Spring Is in the Air


“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust

I absolutely adore spring! It is a time of hope and a time of renewal. It’s a time of excitement and a chance to start over. All things are new. I especially love the warmth of the sun. It makes my body relax and my soul feel good all over.

As I was walking home from work this evening, I realized it has been a long time since I have really had the opportunity to enjoy something. The past 20 years have been so difficult. Somehow my light within got snuffed out, and it has been difficult to get it burning again.

A few things have happened over the past few months, though, that have stoked the embers and fanned the flame, at least to the point where there are flickers of possibility filled with promises of something exciting to come.

Probably the most drastic thing that has happened is I’ve become a bit of an empty nester with all of my kids in college and away from home now. I’ve gone back to school myself to work on my Master’s in Strategic Communication. I’m succeeding in a completely new area of learning, which is allowing me to use my God-given abilities and get my creative juices flowing again. That in and of itself is wonderful. I’ve so missed the freedom to be creative!

On a more somber note, the second thing that has happened is that I have lost a friend. This has been the most devastating thing ever. My friend didn’t die; he just chose to no longer be my friend. He may as well have died. The result in my heart is the same.

The thing is, I wasted 20 years of my life over this man. I never gave up on him. I loved him deeply. I fell in love with him in my 20s and thought he was “the one.” (I still do.) Unfortunately, apparently he didn’t feel the same. Too bad I didn’t learn that 20 years sooner. Things might have been so much easier.

For a long time, I decided to ignore my feelings for him. I was married. I had children. Then, I eventually realized my marriage was over. I had given it my best shot for 20 years and couldn’t do it anymore. Then the pendulum swung to the opposite extreme, and my feelings took over. I had been lonely and miserable for so long that I wanted to rekindle my relationship with the man from my past. He never married, and I was now divorced. It seemed logical to me.

Unfortunately, lonely and miserable people do not think clearly. They act strangely. They do stupid stuff. I was no exception. I wanted to believe he never married because he couldn’t get over me. Friends told me to forget him; he had obviously moved on. I thought, “But they don’t know him like I do.”

When we met (in a Dale Carnegie class), we started a four-year relationship that blossomed into something incredibly special. We discovered we had so much in common. We had both lived in Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Boston and New York about the same time. We had the same political beliefs. We enjoyed just being in each other’s company. We brought out the best in each other and became better people because of it. Unfortunately, we also had a lot of baggage; and life got in the way.

In retrospect, I guess it wasn’t so much that this man couldn’t get over me; it was  the demons from his past that kept him bound as a bachelor. He is an adult child of (very high-functioning) alcoholic parents. I don’t know a whole lot about alcoholism, but I do know that it can result in rejection and abandonment issues that never quite go away. My friend lost all trust in me and refused to communicate. I had abandoned him in my 20s, and he took that to mean I no longer loved him. Therefore, I could no longer be trusted.

After years of attempting to make things right, I have finally reached the point where I can honestly say, “I have done all that I can. There is nothing more I can do.” I never gave up on him (and at least I didn’t go down without a fight), but it is time to move on. We can’t make people love us.

So, with spring in the air, I am looking forward to moving forward, starting over and seeing life blossom anew. Next year at this time, God willing, I will be close to finishing up my master’s program. I am hoping to start over in a new career. Virginia or North Carolina are calling my name. I may not get there next year, but I’m hoping to head that way within the next five years. Maybe God is preparing a new love for me there. I can’t wait to meet him! 🙂

Starting over,
Lori Lynn

Dear LORD … thank you for all things new. Thank you for the chance to start over. Even though our hearts may always feel sadness over a lost or broken friendship, we trust that You will either redeem it or have a new friend cross our path. Help us to remember that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to be our closest Friend. Amen.

Labor Pains


For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  -Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

As I was walking home from work last night, I got to thinking about pregnancy and labor pains.  When I was pregnant with my three children, especially the first one, I was very nervous about D-day.  I wondered about the pain.  I wondered about the lack of privacy and the vulnerability associated with that whole aspect of childbirth.  I wondered about the unknown.  I had very little experience with children.  I thought back to how, at the beginning stage of pregnancy, I focused on the fear of the unknown and how I was not looking forward to the process of giving birth.  However, as time passed and D-day loomed closer and closer, it amazed me how my perspective changed.  As my body was trying to adapt to growing larger and larger, and sleep was becoming less and less comfortable, I began to think to myself, “Okay, LORD, I am SO ready for this baby to be born.  Can we just get it over with?”  The uncomfortableness of late-stage pregnancy was outweighing the fear.  I was ready to get the birthing process over and done with.  I was still nervous, but I knew God would see me through whatever lay ahead.

So, yesterday as I was walking home, I thought about a similar process I’ve been going through in my life lately.  God is ready to birth a new thing in me, and I have not been looking forward to the birthing process.  I’m scared of the unknown.  I’m thinking it’s going to hurt.  I’m wondering, “What happens if I can’t do it?”  Yet, when God first began talking with me about what He was planning for my life, it was very similar to finding out I was pregnant.  Initially, my heart was overjoyed.  I was excited.  I was filled with hope.  I dreamed about what a wonderful mother I would be and what a blessing this little baby growing inside me would bring.  It wasn’t until LATER that the fear factor (the notion that this baby inside would somehow have to make his or her way OUT) kicked in.

