Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …


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Wherever You Go

I don’t know if I’d ever recommend a move, career change, break up and a new job in the space of four months, coupled against the backdrop of your family moving to a different part of the country, and several close friends and a roommate marrying and moving away too. But then again, maybe I would recommend it . . .

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Darkness was falling as I loaded the last trash bag full of laundry and smelly costumes into my trunk and locked up the now deserted building. I should be ecstatic. I’d just designed and costumed my first huge children’s stage production. And it was awesome – a smashing success full of color, class, and creativity. But success brings home loneliness in a way that failure never can.

Quietly crying a hoarse whisper croaked from my heart, ‘Lord I just can’t go home right now and face an empty apartment. I can’t.’ His response was an immediate and quiet invitation. ‘Come swing with Me’.

What? Swing? Now, at night? You’re kidding right? Swinging wasn’t a normal part of my life, or what I‘d consider a safe-after-dark activity in the town I was living in. But the alternative quiet of my apt was even less appealing.

Questions that caused sobs to catch in my throat, poured from my soul as I found a swing set across town.

Why Lord? Why?

What now?

I knew it was time to leave my current job and I was terrified of the unknown. When I started in vocational ministry I was practically a kid – wet behind the ears in both life and ministry. Almost a decade later, I was burned out and broken. I had no idea where to go or what to do next. Lord, help. I’d always imagined the leaving of this season of life would match the  entering a new life season with my own family. And yet that wasn’t to be either.

Did I even want to be in vocational ministry any more? It was desperately lonely, complicated, and my heart was smashed into a million pieces, not just by the recent break up, but by some very difficult tensions and ministry situations that were unexplainable to most.

Each breath hurt as I pumped and kicked higher into the air, pointing my toes out of the swirl of emotions around me and13406734_10209894568907516_6002805336326950637_n towards freedom and peace. To each of my tangled questions the Holy Spirit simply answered with a hush on the wind. An hour passed as the Lord whispered ‘Hush’ and the moon rose, a brilliant orange and red.

“Lord, speak to me about the moon! You know how much I love pictures and visible reminders of your faithfulness! I don’t even think I can hear you anymore’.

Silence. Hush.

Kick, pump, swoosh.

Hush, peace. Repeat.

Peace that only the Holy Spirit can minister came in those moments. Without answers, but calm, I headed home to journal, finally able to face the empty apartment.

Staring at a blank page a song came on shuffle, one I didn’t remember hearing before. Cleansing tears flowed as my Father spoke to me about the moon and reminded me of the pursuit of His love and faithfulness for me. Feeling abandoned by all others, He drew me with love and courage for what was ahead as He bandaged the wounds from what was.

“There is a train leaving your heart tonight, there’s a silence inside your head and you’re running, you’re running from it. Down the tracks on a midnight line, There’s a red moon in the sky and you’re running, you’re running from it.

But I’m coming for you, coming for you, wherever you go.

But I’m coming for you, coming for you, wherever you go.

 Father’s and mothers don’t always come through, but I’m never gonna stop following you

Prophets and lovers don’t always hold true, but I’m never gonna stop following you.

So when your wine’s all gone and your well’s run dry, open your hands and look into my eyes; all that you see here, you will soon leave behind, so open your hands and look into my eyes, ‘cause I’m coming for you wherever you go” – Wherever You Go, Audrey Assad

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FullSizeRenderSwinging under the moon that night was a significant turning point and landmark in my life and with the Lord. The 16 months that have followed have daily proved He always, without fail, comes for me. Wherever I’ve gone and into wherever I go, He comes. It’s been some of the most painful and deeply freeing and beautiful months of my life. He’s changed me from a woman of gentle steel, to a messy, free, vulnerable, piece of Art in progress. That much change condensed into a short time may be our undoing, but it’s an undoing that I would recommend.

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Below is Audrey Assad’s song in full. It still brings tears to my eyes, may it also call to your heart. He too will follow you wherever you go, and into the places no one else will or can.

A dear friend painted the above scape for me from a description of the evening. He captured what my heart could not yet see – hope and freedom. He entitled it “An Orange Evening”.