Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Chapters

We woke up to a cold and overcast typical Michigan winter morning mid-December 2007.  Just like most Sundays, our family piled into the mini-van and drove to church.  We had been quite busy.  We moved just a couple of weeks prior into a new house that was only a few blocks away from our previous dwelling.  Ayla was only nine months old.  Jonah had turned seven in the beginning of the month and Micah was four.  And on this particular day, things had gone quite smoothly.  I don't remember much about the church service so I'm guessing it was quite normal.  After worship we dined on delectable breakfast food at our routine Sunday morning restaurant.  On the ride home, not only were the kids unusually quiet and relaxed, I was as well.  We turned onto the main side street to take us to our house which happened to be the same street of our prior home.  Three to four blocks and two stops signs later, Joe taps the left turn signal on and we pull up in the driveway.  Joe looks at me, and I look at him and we are both thinking the same thing,

"Who's car is that in our driveway?"

And then it hits us like a fist right in the gut.  We accidentally pulled up into the drive of our old house.  We all busted out in laughter but my heart was twisted in two. Memories of our five years gushed into light.  Jonah toddling barefoot on the wooden floors with a saggy diaper.  Staring out the window at the budding dogwood in spring while rocking my bundled new-born Micah to sleep. Recollections of our narrow Christmas tree lit in the picture window and blazing autumn bon-fires in the cedar lined yard.  Visions of Micah coloring on our enclosed porch and bringing Ayla home from the hospital in late March with unusually warm weather.  Walking my first-grade Jonah across the street to his elementary school with that brand-new back pack strapped behind him on a perfectly sunny September morning....

Flashes darting in my head.

And there we sat in our old driveway for a moment stopped in time and as Joe shifted gears into reverse my thoughts shifted back to our new house.

My eyes focused on the road in front of us and I realized that a chapter of our life was now written and we had many blank pages ahead to fill.

And as I sit here now, four years later, I think about how much of the time I long to re-write my past.  Erase the mistakes and start over.  Instead of being thankful for the mess-ups I beat myself up and stay stuck in the swamp of guilt.

Oh how I need to remember that those chapters are closed and lessons can surely be learned and moments remembered and cherished but the fresh ink of this day is waiting to mark the page.  

And my God, my savior, who is the author and finisher of my faith is right here with me waiting to write my story with me.

The question is will I loosen my tightly clenched fingers and surrender the pen over to His ever-present hand and allow Him to make my ugly into something beautiful?

Will I allow Him to make my story all about His-story?

His story that is one of grace and redemption and love and turning the other cheek and giving until it hurts?

His story that denies myself and puts others first?

His story in which the last are first and the least are the greatest?

Only through His Spirit can I say yes.

"Yes Lord, make my story all about you and your ways, help me to forgive others as you have forgiven me and fill me with love for the unlovely.  Thank you for your unstoppable, never ending, unchanging constant love that never gives up on me."

Let the writing begin.


Anonymous said...

That is absolutely beautiful.......

Tim and Richelle said...

so hard to close those chapters and move on ~ sometimes because they were so good and we don't want to let them go... other times because they were so bad and we are trying to erase and rewrite.

thankful for all of those unwritten pages and praying like you that I let God so the writing... without grabbing for His pen ~ 'specially since we think our present chapter is closing and a new one will be beginning.

and so we wait, to see what the Author will ink out on the pages of these lives.

thank you - beautifully written and a perfect read for me, today!