We took the family to the Twins game tonight. We spent more time in the car than we did at the game but it was worth it. This is the first pro baseball game that any of our kids have been to. The drive home reminded me of road-tripping with the family. We usually make those long drives at night. Moonlight glowing. Sleeping kids. The monotonous hum of the road and the rhythmic thud of the tires over the expansion joints in the concrete. Man I love that. Now just a little Don Williams quietly playing to top it off and I’m ready for another 13 hours of a trip to who cares where.
Tara and I have had deep conversations on road trips like that. Tonight was no different. Very few words, and they were not minced. Long pauses in between turns to process what the other has said and deliberate our response. We concluded in agreement on this. We are not into spiritual or religious stuff right now. Maybe even kind of sick of it and kind of overwhelmed by it. We have heard it and said it over and over again and it just seems too much or too hard to do anything with. There are too many different things to process. A few simple things guide us. They are not deep and profound. They aren’t new either. “Be still and know that I am God.” And “We will praise Him forever”.
The first speaks of us DOING nothing, and God BEING everything. We cannot propel ourselves to any kind of strength. We are spent and tired. But God, well, he is God. He will sustain us even without our effort. The second speaks of obedience. No matter the circumstance. No matter how much we like it. Just like our children sometimes pout as they submit to our authority and just do what we ask, we’ll submit to His and just do what He asks. We will trust Him and give Him praise…..even though we don’t like it right now.
Yup! It’s when nothing we can do, or say, or think is when we KNOW we are at our weakest! When I look back at my own journey I can tell you that it is during this period where I “felt” like the Holy Spirit was there. It’s the only time in my life when I can honestly say I “think” God spoke to me. I’ve always been envious of people who “know” God spoke to them. Me, I’ve just never been that confident. What I am confident about is that we do have a Lord and that he is “there”. Just one foot in front of the other…..that’s all we do sometimes, and then it’s those times when I think of that poem about the footprints in the sand…..and when there was only one set of footprints it is because He was carrying us. Sit back and relax guys…..He’s carrying you!
You probably don’t know me, but I grew up across the street from the Johnson family in Swea City and “Woody” was a classmate. Some time ago, Nan asked me to pray for Tara and her family and told me of your blog…I have been following your blog since day 1 and praying for your family…this morning as I read your blog, the old gospel song “Farther Along” was going through my mind…and the words “Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine, we’ll understand it all by-and-by” came through loud and clear. Keep the faith! 2 Tim 1:12-14.
Thank you for the frank, honest expression of where you both are “at.” It is a place I have become familiar with, especially of late. I spoke at a Schaeffer chapel service years ago about the solid fact that there is nothing we can do—or fail to do—that will make God love and care for us more….or less! He is so much bigger than our frailty. It’s a blessed place to rest.
Thank you for your transparency. We do everyone a disservice when we act like we are super-spiritual all the time. I have leaned on Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Be Still and Know” song many times over the last 3 plus years. I read your blog everytime you update…I’m praying. It seems like you have figured out that sometimes, you have to just do and wait for your feelings to catch up. They will…eventually. And it’s ok if it takes a long time. Praying.
What a great time- sounds like the best Friday fun night! You’re comments remind me again that we are human beings not human doings. Sometimes we can’t absorb anymore of what we are supposed to do or be- we just have to BE. And being a part of a family and great community who cares about you is sincerely enough. Having to just live and process is enough. And you as a couple and family know where to turn as you do just that. It’s amazing how many lives you touch by your faithfulness in writing this blog, or I would call it a journal (maybe this is an old fashioned word!). It’s really enough that you share with us every day. Thanks. Enjoy this beautiful weekend!
Sweet TigerLily, I feel your exhaustion in WA. I recall a friend came over to check on me. I told her I was at a point where I was too tired to even pray. She remarked, ” I will pray for you.” Tara, I will pray for you. Love Jane
I don’t think I’ve ever met either one of you, but our paths crossed at Bethel. I graduated in 1992. A friend of mine heard of your story and passed the prayer request on to me. I’m moved to tears by your raw honesty, tender hearts and persevering faith in the Lord. I find myself encouraged reading your blog, and find that crazy as I should be offering encouragement to you and not the other way around! The Lord is definitely working in and through you. The song that keeps coming to mind is Rich Mullins “Hold Me Jesus”. I’m praying that song for you guys… may He hold you in His arms and be your Prince of Peace as you walk through this season.