I'm coming up blank today. I can't think of anything exciting or random to post about. Imagine that...Mer is blank. My husband might want to mark this historical moment.
So here is a post I wrote last summer...about this same time last year. I didn't end up posting it then for whatever reason, but I'll share it with you today.
I usually try to keep my posts on this blog light-hearted and upbeat. But not today. I think I'll pull back the curtain a little bit and let you all in on some of the weightier stuff that is going on with me...bear with me...it has a good ending.
Almost three months ago I started doing some counseling. I've never tried anything like this before and the process is still unfolding for me, but I came to a breaking point and knew that I needed to give some serious attention to some things that have taken place in the recent past in regard to church and ministry and some relationships within those contexts. It's a good but hard process. I have a great counselor walking me through all of this. She goes to our church and is actually the reason that we even landed at IAC in the first place. All that to say that God is at work in all of this and has been slowly, but tenderly binding some of my wounds. And I'm grateful.
At my last session, I was sharing some things about our house. Did you know that we didn't even see this house before we bought it? Our friends checked it out and chose it for us. Our offer was contingent upon our approval, but we bought it sight unseen, trusting the taste and judgement of our friends. Interesting, huh? Our relationship with those friends is pretty damaged right now and that fact, coupled with a host of other things has made this house a hard place for me to abide. I'm grateful for our house...I really, really am, but there are aspects of it that I don't like at all and that don't allow me to fully use my gift of hospitality. And there have been words spoken over our home and over our family that have been extremely hurtful and full of pain. Heavy stuff. Being a stay home mom, most of my time is spent...at home! So I think it's fair to say that some days are really hard for me in this place.
My counselor listened to me relay all of this stuff and was as grieved as I was about it. After spending some time praying together, she suggested we have a ceremony of sorts to kinda "reclaim" our home...or to redeem some of the bad. I came home and shared that with John and he agreed that it was a fantastic idea. Thankfully, he planned it all out; I don't think I had the strength to do it. Last night after we put the kids to bed, we put on fleece and flip-flops and went outside in the back yard. We prayed, inviting Jesus into our time, then John read some scripture that put words to the place we currently find ourselves, then we prayed some more and proceeded to burn (in our gas grill) all of the things that symbolized the memories that have held us captive. It's more than ironic that some of items were slow to burn; we had to turn the gas up before they really caught fire (that devil is a persistent fellow). Then (and this was my favorite part!) John dug a hole and over it placed a ceramic plate that was given to me...along with a hearty dose of contempt...and he handed me the hammer which I used to smash the plate to smithereens. It felt so good. Smashing the lies, smashing the hurt, and smashing the agreements we've made with the words/lies spoken over us and our home. It was beautiful and freeing and good. And then we buried the pieces and plopped down in our camping chairs to enjoy the clear, cool evening...in PEACE. Next week we're going to be able to get away for an overnight--just the two of us, and part of our mission is to come home with a new plate to replace the one we smashed...something to represent the new and different and peacefulness we both now feel.
I woke up this morning thankful. Thankful for our home, for our family, for redemption, and for John. He hasn't had the same feelings about our home as I have, but he was willing to "fight" for me in this...and he did a beautiful job.
So there you have it. I much prefer the lighter, happier version of our lives, but the truth is it's a mixed bag. All working together for good. I'll end on a light note though. As we were outside burning, and digging, smashing, and burying, I realized that if our neighbors happened to be watching us at any moment, we'd probably appear to be a pair of criminals getting rid of some serious evidence. The police haven't come knocking, so I think we're okay for now!