It is fall again. While the leaves fall to the ground and all of nature begins to lie dormant, I sense a revival coming. A time of renewal. A time of glorying in the presence of God. As I feel the spark in my spirit fanning to flame, I felt it important to look back a bit and reflect on where He has brought me from.
Pat gets offered a promotion - high.
We need to move - low.
Asking God to provide and seeing it happen - high.
Settling into new everything - low.
There were, of course, many others, but you get the picture.
Through the entire roller-coaster ride, we leaned hard on God. It was a new thing in our marriage - to pray together - but we pushed through our discomfort and did it, daily. Regardless of my emotions, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit over every moment of every day.
We are settled into our new life and its routines. The kids seem to be comfortable at their new schools. We have decided to make our new church our "home" church. Along the way we've even had a few free moments to make some friends.
But there's an underlying sense of...something. Sadness? Emptiness? Unfulfilled-ness? (Yes, I do realize that's not a word!) There's this thing that's nagging at me. God feels far away. I know that He didn't take a step back from me, which means I'm the one that moved.
Last year (2009) I memorized 24 Scripture verses; this year, zilch. Last fall our family was a family of prayer - Pat and I prayed together, we prayed with the kids, we prayed with friends, we prayed over every single decision; this year, at least we still pray at mealtimes and bedtimes with the kids. Last year I committed to getting up at 5:30am for my quiet time with the Lord and I rarely missed a morning; this year I rise a little bit early on random days and try to squeeze in a few minutes. I used to be responsible for mentoring many other women in their walk with the Lord, and I took that calling seriously; without that level of accountability I have allowed myself to slack off.
Just as it is no surprise that I gained back all my lost weight when I decided to "take a break" from exercising and eating well, I shouldn't be surprised that taking a break from vital spiritual habits has placed distance between me and God.
So here I am, working to piece together the fragments of my faith. I am like a vase that developed a hairline crack, and as time wore on little shards of clay fell out here and there. Not broken, not destroyed, but fractured and in need of repair.
How to Repair a Cracked Vase:
Step one: Pick up the section of the vase that seems easiest to fit back into place. For me, this means returning to the basics of Scripture memory.
Step two: Be generous with the crazy glue and hold it there until it dries. I need to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work settling the Word of God in my heart and mind.
Repeat steps one and two until each segment and sliver of clay is picked up off the floor. A few of the larger chunks I can see are morning time, praise, and prayer. It's the smaller fragments, though, that will take great concentration to fit back into place. Things like a hunger for God's Word, peace in my soul, and sensing those little nudges from the Holy Spirit.
While the vase may never be restored to its original beauty, it will be whole again. The shadow of those cracked places will forever be a reminder of what caused the vase to crack and the hard work invested in its repair. And those cracks, they will serve to let the Light shine through a little bit more than it did before the fracture happened.
* a re-post from the archives