This morning Big Bird and Mr. Snufalupagus couldn't figure out why they didn't stay in the air after jumping. Gordon explained gravity in its simplest terms: what comes up must come down. Everything falls back to the earth once it is released into the air. Something about the topic spoke to me. The weightiness of it seemed to call out to me.
Gravity is defined by www.thefreedictionary.com as: "The natural force of attraction exerted by a celestial body, such as Earth, upon objects at or near its surface, tending to draw them toward the center of the body." I realized this morning that life has a lot of gravity in it.
Ordinary things fill me with quiet joy. Each day is filled with the surprise of true pleasure coming out of the simplest tasks of domesticity. It is almost as if this is what I have been waiting for my whole life, to be the queen of domestic bliss in my own home. Who would have ever guessed? Twenty years ago my plan was to establish a career, situating my anticipated marriage and family around it. There was no question as to what would come first. Even when I felt called to ministry and decided to follow God into the great unknown of ordination, the work always had priority.
Since then the gravity of God has quietly rearranged my heart, reordering it almost without my knowledge until the day I was courageous enough to embrace my true self. What I have found is that I love being a wife and mother. That is the highest joy in my life. Last night I sat at the table enjoying dinner with all my boys, a simple meal that I had made. Each Sunday I now look forward to cutting coupons. Even restoring order to the house is no longer a chore but a pleasure. I actually like cleaning our bathrooms. Who is this woman that I have become? And where is that other girl who used to be in her place?
The concept of gravity speaks most clearly to me here. In Bible times farmers would harvest grain by first separating the wheat from the chaff. To accomplish this the wheat would be thrown up into the air. The weight of the wheat kernels would send them back to the ground while the wind would blow the chaff away. It seems like this is how God has quietly transformed me, using the circumstances around me to bring me home to my true self. There have been several times when I felt like everything of who I was had been thrown up into the air. Each crisis was a crucial moment when some of my hopes and dreams would die in the moment anguish and disappointment. Ultimately I would discover that I did not miss what had faded away. What remained was more vivid and real, truer and dense. So much more my real self.
In this new airborne time I am finding that not as much of me is going away. I hate everything being up in the air. I hate not knowing where everything will land. But I love the freedom I feel as the untrue parts of myself fall away. The need to fit into an institutional plan is gone. The overwhelming responsibility of keeping of a ministry I love healthy has passed. The burden of believing that Wesley's future depended completely on me has vanished. I love that I am with my boys more. I love that I can rest my heart and head under the strength and love of my sweet husband. Everything about this new path of not working full time just feels so right. Trusting God to work out the details is hard. It's something I've usually always done. But not being the only one to work them out is good too. I feel like I've come home. And it is such a sweet one.
For this season, I am airborne. But I don't think it is a bad thing, as painful as it is. Because the thing that is being blown away is my tendency to do what I think is right because it is sensible, practical, but not at all what is in my heart. The gift of this season is that God has done the hard thing for me, the thing I never would have done because I love my family and my students so much. He removed the burden of trying to do it all, working full-time and being a full-time Mom. And as much as I love my students, they already have mothers. For my boys, I am their only one.
So this is me trusting that following my heart is not a bad thing. It is a risky thing, but what life worth living is ever without true risk? For me, the greatest risk worth taking is to turn my back on everything I once thought I wanted and simply come home.
This is me trusting,