Saturday, May 18, 2013

"It's Okay Not To Be Okay"

A few weeks ago, I was made aware of Brennan Manning's last book that he would write before he died.  I would show you a picture of the cover, but my computer gasped its last recently and I am functioning completely from an iPad with a keyboard and my iPhone.  (As an aside, while the technology those two items affords me is pretty much amazing, neither can replace a computer.)

Anyway, the name of the book is simple, yet extremely profound:  All Is Grace

Can you imagine how our lives would be affected if we actually believed that sentence?  All is grace. The unexpected death?  The lost job?  The life-changing medical diagnosis?  ALL is grace?  And yet if we confess God as our Father, Savior, and Lord, then it is in fact a true statement.  

The book is primarily an autobiography of this flawed and grace-filled man and I recommend it highly.  The message of this book, as well as Brennan Manning's life can be summed up in one sentence:

"It's okay not to be okay."  

Spoken to him years ago by Brother Dominique Voillaume, it changed Manning's life, gave direction to his ministry message, and I suspect will continue to change lives until we meet him someday.

I share all of that with you as an explanation to some degree as to why I have only written two entries in almost a year on this blog.  Originally started for friends and family to follow us as we began a new adventure by moving to Baltimore almost 5 years ago, it quickly turned into somewhat of a roadmap of where to find us.  We have become accidental gypsies by losing and finding jobs and moving several times encompassing the cities of Baltimore, back to Atlanta, and then Nashville.  We actually are only a few days away from hitting our 2 year anniversary of being in the same place without moving, but as life often goes, it will arrive in the midst of irony.  Hamp actually no longer has the job that brought us to Nashville and is currently working in an interim position in Richmond, VA with the company that we originally moved with 5 years ago.  We don't know yet if that will become a permanent job, but the calendar is circled with a date in June that will most likely see us loading a moving van once again with our ever-decreasing possessions.  As of this moment, the location is to be determined.

I've always loved words and the pictures they can paint of life, feelings, hopes, and dreams.  But the last five years have been a slow stripping of everything I've ever known and for the most part I have simply just not been okay.  So to put thoughts and emotions into words to send out into the great void of cyberspace hasn't been something I could do.  Those closest to me (and the number has shrunk drastically in the last 5 years) know of the darker days, but how can you explain what you don't even understand yourself?

I read a quote not too long ago by Donald Miller that says, "I often ask myself, 'What wants to be written today' rather than 'what am I supposed to write?'.  The good stuff often flows and isn't forced."  I'm not sure I'd describe what may come from my "pen" as good stuff, but I think I'll give this a try and see what happens.