Now, as I get closer and closer to the moment of “birth” in this new season of my life, the uncomfortableness is outweighing the fear.  “It is time,” my heart says.  It’s time to face the fear and get this over and done with.  The end result will be a blessing, even if the process will be messy.

Trusting my Father to help me through…

Lori Lynn

Father, I want to step out in faith with You in this next chapter of my life.  Be with me in the birthing process and give me courage and strength to make it through the messy part.  Fill my heart with joy in the days ahead as you teach me how to nurture and love what You have knit together within me.  I completely agree with the psalmist… “Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

_____

I wonder, “Can any of you relate?”  Are you facing something in your life right now that is a bit scary, that you’re not sure just how it will turn out?

 

 

Moving On


Why is a car’s windshield so large and the rearview mirror is so small?  Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE.  So look ahead and move on.

I received this as part of an e-mail today.  It resonated with me, because I have spent so much of my life living in the past.  Twenty-five years ago, I met a man with whom I fell deeply in love.  I have very strong soul ties with him and have had a difficult time getting him out of my mind.  He was the man I thought I would marry.  He is the man I wanted to share the rest of my life with.  At the time, I really thought this man felt the same way about me.  I’m not exactly sure what happened.  I just know that I didn’t fit his family’s mold for whom they wanted in their son’s future.  They were quite well-to-do, and I was just an average Midwest farmer’s daughter.  Perhaps part of the equation was the fact that this man’s father was an atheist, and he didn’t like what he saw in Jesus-girl me. 🙂

At any rate, I married another man and never forgot this guy.  I found out a few years ago that he never married.  Silly me thought, “Wow… maybe he never married, because he never found anyone he loved as much as he loved me!”  (What can I say… I live in a fantasy world.)  After corresponding with him a bit via e-mail and phone calls, I am realizing that probably wasn’t it. (Reality check.)  Although I’d like to think he was scared off by his intense feelings for me hitting him blindside, it was probably more the fact that he didn’t really care about me as much as I thought he did.  It used to be that he would call me all hours of the day and talk FOREVER; now when I call him, I’m lucky if he talks for 10 minutes. I have to remind myself not to take it personally.  He’s not where I’m at.  He has moved on, whereas I am longing for what was.

Can any of you relate?  Maybe for you it’s not a lost love.  Maybe you’re like my husband who, with a dream in his heart of one day joining the Air Force, found out on his fourteenth birthday that his newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes meant he would never be able to fly.  Or maybe you’re like my high-school friend who had her heart set on playing the French horn professionally and then lost part of her middle finger while working at a canning factory the summer of our senior year.

What have you done to get yourself past the hurt and the disappointment… the crushed hopes and the reality of what is?  How do you say goodbye to the life you thought you would have and embrace the one you’ve been given?

I wish I had an answer, but I don’t.  The best I can come up with is that I think it’s a process.  I think it begins with  simple SURRENDER… surrendering control… being willing to let some things happen in their own way, space, and time.

I think it requires COMMUNICATION… conversing with our Father in heaven… crying out in anger, frustration, hopelessness, and despair (if necessary)… the main point being to purge ourselves of the heavy emotions (which our loving Father knows already anyway) that weigh down our spirit and make life so hard to bear.  I have cried out (spat out really) in the middle of the night, “WHY?!?  What was the PURPOSE (in having my path cross with this man I loved)?!?”  Maybe it was to teach me that prior to that encounter, I had a pretty self-righteous attitude.  Maybe it was to show me that I am a sinner.  Maybe it was to pray harder than I’ve ever prayed in my life for this man’s father on his deathbed that he might come to know Christ before leaving life here on earth.  I don’t know what the purpose was… but God does.

I think it means learning the art of ACCEPTANCE…  accepting the fact that we may never have all the answers we seek… being open to accepting the gifts God wants to give us in place of what we were grasping so tightly before.

I think it involves TRUST… trusting God to work things out according to His plan… trusting that He knows our future and how everything will be woven together into a beautiful tapestry if we just get out of the way of the Weaver’s hands.

I think it calls for RECEPTIVITY… receiving the love of YAHWEH Himself… allowing Him to be the Lover of our soul.

I think it means SEEKING… seeking a greater purpose outside of ourselves… seeking what part we play in this great orchestra of life.  Maybe we become so focused on the solo we were so sure we’d have that we forget it’s all about resonance.

Whatever the real answer is, there is one thing of which I am certain.  God restores my soul (Psalm 23:3), and for that I am deeply grateful.

Learning to move on and embrace life…

Lori Lynn

Father… I need Your arms around me as I move on with the life You have planned for me.  I don’t want to be holding on so desperately to someone or something that I completely miss my calling.  I want to be open to the life You planned for me when You formed me in my mother’s womb.  You knew each of my days before one of them came to pass.  Lead me now, LORD.  Lead me down a path that will bless many and bear much fruit for Your kingdom.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen