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Friday, April 12, 2013

Deep Wounds, Deepening Faith

I've started writing this blog about 4 times.  But it takes me to a place I don't want to go and so when it starts getting hard I close the computer and walk away.  Here I go again.

Ok, it's the next day, I'm back.

In four, make that three, days we will make the trip back to Canada.  This past week we received the news we dreaded to hear.  The cancer is terminal, stage 4.

Despite the fact that I think in my belly I've known this was coming for months now, the reality of reading those words hit me hard.

Palliative.  Comfort measures.  Not going home.

I cried.  I sobbed.

Lord, be like balm to my wounds, cover them with your sacred ointment, carry me when I can no longer walk, make a soft place for us to lie down.

One might be inclined to think during this time of heartache, and after the other three deaths we have experienced this year that I might be tempted to shake an angry fist at God, to distance myself from him for 'allowing' all of this suffering in my life.

The opposite, however, is happening.  My faith is deepening to new incredible depths.

Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted...Matthew 5:4

I think I feel God's presence in my life more now than I ever have.  I can almost feel the weight of his arm on my shoulder as He walks this path along side me, and on the days when I just can't walk, I feel him lift me up.

His provisions for us have been overwhelming.  'You need a car? Here's 3 to choose from! You need a place to live, here's 3 to choose from! Need clothes for your kids-here's a bunch'. His generosity knows no limits.

A time like this can do all kinds of crazy things to a family.  Especially one with 6 siblings 5 spouses and many children with opinions and feelings.  But what's happening in mine is like a purse string; the tension of the situation, the anguish we're all feeling is pulling on us but pulling us closer together.  Thank you Jesus for causing so many children to 'happen' to my parents, it definitely wasn't their plan, but it was yours and it was perfect.  I don't know what I would do without all of them to go through this with.

I've never had such conflicting feelings.  Those of grief and joy co-existing in my heart simultaneously.

Every felt and spiritual need is being met and more.  My cup runneth over.

I leave you with this song, written and performed by a very dear friend Kris MacQueen.  It about sums up how I'm feeling right now:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Father, Our Father

It is said that most little girls look for the things in a man that remind her of her father.  The relationship we have with the first man in our lives is fundamental in how we will later relate to the opposite sex.  It is also formative to how we will relate to God.

God is often referred to as 'Father'.  The bible makes this reference many times.  Jesus calls him Father, Abba, which in those times was equivalent to calling God 'Daddy'.  A familiar, and intimate term.  Not at all the big bearded man on a high throne looking down on you.

I am blessed with a loving father, a father who, when I was young and scared in the night would enfold me with his strong arms and in an instant all of my fears would melt away.  I was safe.  I was with my Daddy, the 'boogie man' didn't dare come near.

He fought fires for a living, he wasn't just my hero he was a uniformed hero who drove a big red truck, saving houses and lives.  He created for me the image of a father who was loving, funny, forgiving, strong and kind.

And so, when I hear the phrase 'God the Father' I don't recoil thinking about someone who would sooner strike me down than look at me.  Someone who waits for me to make a mistake so they can pour out their wrath.

Instead, I think of a man who lights up when I return after a long absence, who doesn't want to let go when it's time for me to leave, who loves me unconditionally, who encourages me to be everything I was born to be, who believes in me.  This is the lens through which I see God.

So thank-you Dad, for being the kind of earthly father that made it easy for me to accept the love of the one in Heaven.
Me, My Dad, my sister and my oh so un-photogenic Mom :)