Reign Down

He calls to me in the rain kissed trees; rustling leaves like whispers from heaven; tears falling, mingled with mine; He weeps.  I do not long for that which He will surely bring; content here in His arms, safe within the sound of His Voice.  I will dance in the sun when His Hand parts the clouds.  For now, I do praise Him in the beauty of His rain.

"Thou, O God, did pour a plentiful rain upon thine inheritance, and when it was weary thou strengthened it." ~ Psalm 68:9 


Beside the Still Waters

Hesitantly, and with the same deep breath, my friends and I, together, would bravely lower our toes, and then our lower legs, into the icy rushing water. I don't remember a lot about the year I was 10, but for reasons my heart only knows I have always carried vivid memories inside it of the man made creek near our home, and the countless hours on end we spent there. I don't recall consciously considering this, but I think that somewhere in the back of my mind I was convinced that it had no beginning or end; that we were always going to find ourselves somewhere in the middle of it, wondering where it had left from, and just why it was in such a hurry to get to wherever it was going. It was a passageway to somewhere, and although it accepted our gifts of leaves and dandelions, (and the occasional unintentional offering such as my sister's retainer); it mostly ignored us; never stopping for a minute, rushing over our bared legs like a New York subway car, focused and hurrying to places we could only hope to ever see.

I don't know if it was the creek itself we were so hopelessly drawn to as much as the idea of it; this secret place our parents knew existed, but rarely knew we visited. There seemed to be something about sitting together, bearing the biting cold of it until our legs reddened and our feet grew numb. We were quite brave, my friends and I, lined up together on the side of that creek. There was no way of knowing what might bob up out of the water, running it's slimy or scratchy self over our feet; possibly lodging between our toes. There were places too deep to see what lay underneath, and yet we willingly plunged our bare feet into the unknown, trusting that whatever passed by us would, well, do just that. Including snakes.

(And let me say here that if you have never met a 10 year old girl, you should know that they are masterful at shrieking. My friends and I were exceptionally gifted in this area.)

I remember us holding onto the side (and sometimes to each other) talking for hours, and laughing our way through that year, growing and changing separately and as one, not seeing it, not realizing at the time that this would be one of the sweetest memories of our lives. Not knowing that God would show it to me again, today, when I needed it to see it in again, this time, in the way He would have me to.

He brought this gift to me this morning in the midst of a sadness that I am thankful I can share, although I cannot begin to describe. I have no right or good words for it yet; only the faith that they will come in time if it is His will. I am thankful for that. For now, my precious Lord is interceding and praying for me, and I am more than content to let it be for now. And so He brought my beautiful creek to mind, and to my ears, as I am sure I can hear it rushing over the rocks, joyful and determined in its journey; just as I can plainly see the blinding sun glinting and sparkling on its current.

Beautiful in its simplicity, but unpredictable and frightening at times, I saw it differently when I was a girl of 10. It was bigger to me; unreachable, unconquerable; like my life before I knew my Lord. Like the way this heart breaks, even now, as His child, when I cannot see His light. But He whispers to me the truth, and I know it to be so, even as I am asking Him to tell me again and again, if only I could begin to understand it; there is no one greater, that He is truly sufficient, for everything, even this. You couldn't see it then, He tells me; and when You are far from me you can't see it now; but there was a beginning to that creek, just as there was an ending to it.

One day you will know how high and how wide and how long and how deep is my love for you...

And so I can roll up my jeans and put my toes into the water; secure in the One Who knows what is upstream; content to enjoy this life for life itself; braving the cold, enduring the current, knowing I am forgiven, even as I see myself in its reflection; even as He sees deep into this heart of mine. I can feel His love rushing over me, carrying away with it all my hurts; washing me clean, time and again. Knowing these things will come to end one day, but that His love never will; is forever, and ever, the length and breadth and depth of it immeasurable, unstoppable, unfailing. Without end.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." ~ Revelation 22:13

Ephesians 3:18

Revelations 22:13



Must mark this day in some way other than receipts or locker combinations. There isn't time to write, and truthfully, I may have orchestrated this in some way. I seem to have put more into my schedule today than Ryan's high school registration; perhaps to bury or buffer it underneath a pile of other things that might matter more another day. I have done all of this before; have "gotten through it" as seems to be the chosen phrase of encouragement by those who have gone before us. If I have learned one thing, it isn't the "getting through it;" it's the journey itself. And it doesn't really "go by too fast," or "end much too soon" as I myself have said many times. The truth is, it never, ever ends. There is blessedly no completion to this highest of all earthly callings. There would be no light at the end of this miraculous tunnel. Motherhood nurtures, encourages, endures; is granted emotions that God in His wisdom designed only for a mother's heart. Forever. Even if we have to cry a little in the midst of it all. And so, I will mark this day in our lives here, today, and inside my self... embracing the joy in it, sure in God's promises; trusting Him, completely, in this wonderful journey.



