Settling into this journey

Last week’s post, Under Construction, was not about life as I’d like it to be, all pretty with bows on top. Surely after being a Christian for a very long time, even serving as a missionary in Honduras for eight years, you’d think I’d have all the kinks worked out, be as polished as the exterior I can present. After all, isn’t that the goal, being a great specimen for God?

Am I a failure because I’m not actually there yet?

If so, I’m in pretty good company, since Paul, who wrote the majority of the New Testament, said he still struggled.

But rather than being a painful time, as some might suppose, I’m loving the benefits of having to continually seek God for the healing path. 

And I am giving up my life-long quest for perfection and people-pleasing.

This week on Chris Fabry Live, T Davis Bunn talked about his latest novel, The Turning. He said the main character couldn’t pull his life together without a big change. After all, if he knew what to do, he would have already done it. He needed to learn to quiet himself, to listen to God’s voice.

And that is where The Healing Path is carrying me (aided by my broken hand), to try less and listen more. To give up the struggle to do more, and receive who I am in the love of the Great I Am. To hear the Voice of Life.

Where is your journey taking you?

Santiago by Jack H Thompson John 3:3
Santiago by Jack H Thompson
John 3:3

Under Construction

Continuing The Healing Path with two of my grown daughters, at every turn of the page I run headlong into my failures. All the times I journeyed poorly. Became blind-leading-the-blind for my children.

I really tried, most of the time, when my own wounds didn’t shout louder. To give my children a “so much more” life than I grew up with.

Neglect. Betrayal. Failure to act.

It’s a punch to the solar plexus as I recognize how my weaknesses betrayed my children, my needs took precedence over theirs.

Janie 4th grade
Janie 4th grade

Clearly, I haven’t been the person I yearned to be when I was ten, writing in the margins of my little white New Testament. My life did not take the track I planned.

But that’s not all there is.

When Jesus stretched out his hands and called me across the water, he began to work in me, sometimes breaking down and building anew, at times pulling up from my past to create an unknown strength.

It’s been a long pathway, full of twists and turns. I’m a work in progress.

Winding path in Switzerland © Jack H Thompson
Winding path in Switzerland © Jack H Thompson

At times, I jump in and try to help out. That never works out well. I’m still flawed, unable to make myself who I really want to be.

More and more, I sense that am being healed. Clay being reshaped by the Master Potter. Set free to be the person I was created to be.

I am fashioned by Love, to love. Created to create.

Whether you are in the “I’ve made too many mistakes” crowd or the “wait for me to get it all together” boat, I’m stretching a hand your way, inviting you to the dance of the “make-overs”. (HGTV doesn’t even come close!)

You are welcome to join the Under Construction Crew.

Come on in. The water’s fine!

Scripture leaves no doubt about it: There’s nobody living right, not even one, nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys. . . .
The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. . . .
This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right. . . What we’ve learned is this: God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade.

Romans 3:9,14,28 The Message (YouVersion)

Where are you in the journey?

All your tears

Some of us have ancient pain, scarred over and hidden from sight, requiring the scalpel of the Holy Spirit to unearth the wounds and release us from their power. Other precious ones hold fresher wounds, some still crimson with heart ache. For both, the shortest verse in the Bible offers a soothing ointment.

Jesus wept.

Even though he knew he was preparing to remedy the situation and raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus was deeply moved by Mary’s anguish.

He cares how much we hurt.

He never chides us to get over it.

He never says it’s been long enough now, time to move on.

He never holds up another’s pain to shame us into silence.

He weeps.

He knows and cares when we writhe in agony, when the weight of this broken world is too much to bear.

And we are encouraged to weep with those who weep.

I have a friend who stopped attending our ladies Bible study to avoid the constant discussions about children and grandchildren. And another who refuses to go out on Mother’s Day, especially not to church, where she’s supposed to smile while others receive flowers that stab her lack.

Whether through singleness, infertility, abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth, or a death way too soon, there are women all around whose hearts wept on Mother’s Day.

Though our paths may differ, from one wounded traveler to another, I offer my hand and my heart.

Is anyone crying for help? GOD is listening, ready to rescue you. If your heart is broken, you’ll find GOD right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

Psalm 34:17-18

Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

Psalm 51:17

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.

Psalm 56:8

God’s a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked.

Psalm 9:9-10

I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God.

Psalm 40:1-3

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!

Romans 15:13