2015: Walking Forward with a Limp

Lunches packed, backpacks zipped, and the girls buckled in. Matt pulls the van out of the garage this morning as “Speak Life” blares through the speakers. He’s doing his own cheorgraphy to make Ruby laugh. We’re all forced smiles and silly dancing to hide our sadness that the time has come for our family to go our separate ways once again. Nineteen and a half days of science experiements, easy baking in the new oven, ninja swords slashing, library bags stuffed full of the allotted 25 books checked out per card, more sweets and late mornings and nights than we see any other time of the year. It. was. wonderful.

Days with this girl whose precociousness was cute at age 7 but is something else at age 9. 😉

She and I are BFFs we say, and we are, but she likes her new Justice clothes too and is excited to wear them back to school. She’s reading Heaven for Kids and I pulled it off her bed today and couldn’t help but thank God for the way she’s marking it up and I murmer a quick prayer that it will sink down deep too.

Endless hours with this one.

She’s a lot of bark and some bite. But she curls up on my lap at 6 1/2 still like she did when she was 3 and watches “Night at the Museum.” She has some tears last night about going back to school and I take her in my arms and we run to Jesus together. I wish it wouldn’t have taken me almost 10 years into parenting to learn to talk about him, yes, but to him more. Every time she fears, we call to him. Where does your help come from, Ruby? Your help comes from the Lord. Hear it. Believe it. Live like it, precious girl.

And then the one I get to be with all the time for awhile longer.

He melts this mama to mush with that smile and tender heart. We pass a boy in the grocery store with his arm in a sling and Schaeffer wants to stop and pray for him. So we do. He hears an ambulance and says, “Mama, shouldn’t we pray about them?” So we do. Son, where else would we go, but to him? Surely his ear is not too dull to hear and his arm not too short to save.

Today, I’m tempted to curse time that takes my babies from me and pushes us too quickly back into our routine. But although time takes, today it also gives. So, I gather my heavy heart and move forward to do the next thing.

I move forward though, with a limp. Some are charging into 2015 full steam ahead. I wish I could, but charging isn’t for me. John Piper said, “Any progress forward we make in this life is with a limp.”

And, oh, how I feel it! It’s humbling, this limp is. It reminds me of the times these past months that I’ve wrestled with God, like Jacob. “Not your will, but mine be done,” I’ve said. And he gently reminds me, like my wise grandpa did, that you can’t whip God. So instead I whisper, “Yes, Lord,” and trust and struggle up, not quite the same.

It reminds me of the same sins I’m wrestling with in this wandering heart of mine, some for weeks, months, and years past. The battle is tiring, not because I’m always fighting as hard as I should, but because the fight just never lets up.

And, it reminds me how much I need others to help me on to God.

This man.

Yes, him. He limps too, he’ll tell you. Especially when he looks at his “To Do” list every day, and even more on Sunday mornings when the Word weighs so heavy on him it just might crush him and he thinks what in the world is man, entrusted to handle truths so great? Yes, this man, whose chest I can’t touch because the beating there only reminds me of his mortality, and it’s too much to bear. Yes, this man, that I’m called to help. Some helper I am with my debilitating limp. But he understands and gives me a knowing glance as we link our arms of flesh that certainly will fail us and lean hard on the One who never will.

And these ones.

How quickly they’ve won a place in our hearts! There have been some trials and tears and many laughs and new experiences already that have bonded us together. The shepherd, I know him, he’s a loving pastor, a faithful doer, and an intentional and careful dreamer, and we are following and growing. They know about our limp and they love us still. They’ve even bravely shared that they too, walk with one. So we promise together to hold each other up and help each other home.

Walking forward into 2015, then, I ask – we ask – God to do things in our lives and our church that can only be explained by the fact that he’s a great God who loves and uses weak, feeble, and even limping sinners for his glory.

“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts!” (Isaiah 26:8)

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*I wrote this yesterday, but am just getting it posted today.

**Thanks to RJ and Emily Vergara for some of the (better) photos in this entry.

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