Sunday, January 29, 2012
"There is more grace in God than sin in us."
- preached by our interim pastor, Rev. Dale Suggs today at church.
Thank God for this.
Our interim pastor has HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK over the past two week's sermons. They have been A-MAZING. Our praise band is really gelling well and sounding better and better, and last week after church, I started crying while putting away my guitar. Now, it was certainly an intense week, but I wasn't crying because I was sad, I was crying because I was happy. Church life has done much to restore both Ang and my spirits, and we are just so happy in our new community... I just started to cry over it.
On Friday, I was rocking Julian in the rocker, and he fell asleep in my arms...
I started crying in this moment as well. I snapped a pic with my phone and posted my joy on facebook saying something like, "Out of all the hats I wear, watching him nap on my lap is the most magical. Thank you God for giving us another chance." I cannot put into words the feeling of gratitude in my heart as I looked up from gazing at Julian and saw the little framed picture of Bella on my bureau.
What an unbelievable gift we were given. Another chance.
Another chance to really enjoy a baby... having been through the terror of your first one, then the terror of EB... to change a diaper and have it be fun and not terrifying... to lift your baby up by his armpits and just let him clumsily stand on your belly and drool on you while he's smiling, all proud of his accomplishment... to pinch his feet... to SEE his feet... it is sublime.
It is also incredibly healing.
As the joy washes over my heart, it gently fills in some of the scars, and washes away some of the pain left behind. It is a gradual process, but I am committed to healing my heart.
I know when my dad died, I felt bad when I started to feel good again. I didn't want my heart to heal... I thought it would mean, "I was over him." I know that this is a common experience when losing a loved one. First, we judge ourselves for "still" feeling so bad, when it seems that the world (or at least a couple of loud-mouthed people) tells us to move on. Then, we judge ourselves a second time when we indeed start to feel good again, like we are forgetting or betraying our loved one somehow. I remember how confused I was. This time around, I forgave myself in advance for feeling bad, and for feeling good. When I couldn't do anything more than lay in the fetal position on the couch by 2pm, I forgave myself. When I said or wrote something stupid that maybe I shouldn't have because I was just one part raw, one part numb, and without any buffer, I asked forgiveness of the other(s), and of myself.
If I can have one speck of the love and acceptance for myself that God has for me, 1) it makes it quieter in my head, and 2) it allows God in... and in that precious moment that I trust and open the door to my heart, God never leaves me hangin'. The experience is always - ALWAYS - so clear. The feeling of God in my heart... well, after all the pain my heart has felt, it is the most wonderful relaxing release.
Dear God, thank you for how gently you wash and bathe my heart. You have the most tender touch imaginable, and you know just what I need and just what I can handle. You are the ultimate parent. Thank you for never abandoning me, even when I was pissed at you (I figured you could take it...).
Most importantly, God, thank you for GIFTING us with Julian. He is your grace in action every day. There is nothing we could have ever done to earn him, and just like your love, he is just a gift from you to us with no strings attached. However, we'll attach a string since we're such conditional beings... we PROMISE to never forget the gift that he is, and in the moments we do, we promise to forgive ourselves for doing so, since you already forgave us on the cross. Thank you again, for ALL of it.