Friday, September 20, 2013

abundant skies

One of my favorite songs I've been re-obsessed with lately is Switchfoot's "Learning to Breathe".  I've been listening to it in the car over and over for the last week.  It has a nice driving acoustic intro and honest lyrics that speak of disappointment, growth, and new beginnings.  While cruising to the church office yesterday, I kept noticing the gorgeous skies above the land of middle class suburbia.  Then I noticed the chorus of the song echoed the view that had captured my attention: 

 "I'm learning to breathe
I'm learning to cry
I'm finding that You and You alone 
can break my fall
I'm living again
awake and alive
I'm dying to breathe in these abundant skies"

It reminds me of the seasons of life...times when our hearts are consciously aware that life is full of such a delicate tension between strife and peace, obstacles and triumphs, anguish and hope.  Often in an effort to control that tight rope and prevent it from snapping, we numb ourselves with apathetic routine or set our minds on an auto-pilot cruise.  We distance ourselves from others, for fear they won't relate to our pain, or worse, might actually shun us because of it.  Having been in ministry for many years now, I have spent much time hearing similar concerns and reactions from people.  It seems to be common that if they don't have much experience living in a community of faith where they feel loved, accepted, nurtured and encouraged that they essentially don't know what they are missing.  So they put on a game face and go through the motions, feeling a false sense of control in that their secrets are hidden and their pain is buried deep.  Therefore, regular life and routine can continue.  Having gone through much in our lifetime, one thing Mark and I have always prioritized is staying in community.  We have had the gift of friendships, mentors, and even counselors to share our burdens with throughout the years.  And it has made all of the difference.  Rarely has any one of these individuals been able to relate perfectly to our situation-especially in having a special needs child...but when God knits hearts together in His capacity for mercy and love, it doesn't always matter.  

I experienced this recently when I was able to catch up with a younger friend of mine.  This girl has a palpable love for Christ and a contagiously sunny disposition.  She seems to bounce into a room with an almost child-like quality of joy, emanating hope and mercy like perfume.  On this day we got to talking in the car and she shared with me how she had suffered a miscarriage a couple months ago.  I listened as she spoke of her heart's struggle to harmonize the deep pain of loss with the tune of Jesus she has so joyfully sung without reservation.  It is a jolting and disturbing thing to have your heart sort of ripped out of your chest, then handed back to you with crevices and cracks that are unfamiliar.  She was in a time of seeking..her broken heart still beating for God, and trying to adjust to the aching that was not there before.  Though I have not experienced a miscarriage, I do understand the emotion of grief.   Loss has a way of turning  the sod you walk upon into a wasteland-everywhere you look of what was once familiar comforts are now rotting and decayed...hardly recognizable.  It can be a lonely and isolating experience.  But because God "the lifter of my head" Psalm 3:3, pulls our gaze upward, we discover those abundant skies are still above us...providing just the right balance of shade and light to show us the way out.  We spoke of how God was showing us both deeper, more intricate parts of His heart that sustain us in ways we never even knew needed.  

When I put Landen on the bus each morning, it is still dark at 6:20.  He always, always has to stop and turn around to look up at the sky, pointing to the stars and searching for the moon.  When he finds it he makes certain that the bus driver knows.  I love that about him...he's not distracted by the usual concerns of life, so he really drinks in his surroundings.  When the bus drives away, I find myself more and more lingering in front of the house, taking a moment to look up and take in the view.

"He brought me into a spacious place;
 He rescued me because He delights in me."
2 Samuel 22:20


1 comment:

  1. Jessica I love you! This is beautiful and heart- warming. You know how to put feelings into words, you are so gifted. I appreciate and love you dearly.