Monday, October 29, 2012


Last night I worshiped the Lord with some of my greatest friends by my side.  The sanctuary was dark and not many words were spoken.  It was just us, God and the music.  
 I have the greatest, truest friends.  Friends who don't judge me when I snap on the lady at the other end of the speaker at a drive thru for really no good reason.  When I look to them for reassurance, they don't say a word-and they never would.  I have friends who gently reach forward with a touch of reassurance during words that may sting my heart during an emotional service.
 They know me; the inner and outer part of me.  
And they love me greatly.  
 When the message was spoken last night, it was about unity.  And I thought about how the people doing life with me day to day have made it their great mission to surround me, unified.  
They are hurting too.  There pain has been real too.  And it has been vital in shaping them for the task of loving me.  I believe that my pain is doing the same as well.  Some day I will be better equipped to love, surround and give to them because of my deep hurts.  It's the circle of life.  The inevitable.
 I felt overwhelmed by the Spirit of God and the spirit of friendship in that place last night.  I felt overwhelmed at how God is growing each of us; teaching us, helping us, setting a fire ablaze in us.  He is working wildly in our lives.  

Many of you have asked why I'm not writing my book yet and this is precisely why.  There is so much more to be written.
 For instance, tomorrow one of my greatest friends will be heading to the doctor to hear and see the heartbeat of a new baby.  The contrast is great between us; she is preparing to greet new life and in a sense, I am trying to become acquainted with the prospect of death.

That's just it, though, God is the author of it all.  
The author of life AND death.  The creator who gives AND takes away.
He is the God of all, and a good God because of it.
We have to choose to love Him for His goodness. For life, death and everything in between.
 I look at the women in these photos (who are only a handful of my closest friends) and I see this:
Divorce, miscarriage, insecurities, death of babies, terminal diagnosis, and a handful of other HEAVY things.  We are all young but we have all walked through something that has been a great burden to bare.  And we have all survived it.  Not easily, not always gracefully but we are still breathing and we are together. 

We are unified in the hurts, and the joys. The pain and triumph.  The sadness or the happy.
There is unity here that is rooted in God. It was said last night that it is our sole purpose in this life--to worship God in unity with other believers.
In just a moment I'm going to share with you a personal letter that Rache wrote to me just yesterday.  In it, she talks of life and death.  It's common for me to get things like this from her.  

I am proud of how, in this journey, I have made the very difficult choice to wake up each day and truly LIVE.  Not just get by, but live life fully with the people who I love.  

Girls--I want each one of you to know that I see you doing that too.  Despite that medical realities that have unraveled before our eyes this year, one of you chose to grow new life inside of you.  It's brave and I love you for it.
Abrian will someday do the same.
Rachelle and Jeni might also.
Jen will go on to have more children, Becky might, Abby might, and even Ashley or Lindsay might.  
Katie will choose hope. Rache will choose forgiveness. 
All of you will do something that will push you forward and onward into the great life that is awaiting. God gave us a choice and Rachel's letter to me sums it up perfectly...
'Deuteronomy 30:15  "See I set before you life AND death--choose life."
My friend,
I believe lots of people read that verse, but few have to live it out, everyday.  God has LITERALLY set before you: life & friends& laughter& joy & family--but He has also set before you death &terminal diagnosis & amp;altered home life &medicine &therapies & amp;funeral plans in your head.  It is set at a table for you everyday in a new way that is physical, real, in-you-face and daunting.  God says "choose life" and you have, and you continue to do so.  You could choose the plate of sorrow and pity, but I have watched you countless times push that plate aside and choose dessert--
Good, real, genuine, rich, delightful dessert full of friendships & amp;shared milestones, parties & amp;cute clothes.  I want you to always remember God set this table before you.  He placed life and death.  He is the maker and chef of this meal!  Never let anyone convince you that the 2 come from 2 different chefs or kitchens because they don't.  He asks you to choose.  You get a choice:)  
You are human and He knows.  Choose life, Rame.  You always have anyway...
Love, Rache.'

The unity between us is unmasked.  We all share things that are part of this unique dance.  We have all found something so unique in one another.  There aren't many people who have the friendships that we have and I know it.  I feel blessed because of it.  We have built up a city around our lives that is a protector; a net in case we fall.  I am incredibly thankful for this unified creation that I call my village.  

Tomorrow, I will share with you who will be expanding our dreamland by one new life...
She's scared, I know, so please pray.  Either way God is God and we are celebrating.

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