Tag Archives: spiritual

Lost and Found

The call came while we were out to dinner. My brother and sister in law were checking on our animals while we spent the day at Epcot with my parents. Our house had been ransacked. Destruction was everywhere. The culprit? Hemmingway. I asked my sister in law what was destroyed. She replied, “a book, the ottoman, part of the couch, a little bit of the stairs, a scarf, everything that was on your table, a pair of shoes”. I think she could hear the tension and panic in my voice as I asked, ” What about the Bible? There was a bible that was on the table. Was that destroyed?” There was a pause, and a hesitant, “Yes”. I handed the phone to Brad, ran to the bathroom, locked myself in a stall and sobbed. My bible, my prized possession, destroyed. When we finally got home I picked through the mess until I found my bible, held it in my hands and sobbed some more. I saved the portions that I could and put them in a box. And then I’m pretty sure that I cried myself to sleep.

I’ve had this habit, ever since I was 18, of giving my bibles away to people who either just gave the hearts to the Lord or are starting to seek Him more. I gave my first one away in Scotland, and I’d just recently given my last one to a girl I was mentoring at college. I bought this cheap, small pocket bible after I gave that one away, and I couldn’t really read it because the print was so tiny. I found it right before the Christmas of 2007 at a bookstore right before my shift at work. It was the prettiest bible I’d ever laid my eyes on. It was a beautiful plum color, with this intricate design in the center and a border around the edge. I fell in love with it instantly, but I couldn’t afford the $30 at the time. Because it was Christmas time what little money I had was going to bills and gifts. I put the bible back on the shelf and went to work. But, I couldn’t stop thinking about that bible. A few weeks later I had a customer who tipped me $40 on a $16 tab. I couldn’t believe my eyes….that was my bible! On Christmas Eve I drove to the bookstore and ran to the shelf, so nervous that my bible wouldn’t be there, but I had nothing to worry about…it was the first one I pulled off the shelf. I stood there, in the aisle of Books a Million, and this overwhelming knowledge that God saw me flooded my soul. I can describe that moment no other way. It was, and still is, one of the foundational moments of my life. I couldn’t stop crying. God saw me. He saw every time that I gave one of my bibles away. He saw it. And this time, this one was from Him.

That moment, and a few more amazing moments at Christmas, got me through the next season of my life. I was about to walk through one of the darkest, loneliest deserts I’d ever experienced. There would be many days when I would question the heart of God. I would question myself. I would question every relationship in my life. But never once did I question whether God saw me as I walked through it. That was the one shred of peace I had during that time. God saw me. His eyes were on me. I wasn’t curled into the fetal position in a corner by myself. He was there. I couldn’t feel Him, but he was there…and all I had to do was look at my bible to know that. That bible has tear stains in it from crying myself to sleep reading it at night. It had certain chapters and verses where the pages were almost worn through from me reading and re-reading them, clinging to anything that would get me through that season. It went everywhere with me, my book bag at school and my purse when I wasn’t at school. I am not exaggerating when I say that if my house was burning down, I would go back in to get that bible.

When it was destroyed, I didn’t know what to do. We bought my replacement bible, it was thick and black. I borderline hated it. Every time that I looked at it I was reminded that it wasn’t my bible. I know that you might be thinking, “Rebecca, it’s just a bible…pages between bonded leather. The important part is that it’s the Word of God. Not what it looks like.”. I know. And I completely agree with that statement in my head. But, my heart…with this particular bible..just couldn’t accept that. In all honesty, I really don’t put a whole lot of value into material things. Stuff is just that, stuff. But, for some reason, I just could never make peace with losing that bible. I’ve searched high and low for that same bible for two years now. Every time I go into a bookstore, I check to see if it’s there. I’ve asked store associates if they could order it. I’ve been to all the Christian bookstores in town. Nobody has it. To be completely honest with you, I’ve had a real hard time enjoying reading my replacement bible these past two years. More often than not, I find myself wiping dust off of it rather than reading it.

