Thursday, July 19, 2012

a level path

"They will come with weeping;
they will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead them beside streams of water
on a level path where they will not stumble..."
Jeremiah 31:9

Being back home has been wonderful in that I am with my family again (and sleeping in my own bed and not standing in line for a shower), but in all other regards it has been difficult.  Coming home knowing that there is more ministry to be done in Anchorage and more teams to prepare for to do that ministry has been hard on me mentally. 
My heart is there and here...here and there. 
I cannot be both places. 
When in one, the other holds something special that draws me back toward it. 
Each day that I was home, my body seemed to readjust to the time just a little more, but my mind was still on what was happening in Alaska.  Each day I felt as if a little more weight was being added to my load instead of being lifted. 
Until Sunday.
That morning I was on the verge of tears most of the morning.  My heart longed to be in Anchorage worshiping with my friends there, preparing for the new teams, and resting in God's goodness that got us through each week of the ministry.  People were joking and carrying on about silly stuff while I knew certain children were going to wake up hungry in just a few hours and perhaps be fending for themselves for most, if not all, of the day.  It just didn't seem right. 
I knew that the evening service was our team sharing about Alaska.  My emotions were so everywhere, how was I going to handle leading my team in this feat that seemed so overwhelming at the moment?
To top it all off, we sang two songs that morning that we sing each week during GraceWorks chapel. 
Really?!
As the praise team led the congregation in our final song of the worship service, I broke down in sobs.  Not just the normal few tears that will readily flow as I sing of and to the God who loves me more than I deserve or can even imagine.  Emotionally filled sobs. 
I had to let go and it hurt.  But as I let go, I could feel God filling me with His presence and His grace.  As I prayed that He would help me to be here more effectively and show me how to live here again in a place that seems so distracted from His work and so closed to hearing about Him and His goodness (and I am talking about the "Bible Belt", folks), I knew He was hearing my pleas.  
As I was praying, I heard the chorus to the song being sang around me..."Through the calm and through the storm...In every high and every low...Lord, you never let go of me."  I was reminded through these words that God has me right where He wants me.  He's got my back.  The low seems great and longstanding, but He is God and He is good and He's going ahead of me and making my path level where He wants me to be walking.
When I read this verse in Jeremiah tonight, I was reminded of Sunday and how God met me where I was...lonely and longing for something more...and He filled me with the best thing ever. 
More of Him.
He is all I need.
I'm just at the beginning of this healing process, but it has begun and even though I'll never be the same again, I know I will be better than okay in the end.    

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