the truth and the life” I had no idea what exclaiming what “Jesus is Lord” meant. Hell, I’ve never really been to Sunday School!

So I kept those thoughts to myself, those thoughts (among others- including what I thought about justice, women, sexuality, etc.) became secrets, a secret identity. The problem with secrets is this: they eat at you, they are shame’s lover. They imply you’re doing something wrong.

When I was married I kept secrets from my husband. My husband knew about my past, I didn’t keep details from him, he knew about my problems, what I kept secret from him is how they affected me. When issues of past trauma would arise (as they inevitably do for all of us) I would keep those feelings secret and hide them from him. Letting him into the details is not the same as letting him in.

It was wrong on so many levels.

Secrets breed fear. I was ashamed of fears, I was afraid he wouldn’t handle them (note: not couldn’t handle them, wouldn’t). I was afraid he would tell me to move on, get over it, suck it up. This would not be the first time I would have heard these things, but coming from him they would have been devastating. I needed a safe space so badly that I secluded my way out of one.

I needed safety and freedom and I was my own worst enemy in destroying it.

Oh, he said plenty of stupid things, did plenty of stupid things, no doubt. But there is a difference between keeping my stuff private and keeping things secret. In privacy we may not be ready to talk about it, but we can at least speak our realities to ourselves, not push our feelings away, and perhaps, allow someone else to take care of us, even if they don’t know all the details of what is happening.

If you keep it private you have the opportunity to mourn without shame, you will struggle without fear, you don’t have to you are choosing to. You will be transparent in vulnerability. In secrets you will stuff them down until they are like water on pavement, they will find every crack and crevice. They will find their way out.

I am learning, slowly, to be good to myself, allow myself to be loved in order to receive the benefits of a safe space. My friends, who love me, are forming me to do this, calling me when I try to hide from them. Having a safe space is not devoid of hurt, it means hearing painful things or retelling painful things. But it is also an honest, open relationship, even in it’s private.

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Bloom: End of Year Review

On January 1, 2014 I published this post: Bloom. As I explain it was not a New Years Resolution but an embrace of the year. Well, the year is not quite over, but with two weeks left I feel I can safely write a year in review.

Used With Permission

Used With Permission

Bloom, it was such an optimistic word. I talked about the layers of complexity, I touched on the fact that the bloom was still fragile, for me I had no idea how fragile this year would make me. My marriage ended, my home has been split apart, I am navigating as a single parent and a single woman. All the while pastoring a church full of complexity, as any institution. I’ve lost a staff member and creative partner to relapse. I’ve lost friends, not just in divorce, but through death. I’ve been heartbroken by the news and the state of the world over and over again.

I’ve struggled more days than not this year to get out of bed. I’ve revisited more issues and had more triggers come up in this year than any other. I doubled my therapy sessions. I’ve cried almost everyday. I’m exhausted all the time. Every time I’ve turned a corner or another week there’s been “one more thing” that’s happened.

This year has been the shittiest year of my life. By far the most painful.

I think about the word bloom, I thought the word was picked because I was blossoming, opening, spreading my wings to fly. But in all reality, the year taught me how fragile life is. Which brings me back to the bloom of a flower. It is the most fragile part of the plant. The roots, the stalk, the leaves all sturdy, but the bloom needs to be protected. There are countless elements that can harm the bloom. Too hot/cold, too much/little water, it rains too hard, the wind blows too hard, animals eat them. Even if the bloom survives all these elements it still only lasts a few days before death. It is the definition of fragile.

One of the things I admire most about blooms is their ability to protect themselves. During the day they open wide and bask in sunlight, at night, they close in and protect themselves. I will shine because of this year, and am many ways I am. I have grown in confidence in myself and my abilities more than ever before. There has been a renewal of self-respect and allowing myself grace. I have also discovered the beauty of allowing others to help me, that’s the thing about your world being completely different than it was a year ago, I’m too tired to hold up that heavy wall I’ve been using to keep people out.

Last year I struggled to find a word to define my year. Even when I picked “Bloom” I was in a lot of denial about my life and the circumstances of what was happening around me. However, it has not been an inappropriate word, just turned out a little differently than expected.

2015’s word, however, has come freely and easily. It’s coming soon, wait for it…

When Healing Hurts

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My first child was born by emergency c-section after 22 hours of labor. My body was exhausted and shutting down. Days later I had an infection in the incision site. It took 3 months of a nurse’s daily attention and another 3-6 months of weekly then monthly attention for my wound to heal. Everyday the nurse would come, I would cry, sometimes because of the pain, sometimes because of the annoyance, sometimes because I just needed to cry.

She would reassure me that I was making progress, that healing took time, that I was doing well. She would even try to show me, measuring the area. “You’re healing,” she would say, “you are.” When it first happened I asked the doctor how long I would have to do this. He was smart enough to lie. “A week?” I asked, “two?” “Maybe a little longer,” he said.

The process took almost 9 months. 3 days to create, 9 months to heal.

Yesterday I had a difficult therapy session. I have a gaping wound in my heart and I’ve done such a good job covering it up that there are some who forget that it’s there.

