My sensor is broken.

Transition is a pesky thing. I think I mentioned this approaching season in a post from a couple of months back. It’s the “night” time, so to speak, between the sun setting on one season and rising on another. I’m there right now, and it feels a little bit dark at times.

Life is kind of crazy for us right now. It feels like when you’re first learning to drive and you aren’t used to the sensitivity of your brakes yet. So you accelerate, and then you come to an abrupt stop. (Over and over until you finally start to feel natural) Meanwhile mom is in the passenger seat about to lose her lunch.

We’re in town on the weekdays, working full time and trying to adjust to a different pace of life from the craziness of our training school year. But on the weekends, we’re going to weddings and visiting family and celebrating our anniversary somewhere in there. We aren’t home on a weekend until mid July. So we have these two different speeds that we keep going back and forth from. Fast paced weekend, then slam the brakes and try to slow down during the week. I feel emotionally car sick.

Finally last week I reached a breaking point, and I was about ready to lose the little bit of sanity that still remained. (OK, or maybe I did lose it a little bit) Misfiring with spousal  communication led to frustration that finally made me go for a drive to get some space. I cried the ugly kind of cry that makes you thankful you’re driving at night and not in the daylight, and I cried out to God wondering how I got to this place of complete chaos. 

And then I realized, this is what the enemy does. Here I am in the night time season of transition, isolated. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. Righteous anger began to bubble inside of me. “Oh, hell no,” I said out loud, driving around Waco and fighting evil in a more real way than any Marvel movie character ever has. And I finished that verse that had come to mind, “…but Jesus came that I may have life abundantly.”

And I don’t always understand what that’s supposed to mean, this idea of life abundant, but I know that when my thoughts are taken captive by evil and not by grace, I feel cheated. But when my thoughts are taken captive by the Grace Giver, well, I feel complete. And there’s always grace.

All is grace.

Ann Voskamp says there’s always a well. All is well.

I came home and the deep well of grace that is my husband was waiting to reconcile our frustration with one another. “I think we started fighting each other instead of fighting the one attacking us, and we just needed to go back to our respective corners to figure that out,” he said as those pretty blue eyes stared into my soul, saying without words that no dark place will ever be able to separate us.

There was an intruder in the boxing ring. But wait, what the heck are we doing in a boxing ring and why are we in opposite corners?

I guess life with Jesus is a fight. And somehow marriage ups the ante and makes Satan fight harder. 

Well, since we seem to be doing everything on the run these days, we didn’t have much time to recover from that night. We drove straight to Little Rock the next day for my best friend’s wedding. And my emotions are feeling like when you pull a muscle but the team still needs you, so you just wrap it up, lather it with Biofreeze and keep playing. Still sensitive to the challenging season I’m in, the enemy kept throwing punches.

I kept wondering how to find God in all this, if He was on this roller coaster too. I resolved that I suppose He is, and I suppose He knows where we’re going, and all I’m supposed to do is keep walking and talking with him. After all, Abram didn’t really know where he was going, but it says that he believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. (Gen. 15:6)

He believed God, and God declared him set right. 

That’s all I have to do? It’s so… simple. Just believe that what He says is true, and be obedient.

And as we were driving back from Little Rock the car started shaking, and we had to pull in to Walmart and have it looked at. Something about a sensor going out and spark plugs misfiring, and I thought, “Well this is ironic.”

God always seems to speak in parallels to me, connecting what’s going on in the spiritual to what’s happening in the natural so I can finally get it. Maybe I need to start catching on sooner. Nonetheless, my sensor had been broken. And when I stop paying attention and sensing his presence in all circumstances, I get shaky. Just like my car.

Maybe the mechanic can fix both of us?

Or maybe I’ll just cling to the verse that’s gotten me through so many of these kinds of seasons, “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8)

A foggy beginning.

Newness is a good thing.

As I spent time reflecting on 2012 over my Christmas break, it was mind blowing to try and recount all that happened. There are of course the big ones like graduating college, getting married and moving to a new place. But there’s also all that happened behind the scenes, all that was going on in my heart and in the spirit at the same time. It was a year of endings and a year of beginnings. A year of change and transition. A year of newness.

It was a strange feeling to ring in a new year this month, because the thought of anything else being “new” at this point is almost nauseating. But, alas, He is doing a new thing — again!

The Latin word for “January” (ianua) literally means door. So I find myself standing at the doorway to another year… and it’s almost as if it’s a foggy morning and I really can’t even see past the doorstep. And that’s the way God intends for it to be for me right now. Resting just at the doorstep — He’ll tell me when it’s time to move from here. There’s something to learn before I can see what’s next.

The phrase I keep hearing him speak is that this is a time to just be at his feet. And instantly those words give me a picture of Mary of Bethany.

In Luke 10:38-42, we see her sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to him teach, as her sister Martha is distracted with serving. Jesus says to Martha that Mary has chosen the good portion — and it will not be taken from her.

In John 12:1-8, it says she took a pound of expensive ointment and anointed his feet, wiping them with her hair. And the entire house was filled with the fragrance of her perfume. The perfume was worth 300 denari — something like a year’s worth of wages. It was very likely that it was the most valuable thing she owned — and she gave it without thinking twice, though it looked foolish. But then again it looked foolish before to sit at Jesus’ feet instead of get caught up in the “doing” that her sister was consumed with.

Again, she had chosen the good portion. Matthew’s account of this story records Jesus saying that wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.

And somewhere in between these two stories, there’s the time that Jesus came to Bethany after Lazarus had died. It says that Mary fell at his feet and said, “if you’d been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:32) Even in her desperation and mourning, she knew that the best place to be was at the feet of Jesus.

In this season of learning to be at his feet, I pray that I come out looking something like her. That I would have a teachable spirit as I sit at his feet, laying aside everything that a certain culture or a spirit of religion tells me I have to do instead. That I would know that when something seems hopeless, all I’m to do is fall at his feet — and resurrection will follow. And that as I learn to give all that I am and all that I have to him, that the fragrance of my surrender would fill an entire house.

Suddenly resting at the doorway doesn’t seem so bad. The fog can linger and the next adventure can wait because at the doorstep is where His presence is. And when the cloud moves, I’ll leave the doorstep and follow His presence.

He said this would be a season of new perspectives. Jesus came to turn everything upside down, so why do we look at things as the world looks at them when His perspective is the alternative?

So it makes sense that by sitting at His feet, the promise is to see more of His face.

The outcome? I don’t know. But I bet it will be good.

Cheers to a foggy beginning. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.