In the same way that I didn't want anyone to know I was an American when I first moved to Germany (where "F*CK THE U$A" was regularly spray painted on the side of Tuebingen's German-American Institute), I'm not particularly forward with my faith. But in the back of my head I keep hearing one of my former Sunday school students singing, "Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified!" Today I decided to listen.
. . .
Since Caleb's birth, I've found myself thinking about and processing the church in a different, deeper way. The profound sense of fulfillment and joy I've found in being a mother cannot be overstated, nor is it ultimately reduced in the tougher moments or occasional monotony of the day-to-day. A few weeks ago, I was overcome with the sense that the love I have for my son is the closest I'll ever come to understanding God's love for us. In my journal I wrote:
I love my son to the depths of my soul and every corner of the universe. More than that, actually. In this way, Caleb is a tangible representation of God's love--brought about through the love Andy and I have for each other. I'm finally beginning to understand the "sacred covenant" of marriage. Though I think there are other ways God's love takes form on earth, this was perhaps how I needed to experience it to start a journey closer to God and involve Him in my life.
A week or so later, I was on the phone with my mom, telling her how hard I was finding it to expose the light and love I was finding for fear of judgement. I didn't want to present myself as suddenly holding "The God Box," complete with biblical owner's manual and all the answers you could want or need. I didn't want anyone to misconstrue what I was finding true in my own life as a blanket statement on what would be The Truth for every life.
And she came up with the best metaphor (she's good at that). She told me to think of a diamond. Each facet is capable of reflecting light, but they're still different facets. They also don't encompass all the light (or exist as the light!). In allowing myself to reflect the light I've found, I'm not stealing anyone else's access or telling them it's the only available facet. And sometimes, I may find myself in the shadows, as we all do.
I'm still "living the questions," still "listening for bells and looking for light." The answers often unfold gradually, almost imperceptibly, and they may look different over time. And that's OK. In Christ I am finding both roots and wings. So, one step, one inch, one millimeter at a time: Onward.
Image found on Pinterest, via