Updated: Apr 20, 2020
Two feet. Two towers. One choice.
Choices are stressful for me.
I know making tough decisions is part of life, but still...
Pros vs. cons. Pros vs. pros. Research. Advice.
Can't I just let my 5yr old be in charge? He's the decisive type. Plus, he has an opinion about how tall he wants his next house, what kind of car drives best in snow, how many children we should have, and when I need to apologize.
Bad parenting, you say? Hmmm...I guess.
At least at this point I've learned to pray first instead of last. Mostly.
That, plus doing life with a supportive, engaged partner really does make a world of difference.
I just want to take this moment to say, I'm SO thankful for my husband, Jay. He's all in. For better or worse was a real promise for both of us, and we've tested both extremes in our six years of marriage.
A Lifetime Ago
In 2011, things in my life looked much, MUCH different.
The man I had been married to for most of a decade informed me in a breath that he couldn't be a husband, he wouldn't be a father, he had filed for divorce, and, by the way, he had been unfaithful.
It's amazing the incredible detail trauma can preserve. Typically I struggle with a fuzzy memory. This particular moment is marked by stark clarity.
The cool, hard wood of the mahogany dresser pressed against my back, the sound of high pitched ringing in my ears, chipped turquoise toenails...all frozen in time.
I really should have gone to get that pedicure.
Strange what thoughts run through a brain in crisis, trying to cling to a sense of normal.
While it was a shock, this bomb that dropped was not a complete surprise.
Just like the battlefield, shell shocks of life come even when the mortar is expected.
Our marriage had been spiraling downward at an accelerated rate for a year. After the initial denial passed, I went from a lukewarm state in both my marriage and spiritual life, to fix-it mode, to full on tiger-fight.
I would set myself straight, get my marriage right, and save my husband from self-destructing, or die trying!
I was strong. I used to be a gymnast and a trainer.
I. Would. Do. This.
I was wrong.
I couldn't do it.
There are some things life hands you that you can't fight, talk, or buy your way out of.
Taylor Swift wrote a song about her mother's continued battle with cancer called, Soon You'll Get Better. In it she pens the line, "Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too."
My faith would get me to Heaven. But what about when I needed Heaven to come to earth?
Earlier that year I had read a book about the Holy Spirit called Forgotten God, by Francis Chan. I don't remember the book as well as I remember my response to reading it (sorry Francis).
What I came away with was a deep longing for MORE.
The book of Acts, and really the entire Bible, is full of the supernatural. Miracles, healing, visions, dreams, signs, wonders...
Evidence of God's existence was present in my world, but his power? I wasn't even sure he still speaks to people outside of his written word.
So I asked a simple question, "Can you show me more of you?"
As I would soon learn, the answer is always ”yes” when you ask for more of God.
Request all but forgotten, I found myself in the fray months later. Desperation growing to save my marriage and the comfort of the life I had built, I cried out to Jesus every day, pouring through the Psalms for encouragement and direction.
It was in the midst of this lamentation that I saw a clear picture in my mind's eye:
Two towers, a foot standing on each.
One tower was standing firm, immovable. The other was crumbling to the ground.
In an instant, I knew the meaning of this picture.
The crumbling tower represented my life as I knew it. It was going down, and there was nothing I could do to stop that.
The strong tower was Jesus.
I had a choice to make. And I knew it wasn't a choice for another time.
This was a now choice.
It had to be made then and there.
My current position had weight distributed equally between Jesus and my self-made life.
That tower was going down, and I was positioned to go down with it.
Would I stay as I was, or would I move both feet to the Rock who never changes?
I made my choice.
Here's the thing.
I wasn't given the end picture.
No vision of living on spectacular Kodiak Island, snuggled up on a snowy day with my handsome, devoted husband and sweet, beautiful children. No promise of being repaid for giving up my home, family, friends, comfort...my dog, for goodness sake. (Sounds like a country song. Did I mention I lived in Nashville, Tennessee?)
I was offered a choice and beckoned to TRUST.
But I knew it was God, and in that moment, somehow that's all I needed.
There is a peace that makes no earthly sense. It comforts in the midst of trauma. It grounds in the center of chaos.
Paul calls it, "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding..." (Philippians 4:7)
Peace that goes beyond our ability to understand or explain. This is what it means for Heaven to invade earth.
There's more to this story. There always is.
I could tell you all the lessons I learned, and confessions I have made to myself and God.
How keeping a relationship alive takes two, even when you never hear that in church. How infidelity is more than a physical act, and that I was not as innocent as I wanted to believe. How hurting people hurt the people around them. How important it is to have people in your life who will speak the truth, even when it is the last thing you want to hear.
Instead, I will leave you with the most important truth I learned in this season.
The storms will come.
Life is messy, and you can't control life's storms any more than you can control the weather.
What you can do is make a choice.
What foundation will you put your full weight on?
Like the story of two builders Jesus tells in Matthew 7, will you build your house on a rock or on the sand?
The storms will come.
Stand firm with me on the immoveable rock that is Jesus.
He is able to handle your pain, your anger, your fear, your disappointment...yes, even your screw ups. Especially your screw ups.
He alone is able to make beauty come from utter destruction. It’s his specialty.
Take some time to consider this question: What is my weight on? Ask for your own picture. God knows what will speak to your heart.
Continue with Part 2 of the My Story series.
Can I ask one more thing? If this story has touched your heart or you know someone who would benefit from hearing this message, will you share it?
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Please leave a comment! Let's make this a conversation.
In Him we live and move and have our being.