Thursday, January 30, 2014

The New Normal: Old Truth I Love

I awaken as the car turns into the driveway. Look, tired but eager, for that beloved little log cabin to appear as we crest the hill. We stop, and I thank Dad for driving us while we slept. 

We step out under the stars. Unclouded sky, constellations shining. I gaze at Orion, from this home to that Home someday.

PC: NASA.gov


It’s 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Not bad, for an early January night. The moment of truth comes when we step inside and look at the temperature. 37 degrees in the house. That’s a record for a homecoming. I unload the necessities out of the car at a run while Daddy starts a fire. 

I stop to look at the package on the island in the kitchen. Just a random package, but the word Love is written on it in my oldest brother’s familiar cursive. Signature of familial affection, written three days before we arrived home, when he left the house for three weeks overseas. I miss him.

Then I run, shivering, up to my room, pray, and slip under the covers around 11:30. I feel the familiar softness below, the gentle weight above, and in the darkness, I want to giggle out my joy. Peace. I’m home.

Home from a three week trip that brought tremendous change into my life and upturned the normal current. But has it really changed me? No... not really. This introverted girl under the covers is not a wit different than the girl that slept outside under the stars with her mama the night before we left three weeks ago. Except, that three weeks later I’ve had more practice leaning on the Everlasting Arms when I’m stretched beyond capacity. 

It wasn’t a task I had ever dreamed of having. Nor was it a task I wanted. Though I was willing for God to do as He pleased in my life, I had a general sense of what I imagined that course would be. Be right here, at home, serving my family, supporting my father’s and brother’s leadership,  ministering to people far and near through our family ministry, continuing my education, running on the ambulance, praying on the Mesa with my dog, exercising with my mom... until I got married. Then I could pour my energies into making a great man greater, and raising a crowd of world-changers. That would be the way it would go. 

And so... this came out of left field. But I took it after I was convinced that it really was the hand of my Master handing it to me. Because I want to do anything for that hand… 

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Taking on the Presidency of GYC came only after months of prayer, struggle, family discussions, seeking counsel, and not a few tears up on my beloved mesa. I struggled at first to discern whether assuming the position would go against the Biblical principle of male headship. And even when I was convinced that it would not, I still agonized with whether it was expedient.  With role confusion all around us, I wondered whether it would be misunderstood and promote ideals I don’t believe in.  Whether in some way it would contribute to the warped view of God’s character and the erosion of Biblical values that has ushered in the unprecedented pain and misery we see today, in the near destruction marriage and the family...

I was 15 when I first understood the beauty and wisdom of the Biblical distinction of male and female roles and embraced God’s vision. Since then I’ve been enamored with the idea of letting my life display the character of God, and reflect the magnificence of Christ’s relationship with His bride. To this day there is nothing I love more than seeking to make a heaven out of my home, serving my family, and lifting up, loving and following the leadership of my daddy and brothers. And seeking that somehow, someway, the Potter will mold me so that someday when I marry I can be a reflection of the way Christ’s church should respond to Him…  

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I feel the huge smile that wreaths my face there in the dark under my covers where no eye can see. And life settles into a new normal. To those who have wondered if my taking on this position reflects an endorsement of women’s ordination to the gospel ministry, I say - No. My life answer can’t be any different than it has been since I fell in love with home and gender distinction and gentle leadership and glad submission.  



So I keep climbing the Mesa with my dog and go to the end and look out at the most treasured view in the world, and remember that if this earth becomes so shaken that I come and find those mountains gone - the covenant of peace will still be in force (Isa. 54:10). I keep cooking and cleaning and loving my kitchen more every day. I keep serving “the least of these”. I keep studying, keep walking the right of way of our highway for exercise. I keep jumping into my uniform at the most inconvenient times of the day and running out the door to serve the hurt, the sick, the fearful in the back of an ambulance. I keep cupping that blonde face of my best doggie friend in my hands, wishing he would live forever...

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The new normal is simply the old normal, just with more to pray about and more to serve and more to love and more reason to let His strength be made perfect in my weakness. And that is a new normal I can embrace. 

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