I'm writing this exactly 17 1/2 hours after I wrote these words: "The doors are open, the shackles broken, we need only to listen for what's next" ... The words haunted me. All night I poured over them- repeating them, dissecting them, tossing and turning.
The last few months we've been committed to realigning our hearts and dreaming of having hearts that beat for the right reasons. Some of our date nights have been centered around questions like:
If your heart was where you wanted it to be...
"How would you want your kids to see you react to someone that made you angry?"
"How would you change the way you talk about money?"
"What changes do we need to make to be people of no fear?"
... And one date night, two weeks ago, entirely centered around this one:
And "What would you want your heart reaction to be if you lost your job today?
Well, today came.
I got the call at the office, that 20 days before moving into a new house, after all the big questions and conversations and excitement...
... Brian was let go.
So I left work and rushed home to meet Brian at the door and hold each other. To cry a little and laugh a little. And say with all the certainty- "I'm honored to be married to you."
We prayed and worshipped and grounded our hearts, we were stirred by the words of psalm 91, stood up in praise-empowered by the glory in our midst!
We decided to not plan "next steps", but to spend the day listening, reflecting, mourning, and thanking.
The security and relief that could follow sending out a resume was not quite the security we needed today.
We went in search of a place to listen.
As we walked down a hill on the trail, there was a little boy stuck on a rock - scared. He was kind of slipping on the slick rock and his eyes were full of fear. His dad stood in front of him, arms stretched towards him... "You're okay, you can do it. You're okay." As we passed the family, we smirked at each other, knowing the parents were fully in control and that someday that could be us. So we made our way down and heard it suddenly, the slip and fall of the little boy, a thud, and silence.
He wasn't bleeding, nothing was broken... He was angry. He felt betrayed. And following a long silence, we heard at the bottom of the hill- a shriek. A painful shriek with unexpected words clear as day.
"YOU DIDNT EVEN HELP ME DAD! YOU DIDNT EVEN HELP ME DAD!..."
He said it again and again. The biggest sting hitting us all- he always included the "dad" at the end. There was so much weight in the word, as if he was reminding the dad what his role was supposed to be.
We we do that don't we? We remind God that he didn't even help us. But just like the dad on the rock, it's not that he wasn't helping. It's that he didn't meet the child's expectation of what help looked like in that moment.
That moment sent us into rejoicing in the care and attention, the love, grace, and provision of our DAD.
I can say we will never forget the month of May 2017... It's been full of lessons, and disappointed hopes... But I am going to say what I've said the whole month because it is SO TRUE.
Theres nothing more powerful than a grateful heart.
You can only do one thing when your heart yearns for the story of redemption: give thanks and take communion.
We sat in the middle of the moving water, daring and rebellious, thanking God for his mercy. Reminded of the one who gives and takes. We felt relief that we were never in control, and we will never be asked to be. We reflected on all the places we've questioned recently about our own intentions, we challenged each other about where we find security, and celebrated the heart change we were already seeing.
So the big question is:
What's next? What's the plan? What's in the works?
No idea. Not a clue.
Our big question in the midst of dreams that die:
Oh death, where is your sting?
Boitmanns, march on.
Happy stories, sad stories, dramatic, sorrowful, and joyous stories- every story is a love story... and here are some of mine.