I didn't panic right away. I have mislaid my wedding rings a number of times over the years; having taken them off for some reason and forgotten them; only to find them sometimes hours later, patiently awaiting my return. On one occasion I remember leaving them beside my Mother's kitchen sink and having to go to church the next morning feeling decidedly naked, as though I were not completely or properly dressed.
My rings have been a part of my hand like the life lines on my palm since I was 21. Maybe I thought of them as part of these lines; falling somewhere near the beginning of my life, and meant to remain there, like these permanent creases, until its end.

Our entire family, including JP, had made a trip to the beach together, and it was something we we had all looked so forward to doing. His schedule and life rarely fall into line with ours, particularly long enough for an out of town trip, and so we felt truly blessed to have him with us. The truth is, I didn't realize at the time just what a blessing his presence would turn out to be. It was J.P. who endured the night ahead with me; digging through garbage, the contents of which were unimaginable; J.P. who would drop me in front of one establishment while he went into the next; praying someone had found my rings. It was he and I together who traced every inch we had covered since we had left that evening.
We had left a sleeping child and husband at the hotel; James convinced that I was worrying over nothing. The rings were here; he was convinced; would be found almost immediately, as they always had been, whenever they went missing or overlooked over the years.

I have avoided writing about the loss of my rings for several reasons; the least of which is that it quite simply breaks my heart, to this day, and so I have chosen to push the thought of it as far from my consciousness as possible. Writing about it has been completely out of the question, even though this would normally be the very reason that I would choose to write about it. I have always found great solace in writing; "talking" on paper. My own letters to God. He and I read them together; He comforts me through my own words; my eyes opened reading what I've written. I think sometimes I surprise myself with what my own heart is saying.
But in this case, I simply couldn't face it. Till now.
I have avoided this topic hoping; praying...the ending would be different; some miracle would occur. The power of prayer!! I would have told you. We just prayed and God heard us; knew my heart was broken far, far worse than anyone understood (including my husband:) But God knew. Saw every tear fall. Held my hand when I would go off alone, and just cry, gut wrenching sobs that only He heard or truly understood. I would have told you that He honored our search, the terrible night at the beach, and then weeks and weeks of calls and searches for any shred of hope or direction. That He had honored our marriage of 30 years...certainly I should get points for that; it's only fair! Half of the world is divorced these days. Yet we stuck it out, thick and thin, better or worse. And these lost rings were the symbols of that union. I could never replace them, not ever. Ring after ring, jeweler after jeweler; trying our best to put something on my left hand, and wanting none of it. At least, not yet. And so He had returned my precious rings to me; healing my broken heart, smiling on our marriage; blessing us, and this union.
But it didn't turn out that way, and for a very long time I was angry.
I confess to you now that I avoided this topic also out of fear. People, particularly those who have lost loved ones; or even perhaps had undergone a financial crisis or some tragedy... Might call me shallow. They are just things. Metal, really, with rocks in them. I feared they would shame me for mourning these things; judge me for this. I was afraid of that, and truthfully, that made me a bit angry, too.

And then, the other morning, His still, small voice....

I wonder now if a day ever goes by that I'm not reminded of my rings; although I rarely cry about them anymore, unless I'm alone. The thought of them remains somewhere in my subconscious mind, I'm sure, all the time. Truthfully, I have given up; stopped praying about them. And so it was a bit of a shock early the other morning when I clearly heard His Word, and at the same time, His Voice, speaking to me..."You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all of Your Heart.". And at the same time... He asked me when I have truly sought after Him... was I truly desperate for Him? Did I truly love Him enough to seek Him with all of my heart?!
And then He reminded me of this elephant in the room; this thing that had made me so angry and bitter that I had stopped talking to Him about it at all. Had I ever; Would I ever seek HIM this way?
Did my heart ever break just to be near Him?
Oh, precious Lord and Savior, forgive me...

I have started this post several times over the last few days, and something always seems to stop me. Not yet; He tells me. There is far more I want to tell You.

He tells me that I was once so very lost, too. And that His heart broke for me, in ways I could never hope to understand, there, on a cross; willingly, in order to have me with Him forever. That He stopped at nothing; stepping into the darkest, most vile places of my heart; knowing it all, bearing it all, yet calling me to Him, even as I was. All things on earth will one day be restored, He reminds me, but some of those He has sought with all of His heart will never, ever choose to be found. He understands my loss far more than I could ever bear to know. He tells me that He loved me so much that He never stopped trying to find me; never stopped calling me to Him. That the Father sent Him to me; to us all; offering His perfect and Holy life for us, simply, and only, because we were lost.

And then He showed me my life line again... Tracing the empty place where my rings used to be.
Look at Mine. He tells me. You will never be lost again. See? How beautiful; more precious than diamonds; far more priceless and irreplaceable. You are mine, He tells me.
And so I have written Your name on the palm of My hand....

"I have written your name on the palm of My hand." ~ Isaiah 49:16


Thinking this morning about SEEKING God..and about the last time I really sought after something I had lost... Complete and utter desperation!!!
How amazing that He has put this on my heart. I can't WAIT to tell you why.
Talk very soon... Cross my heart.