Skipping Rocks

by - September 26, 2015

First you have to find the right rock.  It needs to be smooth and flat.  One with the rough edges already kind of knocked off.  Then you curl it up in your pointer finger.  Side-wind your arm back, keeping it down low to your side.  Bring your arm forward and give your wrist a little flick as you release the rock to skip across the surface of the water. It hits the water, causes a ripple, but lifts right back up.  Then it hits again, and leaves a little ripple.  Sometimes if you picked the right rock, curled it, and released it right… it lifts again, and maybe even again. I remember walking along the rocky bank of Birch Lake watching my parents, my pa, my brother, probably my cousins, skipping rocks. In the oldest memory of skipping rocks I can visualize, I have a view point of about 3 feet high off the bank, so I must have been young.  We’ve skipped rocks a lot of times though, so I do have memories from varying heights.

I lifted off again this morning. Sitting in window seat 22F, I’m finding some words to speak as we fly toward Nashville for a conference where I will get to help work a our ministry booth and point people to Hope.  I will also get equipped by other Christian counselors for the road that graciously continues to lie ahead in life and ministry.  It’s a road with a lot of signs always pointing in the right direction, if I will just keep looking up for them.   I’m never lost, even though I never know where this road is leading. It takes me to the next place, the right spot to touch down.  Sometimes it’s a smooth spot, and sometimes a difficult spot.  But, the right spot nonetheless.  And then, another lift off, moving me on down this road.

Over the past 7 years of this journey with the Lord, I have touched down a lot of times,  and especially in the last 3 years, in a lot of places. I’ve walked the bank with a lot of different people under many different circumstances doing life and ministry with them, as He has been working in me.  I’ve been learning to love, learning  to let go, learning to let God.  Each time I touch down I try to grab hold, like a skipping rock trying to grab the water.   Asking God, “Is this it?  Is this where I will land?”  Sometimes trying to boldly claim it, “This is it! This is where I will land!”  But, then I lift off again.  Not knowing, but never lost. Continuing on the journey to the next stop. Further from the shore.  “Will I ever just land? Will life ever feel resolved? Be settled.  Know what tomorrow holds.  Be prepared. Know what I’m doing.”  “Who told you landing was the purpose?”  

Sometimes, I think I know what the destination should be.  How this story would wrap up pretty.  So that I could look back and say it was all worth it, because skipping along all these years, or all these joys and trials, brought me to a beautiful place to sink into.  A marriage.  Motherhood.  A ministry.  A place.  A purpose.  Dots connected.  Everything comfortable. “There is nothing weird here to see!”  (Are you waiting for some story to wrap up neatly?)  I would like everything and everyone filed neatly into place so that my testimony can be desirable. “It’s for your glory God, do what I’m asking you to do…please?.” “Is it for my glory? Or is what I AM doing for my glory and for your good?”

So why even try?  If he isn’t going to answer our prayers (my prayers) how we want (I want)?  If he isn’t going to fix our brokenness, our marriages, our children, our addictions. If He is only going to lift me again, after every time I try to land, what is the point?  If He is just going to let your husband leave, your job end, your family get sick, never give you children, allow your friends turn their backs on you, your hair to turn a dark shade of raspberry after a highly consequential miscommunication with your hairstylist…(not a big deal in the big scheme but I am struggling to adjust, and was maybe a little disappointed that “God let this happen.”)

The point is…

"I believe in God the Father, Almighty Maker of heaven and Maker of earth.  And in Jesus Christ His only begotten son our Lord.  He was conceived by the Holy Spirt, born of the virgin Mary. Suffered under Pontius Pilot where he was crucified dead and buried.
And I believe what I believe in is what makes me what I am. And I did not make it, no it is making me.  It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man.
I believe that He who suffered was crucified, buried and dead. He descended into hell and on the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven where He sits at God's mighty right hand.  I believe that He's returning to judge the quick and the dead of the sons of men.
I believe in God the Father, Almighty Maker of Heaven and Maker of earth. And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son our Lord. I believe int the Holy Spirit, one Holy Church The communion of saints, the forgiveness of sin I believe in the resurrection I believe in a life that never ends.    
–Song lyrics from “Creed” by Third Day, adapted from the Apostle's Creed.

He is all worth it.

Because I believe, I live for Him. Not, because-of-what-he will-do-for-me, I will live for him.  Because He is not the root of all my problems, but the healer of all my wounds.  Because He doesn’t force me to follow Him, but He calls me to.  Because I no longer blame him for how others act, or for the results of my selfishness, pride, or sin.  Because I found my life when I laid it down.  I fight for my relationship with Him, even when temptations and disappointments hit me. I’ve learned to run to him instead of from him, and I find him every-time to be faithful.  Not because of what He changes in my life (although there have been many changes), but because of what He changes in me. He sets me free from trying to grab on to anything that would keep me from lifting off to the plans He has for me.  And His plans for us, are always better than our plans for us.  Always. And again, Always. Not everything I've prayed for has happened, but everything has happened that I've needed, and what has happened is way more than I've dreamed. There have been a lot of things I have regretted in my life, but I have never regretted trusting in The Lord.  I have fought it, wrestled with it, run from it, been angry over it, ignored it; but once I quit pitching my fits about it....I have never regretted it.  And I am in awe of all that he has done, and excited about all He will do.

As I lifted off again, I listened to the song Touch The Sky over and over and over.  There tends to be one theme song for every trip.  As these words were playing through me, here is the sunrise that beamed through the airplane window.  There is no filter on this picture.  Those are His original colors.  And, below is a link to the song if you want to take a listen… I touch the sky, when my knees hit the ground.  

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