Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Desert Disassembling

dis·as·sem·ble - verb (used with object)

1.  to take apart.
I don't know about you, but when it's been a while since I've talked to someone, I find ways to avoid reconnecting because how do you go back and fill in the gaps since the last conversation?  The reality is that you can't and a lot of the little, daily things that might have made up the relationship building is forgotten or left out so you can begin again and move forward from that point.  That's what this post is today.  Beginning again, moving forward.
I'll start with this:  today is our 36th wedding anniversary.  Wow.  How did that much time go by that fast?  More honestly, how did we actually make it that long?  The biggest reason is because for all the things we had going against us when we got married at ages 19 and 20, the one thing we were both committed to was our relationship with Jesus Christ and therefore to each other.  Divorce was simply not an option for either one of us.  With that exit door closed, we had to work through the tough times, the dry times, the busy times, the disconnected times, and the times we just really didn't like each other very much.  Two overused phrases come to mind that can pretty much sum it up:  "God is love" and "Love is a choice".  It doesn't make for a great Disney movie, but it works in real life if both people are committed to making it work. 
The past three months...okay, the past 5 years, have been about my life slowly being disassembled from the picture on the puzzle box in my mind so God could put the frame together that He designed for my life and begin to fill in that picture.  As so often is the case, my idea and His plan don't look much alike...at least not yet. 
I would love to say that I've been patient, excitedly waiting to see what the puzzle would look like, but I can't.  I've had moments, even moments strung together, that I've thought it was kind of exciting to be "out of the box", but those have long passed.  I've done more complaining, whining, and crying than anything else recently and I've mostly beat myself up because that's been my response.  But be honest, doesn't a Norman Rockwell painting look much nicer than the unfinished frame above?  Of course it does!  Disappointment, grieving, and even anger is an appropriate emotional response to that drastic of a difference.  The danger is grieving without hope because then I've lost sight of God.  The truth is not only has He not been caught off guard by my little life crisis, He's actually right in the middle of it all.   So my silence has been in composition only; my mind and spirit have been much engaged in a wrestling match that God is graciously overseeing.
Life here in beautiful middle Tennessee has been lonely.  We made it a year without losing another job so that's a huge cause for celebration!!  It took a couple of tries but we've decided on a church that we believe we're to join with to be part of the local body in our community.  Nashville is an interesting city with lots of musicians, artists, and creative types hoping to find their dreams here.  Most of them are young and we are not.  :)  My heart desire for a "kindred spirit" has not been met yet and trying to stay connected to those that exist is challenging at the least and usually much more complicated than that.  I miss our kids and the dream I had of us sharing life together in close proximity.
However...a conversation I had this morning with a dear friend I've known for most of our 36 years together reminded me that thankfulness is a sacrifice I can still choose to make when it isn't easy to give.  They use a candle at their dinner table every night as a visible reminder to find blessing in whatever God is bringing their way.  Sometimes the littlest things are what keep us going.

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine."