Saturday, August 3, 2013

A New Picture

It is somewhat ironic that the earth-shattering news of my mom's cancer came while I was on my way to vacation in Vail, CO. I obviously had certain expectations about our trip to the mountains, and a certain picture as to what "vacation" would-- or should-- look like. So when I got the phone call about my mom's condition, I was torn: should we turn around and come home? Should we keep going to, er, our vacation? What will we even do when we get there now that we know this

As odd as it sounds, God gave me a vacation to digest the news. He sent me literally to the mountain top-- not to escape, to plug my eyes and ears to reality, or to hide from it-- but to meet God in the midst of it. To sit and stare at Him and have time to feel everything alone with Him; to literally have no distractions from what was going on in my family and inside of me. In doing so, I realized that is exactly what I needed, and that He provided it beyond my understanding. So I left with a new picture: Moses, and how his ministry to Israel began alone on a mountain. During that week, God shared His presence with me in a way that equipped me to come back down off the mountain with something to give people. Without that time to process and feel and heal and hear, I don't know how I could be here in SC without breaking down. 

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It is somewhat ironic that my family has had a beach trip planned for months and it starts today. With my mom's leukemia scare over, she is out of the hospital and has permission to go have a week of vacation. But obviously, we had certain expectations about our family beach trip, and a certain picture of what "vacation" would-- or should-- look like. As I've watched my mom the past few days, I can tell that she feels torn: should she laugh or cry about this? And is it in some way pretending to pack a swimsuit and sunscreen and board games when her hair is falling out? Should we still go? And with pending results of her most recent scan-- waiting to hear from the doctor if her cancer has spread-- what will we even do when we get there? 

As odd as it sounds, I think God gave us a vacation to digest the news. Even more blatantly this time, as the beach house we rented happens to have formerly been a retreat center and still has a name: Sea of Peace. As I've prayed this morning about our week there, God has given me another picture. Jesus, sleeping in the middle of a storm and Peter, walking on water. I don't know what He has in store for this week but I know that He knows full well what we bring with us, and He has orchestrated it nonetheless.

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