Like me.

I’m back in that exam room asking how long it’s going to take to heal. I’m naive enough to think it’ll be sooner than later.

Healing takes time, and it hurts. I like to think of healing as such a nice word, we even have services of “Healing and Wholeness” but it is painful. Maybe not as painful as getting the wound, but it’s harder and more difficult. Getting the wound is like ripping off the band-aide, no matter how long it took to get it, it happens and your body can’t feel all the feels at the same time so adrenaline kicks in. When you heal the adrenaline subsides and you feel the pain from the inside out. It’s numbing at times, sharp and stabbing at others and annoying as hell.

If I lay here and don’t move it doesn’t hurt. But that only lasts so long because eventually you have to move and the longer you wait, the more painful it is.

When will I learn, I wondered yesterday, that stuffing down the pain actually takes more work, more energy than simply dealing with the pain?

The pain finds a way out, no matter how hard I try. I get upset at stupid things, or project my anger onto something or someone else. The wound is still there no matter how well I triage it. Allowing myself space to be angry or sad or whatever it is I’m feeling is actually healing, I am healing. But it’s going to take a long, long time. And the process sucks.

Vulnerability begets Vulnerability

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I wrote a post last fall on the importance of kindness. My little advice on how to be kind, you may find it here. I don’t often talk a lot about kindness since I grew up in the south and the “nice” portion of that often meant sweeping truths under the rug, backstabbing, and the like. Call it a trigger word, whatever. Also my personality has always a little “cruel to be kind” in it, it’s the rebel in me.

I tend to use words like – grace, mercy, love – these imply so much more than kindness or “being nice”. I wear my heart on my sleeve, there was a time in my life that I could not pretend to hide if I did not like you, I could not contain the feelings, mostly because I was so emotionally broken.

These days I am emotionally broken in a different way. Through years of therapy and spiritual discernment I am emotionally healthy, yet, with separation and divorce, loss and grief, I am emotionally raw. Over the last few weeks, as my news has become public, I have struggled to keep my emotions at bay, yet, I have been met with grace, mercy, and love. 

Yesterday I returned to church for the first time since going public with the news of the separation. I was vulnerable. I have been vulnerable and my congregation responded to vulnerability beautifully, with vulnerability. They not only met me in it but became vulnerable themselves.

Because vulnerability begets vulnerability. Honesty begets honesty, love begets love, mercy, grace, and so on. It has not been easy for them, for anyone who knows and cares for my family, but it is not about ease, it is about authentic relationship. 

There were many reasons I needed to keep the troubles in my marriage a secret from “the world”. I do not think that was the wrong choice, I talked to whom I needed to, I sought help, and I lived in genuine hope of reconciliation. But this choice left my community and many of my relationships in the dark about what was happening in my life. They are not mad, it’s not about that, but it has reminded me that we are masters at putting on a happy face for the world and hiding, masking what is really going on inside of us.

Since the news has gone public in my community people’s stories are coming out of the woodwork, not just of past struggles but of complications in life that, usually by choice, they are keeping secret until the time is right.

So be kind. Or better yet, treat others with grace and mercy and love. Because we are broken people who are masters at hiding our pain.

God is Doing a New Thing

fontThis week I had the privilege of leading chapel with my DMin class, as we planned we chose this text from Isaiah:

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise. ~Isaiah 43:18-21

Some of you may already know, although it has not been publicly announced on this blog or social media that my husband and I are separated. It is a fairly new reality, as the official separation started July 2 when I left for this trip. When I return home my home life will be completely different. Monday we will meet with a family therapist and deal with the realty of telling our children. We have yet to tell them given that they were without a parent for almost 2 weeks.

As anyone who has ever gone through separation and divorce knows this is not a simple admission. And for those of you who haven’t, I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it is. As a child of divorce I understand all too well that children are resilient, yet I also understand that this will forever change my children and the life I dreamed for them.

I have a great community, friends, and the support of family, both blood relation and not. I have a wonderful therapist and a church who supports and comforts me. However, this is a difficult, vulnerable, and very raw time in my life. Everything has changed, and over the next year of this separation and impending divorce everything will continue to change.

Isaiah’s message is that God is going a new thing. For me, a new thing is definitely happening, I don’t know if God is doing it or not, but it is happening. However, my faith tells me that God is always doing, reforming, “working” on me. But what is provocative about this text is – notice where the new thing is… it’s in the wilderness and the desert. It’s in a difficult place. We like to lift up a “new thing” as if it is the salvation from the old thing, but there’s a part of me that really liked that old thing. I was comfortable there. I liked being married, I liked my family, no it wasn’t perfect, but I was happy and wanted it to work.

Maybe this “new thing” is for the best, although I admit, I can’t quite perceive that yet, or maybe I just need to believe that. But right now I am tired and thirsty in the desert. Right now I am cold and lost in the wilderness.

God will make a path, and God will make the waters come, Isaiah says. Because sin and death does not have the last word, because I will not sit in this darkness forever, because I believe in a God of resurrection, a God of a new thing, even when I cannot yet perceive it.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus, and guide my way. Amen.