This is my dear friend Jess. She is currently traveling across the country as she moves to California with her beardog (he's the one with the paws). I have never been more grateful for this woman and the way that she has relinquished to Jesus so profoundly in the time I have known her. Her strength and wisdom is hard fought by years of surrendering to Jesus and that obedience has blessed me and the others who have been privileged to love and know her. Say prayers for Jess and Bear as they transition and travel and set up residence in the middle of something wild and new the Lord is doing. I just know it will be beautiful.
Genesis: "The coming into being". I sat quietly at the river's edge watching the waves lap to and fro along the marshy shore. I watched the trees spill flowers into the wind and listened as children chased after their dogs along the hidden dirt path where I too was hiding. I smiled as I felt the weight of harmony, the glory of precious beloved lives living amongst each other here in this city that has welcomed me arms wide open. "It's beautiful, Lord" I whisper my confession. We sit there a while until finally I ask what I have longed to know, "Why have you brought me here?" And in that breath, I notice the strange delightfulness of a sourceless laughter carried to me on the wind, its owner still unrevealed behind the trees. "This is your genesis." He breathes from somewhere within.
And so it was, a beginning. A season of coming into being.
And as most beginnings go, it was born of an ending. At moments, I've wrestled hard against the changes, spent nights overcome with the pain and the uncertainty. Still, I've moved forward with the peace that comes from trusting a Love that doesn't know how to fail.
Looking at my walk with the Lord these past four years, I realize that I have never seen my affections for Jesus so tested, nor discovered them so deeply rooted and immovable, than when He simply has given me choices and allowed me to walk forward, to become who I would choose to become. I don't know if I ever knew, no not really, just how much I yearn for Jesus. The literal core of who I am is so unwilling to be somewhere that Jesus is not. But there is tension in this truth. My human nature has been so focused on my emptied hands, and yet my spirit leans ever forward towards the One from whom all blessings flow. I lean towards Him not for fuller hands, but for still emptied hands and more of Him. More of Jesus at any cost has been the mantra of my heart for years, and has never been more true for me than now.
So here we are. Here I stand. So much within me is different. There is now such strength, dignity, tenderness, great reverence, sobering awareness and deep conviction. I don't know what's up ahead, but I know Who I'm walking towards and I know the taste of that sweet grace like rain every time I fall short. His relentless love has made the journey possible.
This is my genesis, this is my coming into being. Lead the way, King Jesus, and I will follow.
If you haven't noticed from the photos, some days required mittens and the next days required sweat proof tee shirts. It was an interesting lesson in vulnerability, as it turns out. From my journal on the last day:
" In Boston I learned what it means to layer, how life can require so many elements between your skin and the world one day and the next day you cannot seem to shed those once helpful pieces fast enough. One day you need barriers. The next day you need room and space and all the vulnerability that comes from skin meeting air. I learned how the temperature can change by forty degrees overnight, not just outside but also in a room, on the phone, in my own heart, in the narrative of a story I stopped reading and suddenly must pick up again. In Boston I learned not to prepare for these changes, but simply to welcome them with gladness as they come and they go. I learned not to fight what I don’t understand or cannot predict but to just dress accordingly for the day, this day He has made for us, for the yous and the mes of this world.. I learned to layer and to protect, and still greater, how to unlayer; how to undress to the warmth and relinquish to the redemptive newness of spring. Look up ahead Soul, for here comes the sun of new days and a season’s changing graciously baring itself before you, inviting you to take notice. "
"O God gather me to be with you, as you are with me"
Don't forget to follow Vine and Light on Instagram, where you can watch things unfold in real time. Including wedding and shoot sneak peeks, travel diaries and lots of watercolor painty things that I've been getting into lately. So you know.. cool stuff. : )