This whole past week I’ve had this gnawing thought in my mind that I needed to start the search again. If I couldn’t find my bible, then I was going to have to find one that I loved just as much. I just absolutely had to find another bible. I kinda dreaded asking Brad if we could start looking again. I’m going to Michigan. We’re not exactly rolling in the dough. But I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. I planned a sneak attack. I would just ask to go to the bookstore, and then if I found a bible, I would ask for it. I saw some pretty bibles, but none of them jumped of the shelves at me, if you know what I mean. I asked Brad if we could go to the bookstore about 10 minutes down the road. I walked straight to the bible section and started my search. It was the second bible that I pulled off the shelf. I handed it to Brad and I don’t think either one of us could believe our eyes. We looked at each other and then the bible, then back at each other. It was my bible. Again, I started crying in the aisle of Books A Million. I couldn’t stop. I paid for the bible crying. I cried more in the parking lot. I cried on the ride home.

My bible was lost. And now it’s found.

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Welcome to my therapy session

Sorry that I’ve been a little absent lately. I wrote Friday’s post in about 5 minutes early Friday morning, and I haven’t looked at my computer since. It’s been a good thing. I couldn’t trust the words that my fingers would type. I wanted to, believe me, I wanted to. Remember that post about honesty? That means that everything that I think, I would write. And, then, well, let’s just say that would be bad…in a major way.

So, instead, I’ve been doing a lot of crying. A lot of venting. A lot of cussing. And more praying than I’ve done in a while…which is what I want to talk about today.

Last week was the single hardest week of being a Christian that I’ve ever experienced in.my.life. The only thing that comes close to last week is January of 2008, and it wasn’t hard to be a Christian then…it was just hard to function. Last week I came face to face with how un-godly I really am. There’s a whole lot that looks good on the outside, but when the rubber hits the road…well, it’s a different story. I’m not beating myself up here, and I’m also not saying anything that’s not true. The beauty of Christianity, the beauty of serving a God who is loving, gentle, kind, forgiving, compassionate, all-knowing, full of grace, who’s mercies are new every morning…is, well, his mercies are new every morning. He knows I’m not perfect, and He loves me. Period. The end. Thank you Jesus.

I, however, have rough time with forgiveness. I have a rough time with compassion. I have a rough time referring to people by their names instead of various curse words I’ve assigned to them, which, depending on the time of day, can go from relatively harmless to the “F-bomb” as an adjective. I have a hard time giving, not expecting anything in return, simply because I love. I have a really hard time NOT praying that something bad would happen. In fact, I’ve had to pray for the grace to stop myself FROM praying that something bad would happen. For the very first time in my life, I have had to wrestle myself away from hating somebody. That, all by itself, was shocking to me. I don’t hate people. I love people. I’ve never truly hated anybody….but I did, if only for a few fleeting days of my life, truly hate somebody this week. My flesh, my ugly, rotten, sinful flesh, has made a horrible appearance…and it refuses to go away.

When Jesus said “Love your enemies”…he means it. That’s great in theory, and looks really good on paper, but my word…living it out is freaking ridiculous! And, he doesn’t even leave it there. He takes it a step forward and says, “love those who hate you. Pray for those who persecute you.” Jimminy Christmas that’s H-A-R-D. And it doesn’t come natural…it comes only by the grace of God. I keep thinking about Jesus saying that if somebody asks you to go one mile, you go two. And this sign on my way home that says, “A chip on your shoulder is the heaviest load you could ever carry”. I think about Romans 12:21 where is says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”. I meditate on, “As much as it is in your control, live at peace with all people”.

And, truth be told, I want to scream at all of those verses. I know it seems sacrilegious, but that’s the truth. I want to throw my body on the floor and kick and scream just like Zoe is going to do in about a year, and I want to yell at God that “that’s not fair! That’s just ridiculously not fair…they don’t seem to care about any of that!” But, you know what? That’s not my business. That’s not what I have to answer for…I have to answer for myself, my reactions, my heart. I have to surrender my will, my desires, my expectations, my emotions to a God who has a much larger perspective than me. A God who loves much better than me. A God who works all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

I know I flung a lot of scripture out there today. Thanks for letting me write through this. Thanks for supporting me even though you have no idea what’s going on. Writing this tonight has brought me more peace than I’ve felt for days…thanks for “listening”.

Happy Monday everybody!

Ps. Zoe’s going to be 1 in 6 days…which means 1) I have a crap-ton of party stuff I have to do this week 2) My house is going to be bursting at the seams in 5 days with family and friends 3) I’m about to have a 1-year old, and 4) I’m probably going to cry….and take 1,000 pictures.