Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Back Roads

There is a lot of big change happening in my life. And honestly, it has had me all kinds of twisted up inside. I realize that things like this just happen. Life IS change. And I realize that part of "growing up" (even though I really hate that I am) is coming to the recognition that things, especially friendships, ebb and flow; and that is what life is. Painful? Absolutely.
But remember my tendency to cuddle up with anxiety and worry? That part of me makes change incredibly difficult. And it is way too easy to only see the hard part about change. The sticky, rough, and painful part of change is what is clear as day to me. So as I've come to this inevitable recognition that some of the people I've poured into the past two or three years are no longer a part of my daily life, that I will no longer live in the city I've always lived in, MY city, and that in six months time a third of my siblings will be scattered across the country, I've been litigating with the Lord.
I know what His character is. I know, and gratefully recall, all the mighty ways that He has been sweet to me and my family in various ways over the years. And I have been trying to figure out why my life now, with all of it's change, doesn't seem to line up with those things I know. And the answer I keep getting (and regretfully, continue to argue with)continues to echo "Be still and know that I am God.", "Our God is in the heavens, He does whatever pleases Him.", "Look at the birds of the air... are you not much more valuable than they?", and something like "I am God and you are not."
That has not been enough for me. My confused and reeling pain over some of these things has blinded me to believing and trusting those things. I have been convinced that the Lord is NOT for me, and that nothing is good. I don't understand why some of these things have to happen ever, let alone now, and I don't know what to do about them.
A precious friend of mine blogged this earlier this week:
Sometimes, particularly in the darkness where daily life feels like an open wound being opened and salted repeatedly until we become blinded and numb by grief and pain, when evil appears to triumph over good, and the Rescuer is nowhere in sight, it seems easier not to believe. Isn't it easier to believe that there's Nobody or Nothing out there than to have to cling desperately to the belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, sovereign God not only allowed our circumstances but has not chosen to change them?
How do you respond to overwhelming circumstances? I hope not the same way I do, because it is shameful. My response has been shaking my fists at God and begging Him for some sort of clarity, or redirection. I can't be thankful that He has responded at all, I have to be unhappy with His answer. My response should be humble obedience, acceptance, and rejoicing in the fact that I have a God who loves me enough to not let me stay comfortably content where I am.
When I was 11 or 12, my family went up to my Grandma's house in the New Mexico mountains for Christmas. It is beautiful up there; everything smells like pine, and besides the saw mill, my grandma's house is the only structure in sight. Christmas Eve, my dad (girls and their dad's are just weird at that stage) asked if I wanted to go on a walk with him. There wasn't anything else to do, so I agreed and BOY did we WALK. We walked something like 9 miles. I don't remember a thing that we talked about, or even if we talked at all. I just remember thinking my dad was crazy for wanting to walk so much. But I didn't dare complain, because I had agreed to go which meant I agreed to go any distance. Just about the time we decided to turn and head back, we heard a faint sound of turkeys. It really was a beautiful sound, wild turkeys. We started to follow the sound and a few short minutes later we came upon the whole roost. I'll never forget that. It was stunning. It was dusk, and there on the side of a beautiful New Mexico mountain were TONS of wild Turkey's living their turkey lives coming in and out of the tiny creek and seemingly speaking to each other. Dad and I watched them for a while, amazed, before we headed home. About one mile from the house it started to snow. I'll never forget that walk, on that back road, going and going and going beside my dad, and finding the Turkey's humble abode.
The next morning, my two older sister's and I each received a James Avery promise ring from Dad with a hand written note to each of us. The last line of my note says, "And Erin, don't ever stop walking because you never know - you might find where the turkey's roost."

"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? It will make a way in the wilderness and river in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19

Hello Ohio
The back roads
I know Ohio
Like the back of my hand
Alone Ohio
Where the river bends
And it's strange to see your story end
In my life I"ve seen a thousand dreams
Through the threshers all torn to pieces
And the land lay bare
Someone turned a profit there
And a good son lost his life in a strip pit
When the sun went down we would all leave town
And light our fires in Egypt Bottom
And the reservoir was just as good for Joni
'Cause we knew we would
Dream outloud in the night air
Holly said, Don't go inside the children's home
Mary said, Don't leave your man alone
Valerie was singin' to the radio
It was summertime in '83
We were burnin' out at the rubber tree
Wonderin' what in the world
Would make all this worthwhile
And if I knew then I was older then
Would I see regret to the last mile
Hello Ohio
The back roads
I know Ohio
Like the back of my hand
Alone Ohio
Where the river bends
And it's strange to see your story end
How I hate to see your story end
It's so sad to see your story end

1 comment:

Nicole said...

It was great meeting you today! Maybe when I move to Ft. Worth, we can hang out some. I'm gonna need friends since Michelle is leaving. :(