First week down, eleven to go – and it will still be just the beginning – or the re-beginning, if you will. What a week of excitement and happenings! I must admit that I am thinking I just might should be listening to those who have suggested the possibility that I somehow attract excitement out of the norm. I’ve never quite been sure of what to think of that suggestion and I am still wondering what it really means.

The week started with the ups and downs that sometimes accompany a broken relationship, to the degree that I was left just shaking my head with uncertainty and confusion from trying to understand a very deep hurt made even deeper because it followed a moment of unguarded hope. And I truly do mean trying to understand, because I just don’t get it. I don’t understand the mental processes or the emotional processes or even the spiritual processes that are at work in this particular situation. As much as I want to see the big picture and be able to respond completely outside of my own broken reactions, I am still left with my hands in the air, wondering, waiting, wishing for a new reality to reveal itself.

Open my eyes, Lord, let me grow in Your grace – into being able to see others and situations from Your perspective.

And then I was able to spend time with  a dear friend in Seattle, who graciously allowed me to stay with her for my first couple of days of grad school orientation and my first class. WOW!!! I am even more excited and terrified than before. This is definitely going to be an adventure. You just might want to join me in investing in a tissue company – I don’t think I’ll be alone in going through a box or two a week. There will be many tears – tears of recognition, tears of tenderness, tears of heartache endured and inflicted, and yes, even tears of joy… tears all around.

Then my commute home on Wednesday was delayed in a most dramatic fashion … television drama style – only not make-believe … as the expressway was shut down (as in absolutely no traffic allowed) for nearly 2 hours thanks to a high-speed chase, a gunman shooting at the officers, causing one innocent driver to roll her van, the gunman rolling his car and then fleeing on foot and being pursued by the K-9 unit. What should have been an hour and a half drive turned into four. And I had a very unhappy body with the whole situation.

Thursday was a wash, Friday was much more productive, and today I was blessed to have three of my kids join me for Mars Hill’s convocation and welcome to school picnic afterwards. Tonight I officially started on homework – with the watching of the movie, Dead Man Walking.

Compassion. Justice. Vengeance. Forgiveness. Hatred. Love. Evil. Pain. Hurt. Unforgiveness. Redemption. Victory. Peace. Crying out. Rage. Sorrow. Joy. Stumbling and getting back up again. Strength. Interdependence. Freedom.

Oh my goodness! So much to wrestle with and over! So many thoughts and hopes and dreams and visions that God has brought before me in the past and here now once again. The big question pops up again for me – Will you wrestle before God over the difficult issues, the ones that require the most intimate of relationships in order to stand up and dig deep and hold firm in your faith, unyielding in your allegiance to God Himself? Or will you shrink back in fear, refusing to go beyond the surface and the trivial?

Open my heart, Lord, and fill me with Your love and compassion for Your beloved creation, I need to feel with Your heart and respond with Your wisdom.

Oh how He knows I long to go deep, but sometimes I am afraid, and sometimes I do shrink back, and sometimes I just plain stumble and fall and don’t want to get back up. I am so very grateful that I am backed by the amazing strength of His beautiful body, His bride, the church – my brothers and sisters in His love! I know I am being held up by the faithful prayers of many who love the Lord and for some miraculous reason, love me, too. What astounding grace and mercy are poured out over my life!

Yes, I am processing. It will take time. And I am blessed with the knowing that eternity is wrapped up right here inside me – by the very Presence of the Holy Spirit and therefore Jesus the Son and the Father, all ushering me into the very likeness of Christ, not because of anything I can accomplish – but because They already have!

What is it that you are processing? How do you process the hard stuff? I would love to hear from you!

Well, that’s all I have for tonight. I am weary, so I’m going to rest. Goodnight all…