Tight closed I feel this morning not wanting any other to know my thoughts or feelings. But I will write.
My heart breaks and I wonder why God does not heal.
Why God, don’t you heal these three young brains damaged by alcohol before their tender lungs sucked their first breaths of earth air? Why God, do you let them struggle to live, day-by-day, not able to communicate like most others, unable to think like most others though they have beautiful souls and oh-so-normal-looking faces?
Sometimes I wish they looked obviously different so someone, anyone, everyone would give them a break—would give them a handful of grace. But no. We walk through our days looking normal. All-American normal. No one even suspects they are adopted, let alone Russian. Most people don’t know our struggles to get through our days. But God knows.
I plead for God’s grace poured through human vessel. I need Jesus. And sometimes I need Jesus with skin on. I need a human hand, a human voice, a human embrace to help me feel Jesus when my body shakes and my soul cries and I just—feel—like—giving—up. Don’t we all?
Want to know what I heard last week at a conference where 400 women gathered to learn about writing, blogging, publishing? I heard we crave authenticity. I heard we crave true stories. I heard we crave people willing to be vulnerable—to share weakness—to show under-belly.
We picked up our puppy today from “hunting camp”. She has been in training for the past ten days. Doggie boot camp, we call it at home. Know what Puppy Rose did when she saw me, when she ran up to me? She flopped down, flipped over, and showed me her under-belly.
“You’re my master. I submit to you because I know you love me and you would never hurt me and I’m sooooooooo glad to see you! Take me home! I’m ready!”
Open. She’s open—oh, so open!
Are we open to whatever our God gives us? Are we open to wherever our God leads us? What if He allows us pain? What if He leads us into loss? What if He doesn’t heal but lets us stay in our place—broken—different—vulnerable?
I ask these questions every day. I ask these questions of God, my God. I wrestle with what I know of God and what I know of my rawness here in the day-to-day. I have screamed wanting answers. I have screamed rejecting my lot. I have screamed, “Thy will be done!” even in the midst of excruciating emotional pain.
I have been broken. And now I’m breaking open.
I hiked today with my husband—my gentleman farmer—God-gift husband. We walked our trails he cut through our 44 acres of God-formed, gorgeous land. Milkweed have broken open.
Milkweed. The only “weed” I allow to grow in my many gardens because I love their purpose. They grow to feed. They feed monarchs and bees and milkweed bugs. Hummingbirds use their silk to line their nests so they can bring new life into this world. And in the fall, right now, milkweed look dead. They are dry and brittle and they look useless. Monarchs have flown. Hummingbirds have migrated. Milkweed seem to have been forgotten. Dry. Dead.
They dry and die so they can open and spread. They crack and tear and spill their guts. And the wind carries their contents—seeds blown to God-designated places into earth ready to receive and incubate and nourish and . . .
In spring, in perfect time, seed breaks open. Seed starts new milkweed that scatter throughout our fields and all through my gardens. And we let them grow because they feed. They feed the life we have come to love—the butterflies, the bees, the bugs striped red and black with tickling antennae when held. These plants—these broken, dried up, open plants—they teach me—they feed my soul with truth.
“Allow yourself to be dried up!” they plead. “Allow yourself to be opened! Allow yourself to have your inner parts seen and spread so that new life can begin! Allow our God to dry you, to break you, to open you, to spread you, to grow new life through you!”
Yes! YES! This is what makes me want to face each new day despite challenges. No matter how difficult, no matter how painful—our God has a plan and a purpose—
His thoughts are not my thoughts. His ways are not my ways. They are higher. Oh, so much higher!
He knows what He’s doing—far better than I.
And you know what I like best?
It’s safe to show Him my under-belly.
It’s safe to let Him break me open.
It’s wonderful to let Him set me free to spread and fall and break open and multiply.
Breaking open to others? Might not always be safe with others, but—I am—
And as for my kids? Oh, how I wrestle and plead and beg for healing, for anything close to normal. Oh, how I want the best, maybe just the normal—whatever THAT is—for them in this life. And then . . .
I realize that they already HAVE the BEST in this life, far beyond the normal. They already have a real relationship with their Maker, the lover of their souls. They already have everything anyone could ever want in this life—true love—true life—true hope—true peace—and a true, beautiful, eternal future.
This world and its values are NOT all there is. This world will pass away but our eternal life cannot be taken from us. And in God’s economy, broken brains can still love Him. Broken brains can still feel Him. Broken people who know their poverty—be it physical or spiritual—WILL inherit the kingdom of God.
How do I know this? He promised.
His track record for keeping promises is PERFECT.
So, after waking up anxious and wrestling and wondering—
I have concluded, once again—
It is good to be broken—and opened, after all.
Because, after all, we are ALL in His hands and He only breaks to heal and grow and multiply goodness.