One morning I woke and the sky was pink fingers wiping through purple. I was a guest at a friend’s home, where the deer grazed next to waist-high cactus. Spanish oaks reached crooked arms out above hill country, and we all worshipped. I was in Austin with friends and had spent 8 days away from home when Seth drove down for his time at Idea Camp. I left him there in that summer oven with those good tacos, and I drove the quiet 9 hours home alone before re-entering this ruckus of a house, so full of personality that it could explode. The boys had made signs all over the house with smily faces and hearts on them. They made me paper hats and wrote me letters. It’s been such a precious thing.
I’ve come home a different woman, and I’m not exactly sure what the formula was for it, but I have to tell you that I am not afraid, not even a tiny little hair. It began last Tuesday, and I a smidge expected it was an emotion and would dissolve, but it wasn’t. I am standing confident before God, without anxiety, maybe for the first time since those sweet news days of when I first believed.
Childishly terrified of my calling, I have been trying for weeks now to unwrap myself still more from the dark days of this summer. Isn’t depression an ultimate self-awareness, a mind tangled inside itself so tightly that it can’t see out? This has been a season of unravelling from myself, and though I knew the unravelling was good, I was terrified. It’s hard to let go when you don’t know what you’re becoming.
I was among believing women, and the stark contrast between those who were afraid and those who were released to live fully and righteously and powerfully, it nearly undid me. Some women were so full of the life of Christ that nations had eaten and the paralyzed had risen to walk. There came a point that I began to weep, and I knew it in that moment that I was called – called, yes, to freedom, and called out from impatience and fear. I’ve said it all here before. I’ve known I am called. We all should know it, we royal priests, we chosen and holy. But something in that moment was a deeper knowing. Maybe it was a gift of faith. Maybe I looked down and saw that I had been holding a shield all along.
A woman spoke of David, how he was anointed to be king when he was only a child. After the oil ran down, he went right back into the field to continue in the work he had right in front of him. It was years until he reigned in the palace. Afterward she placed her hand on my heart and she prayed for me, and in that moment, something broke open like a glass of oil: peace, patience, contentment, and confidence. The Holy Spirit is not a joke, not a God-head to be ignored, not a wimpy wind that simply calls people a fine name. The Holy Spirit is the groan of God, the very tongue, the very fire that lights the wick. I had not known that the prayer of a righteous woman could avail that much. I had not known for a fact that I would ever be free, accustomed to my own thorns.
There are new tensions for me now, but I am not held together by fear.
When I walked in the door of my house, Jude’s shoes were wet outside because he had wandered into our neighborhood where a 7th grader had picked him up by the neck of his shirt and thrown him into the creek. Then a few minutes after hearing this story, Isaac told me that they had doughnuts at school one day. He laughed and said that a girl in his class had told him that if he ate the last doughnut, she would get her daddy’s army gun and come to our house and shoot him and his parents. He laughed while he said it.
Saturday I packed all four of them up to visit Bikes, Blues, and BBQ. We listened to the banjo on the square, and then we went down the hill, where the tits on every mannequin were aggressive melons, and they’re so young to have to learn to bounce the eyes. We walked into the gruff of it. We’re learning to love the world. We’re talking about not being afraid. We’re talking about when to run and when to stay. I walked my boys into an outdoor bar. Hair of the Dog. We’re always going back for more, the hair of the dog that bit us. But I’m showing them it doesn’t have to be this way. We can hear God over the sound of mufflers. We bought bracelets from some precious boys sitting among the bikers.
We don’t have to be afraid anymore. We don’t have to have to go back to the hair of the dog. Where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom. Break in as many ways as you can until you can know it. What comes out of it is direction and a place. People who have a place become place makers. Kingdom come.
PS: my writing may start to sound random and wild, and that’s just what I need it to be right now. My dear friend, Sarah, says her blog is her lab, so I’m following suit. This is not my place to be fancy. Go ahead and correct my spelling any time so I don’t look like an idiot. I love y’all.