Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tunnel Living

Ever been in a tunnel? Ever felt like you’d never come out – no matter how fast you raced toward what you thought was the other end? Ever wish you could magically make the tunnel go away – maybe even pretend that you weren’t in one?!

I have.

I’ve been in a tunnel for a long time but the road out began 10 years ago.

July 19, 2002

I met a man named Michael Verkaik and my life was never the same again. He pursued me because he was convinced that I was the woman God had for him. He obeyed the prompting of my Father and rescued me.

A few nights ago, I confessed to Mike that our 9 years of marriage have been very difficult. His face told me he wasn’t sure what to say so I continued: the hardest part was dealing with myself and my junk.

He has been an amazing friend, husband, lover, and protector, but I came loaded with rotten baggage from my past - baggage that has dragged down our relationship. It has been excruciatingly painful to deal with, but so worth it.

If you would’ve asked me before we got married if I had baggage to deal with, I would’ve laughed and confidently replied, “No. I have all the tools I need to deal with whatever comes.”

5 vehicles, 4 jobs, 3 pregnancies – 1 being a complete surprise, 2 churches, and 1 amazing God!

Throughout all that time, I didn’t even know I was in a tunnel because the ceiling looked just like the bright outdoors. I kept on being a wife, a mom, a church member and a children’s ministry leader the only way I knew – confidently. I felt nagging doubt in my inner being but kept plowing away – not sure what to do.

Well, it’s true what they say: a tunnel is scary dark just before you see the light... the light of an oncoming train, that is.  That day when we got the phone call about my father’s heart attack… the day when I mailed a very difficult but hopeful letter to him… the day he rejected all I had to say… the day my mother joined him…

Those things would’ve pushed me right over were it not for the little lessons my Father had been teaching me about His love. What it means for Him to love me. How much He loves me – even beyond what I do. How what I do matters, but His love sees past even that. That the hard circumstances I encounter are not His disapproval but His grace in my life. That His love is anything but soft – it’s rugged enough to withstand the cross and my ugly sin. That to wish my life had been different would be a tragedy. My very person would be forever changed without those scars. He has taken those hard things and redeemed them – even made them beautiful in His eyes.

Praise God we don’t have to hide scars
They just strengthen our wounds, and they soften our hearts.
They remind us of where we have been, but not who we are
So praise God, praise God we don’t have to hide scars!
(Jonny Diaz - Scars)

I lift my arms to my Abba! He shows me every single day what it means to call Him Daddy.

I am surrounded by His grace… for every moment… in every moment.

While I’m sure life will have more “scary-dark” moments, I am no longer in a tunnel because I know my Father has my hand and I will dance confidently because He loves me!

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