Marriage, kids, ministry, family. This has been an interesting year for us Mr Mo. I'm not even sure what emotion I'm feeling from it yet.
At the beginning of the year, we told each other our words for the year. Mine was nourish. I guess I had this idea that it was going to be my year to shuffle around in the garden of our home, family, marriage, ministry. I had this idea that you'd come home from work and I'd have a healthy-dinner-that-I-meal-planned ready. Laundry would be folded, our babes babbling and coloring at the table and my heart refreshed.
An herb garden. Yes. I thought it was my year for the herb garden. Beautiful, delicate, fragrant and useful.
But it isn't, is it? ;)
Instead, the work we've put in this year feels more like hand plowing an entire forest of freaking evergreens.
In contrast to my herb garden ideologies, it feels like we've spent the better part of the last 9 months breaking up ancient dirt, dragging in the water supply, and planting the seeds to a national forest, row by row. But maybe that's because we are.
It's our own faults really. Remember when we told God we were ready for anything? We wanted to do whatever He had for us to do. We wanted to give our lives to His Church. We wanted to raise world changers. We wanted to influence for truth and grace and mercy and love.
I'll never forget that moment on our wedding day, when we read off our hand written vows. I was surprised at how similar they were. Not in length, because well, I got kind of carried away. #amirachelgreen
But the tone. It was the tone that, now looking back, screamed innocence and naivety in love and faith.
I wonder how many married couples leaned in to the other and smirked, nudged or whispered something to the effect of, "Aww, they have no idea what's coming for them."
We were young and zealous. Full of faith and fire and way too much take out. It's humorous to us now, reminiscing on the journey we've taken together so far. But to be honest, I've had the most wonderful time on this journey to our field. Our promise land.
We've weathered some crazy a** storms. We've climbed some impossible mountains. We've walked through terrible dark valleys.
And now we're here.
I know what I feel now. I just realized it, right now, at 2:02 PM on September 8.
I feel found.
I feel like the last 7 years, I've been trying to figure out who I am to which person and tribe and season. A 20 something wife and mom, daughter, grand-daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, worship leader, mentor, mentee, musician, teacher, writer. And then this last year nearly took me out of the game. I went through so many drastic life changes at once, some beautiful and others devastating, that I just about lost myself.
Looking back, I think it was the height of the contrast between the beauty and devastation that confused my heart and mind and soul. One second I felt overwhelming joy and the next, overwhelming grief. One second fulfillment and the next, excruciating pain.
I didn't know whether it was okay to laugh or if it was okay to cry, because nothing left enough space for reckoning.
I was in the darkest crack of the valley, suffocating with the tension between trusting God and cursing at Him. I felt like I had one foot in the light and one in the dark, knowing full well which was right. But something wasn't letting me fully release it all to Him. My humanness maybe?
But you found me. Over and over and over again. Some days it took you a little longer and some days you knew right where I was. But every single time, you found me.
And all the while, dropping seedlings to our forest wherever you went.
There's something extremely potent about the manifestation of a covenant. A vow coming to life. A promise being kept.
We, as well meaning individuals, can promise people things all day long with every intention of fulfilling them. But when the time comes to cash in on that vow, we're never really ready. There never seems to be an overflow in the commitment bank. It's work. It's a muster. It's a grunt.
But when it pulls through, it's the most beautiful thing the world can experience.
"For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.
As the Scriptures say, 'A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." (Ephesians 5)
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for fighting on my behalf.
Thank you for tilling the ground of our forest even harder than I could.
Thank you for living the Gospel by digging through the rubble, meeting me on the floor, and carrying me home.
Thank you, babe, for finding me.