Being Held

Being Held

Many years ago, I was sitting in a counselor’s office completely brokenhearted over my marriage. The counselor was a nice person, but she had no real guidance to offer. Her therapeutic approach involved hours of long-faced listening. After that, her advice was simple: “The answers are within you.”

Right. I wouldn’t have been there if that were so.

Black and white grunge image of a teen girl cryingWhen you are broken, you stumble around looking for some kind of solace. I was vulnerable, and unfortunately, I received a lot of bad advice in those days.

But God is a God who sees. Hagar knew that. (Gen. 16:13)

On my last appointment with that particular counselor, something took me by surprise. She had me lean back on her couch and asked me to close my eyes. What now, I thought. She said, “I want you to think about your Higher Power, whatever that is for you.” I argued inside. Why was I paying good money for this?

But as she left me alone, I entered into a vision.Continue reading

One Solid Human Bond

One Solid Human Bond

bond with foodHaving just returned from Uganda—the pearl of Africa—I could tell you how lovely the land was following the rainy season. Flowering bushes, trees laden with mangoes or jackfruit, and lush garden plots seemed like Eden restored.

God speaks through creation’s resilient beauty.

A visit to the bank took my husband the better part of an hour, when at home it would take ten minutes. I sat with our driver David in the hot car, listening to a blaring sound system on the street. Animated voices spoke in a native tongue as though preaching, taking no breath.

The sidewalks teamed with activity—people selling grilled goat kabobs at our windows, the destitute pleading, women with babies strapped to their backs, motorcycle taxis whizzing by, a man with at least eight foam mattresses teetering on the back of his bicycle, and another with a huge stack of bananas. The kaleidoscope movement was ever changing, colorful, and even beautiful, yet there was something about their day-to-day survival that humbled me. I easily obsess on disparities.

This time, however, I asked God to help me be present in the day and leave the weightier concerns to Him. For me—that is growth.

God speaks in fresh ways when I am outside my familiar world.Continue reading

Returning to Design

Returning to Design

It was as if a ten-year-old had slipped into the classroom. She sounded joyful, but had to pause. Deep breaths, long exhales…and then tears.

Giant Wave curl“You love the sea. You love finding things on the beach, the smell of oil on tugboats, the wheelhouse, watching your Dad work, navigating. You love everything about boats—the engines, hull, decks, galley, cabins, crew, & more.

“You love sailboats. You love going on trips on the sea. The sea is in your blood.”

Her voice was childlike, but also insistent.

Joyful Girl“Remember when you used to play 4-square, baseball, basketball, imaginary games, space adventures, games in the field, fish, build forts, talk about God with friends, sit in the trees, search for pretty rocks?”

She spoke as if she knew her very well. Continue reading