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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

typical and ordinary...

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is  a broken spirit;

    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.
Psalms 51:16-17 (NIV)

I left typical living behind nearly 5 years ago. Atypical is better. Five years ago I lived the life I’d imagined; an interesting and vibrant career, volunteer opportunities within my community, a little money to burn, easy children, a healthy husband, not too much, but more than enough reason to feel blessed. I still feel blessed, but I left typical living behind nearly 5 years ago. 

Without warning, life dumped me on my head. Hearing my granny’s voice, I reminded myself that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I picked myself up, squared my shoulders, brushed the dust off my bruised ego and, walking away from the ashes of my former life, reinvented myself. I like me better now. It’s not that old me wasn’t wonderful; she was merely untested. I’ve had tests. Now I have testimonies. 

Do I see God in the middle of the small and ordinary? Daily. Sometimes moment by moment. Without the distractions of my so-called typical life, I see more God because I pay greater attention. It is not that He wasn’t always there; surely He Abides. I did not maintain sufficient clarity and closeness to consistently pay attention. Sometimes God prunes us in order to prepare for blooming.  Occasionally, God choses to take what might seem like everything away that we might remember from whence our provisions and our God-sized dreams come. I am changed. I never want to live typical again.

What I couldn’t know was that He’d break me first.  I had more of some things to give 5 years ago, the burnt offerings I thought He’d desire. He wanted me. Broken. More than just surrendered, stilled, leaning on His Everlasting Arms.  Things that I’d seen before looked different, because I was seeing differently. Things I’d heard before I heard again.

He was always my provision. He was always my sustainer, whether I saw through circumstances or not. Things I’d read before I read again. Promises upon which I’d been raised finally resonated deep within my soul, like finally finding My True Source. My Native Tongue. My intimate and sustaining worship of My Father.  Jabez’ prayer was no longer a formula. The promise of Joel 2 felt like a rhema word for me. I’d heard it before but hear it again.

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. Joel 2:25-27 (NIV)

I left typical living behind nearly 5 years ago. And whether the life I live know is the live I’ll always live or whether He choses in His Perfect Will to repay or restore what was, I am changed. I am broken. I am contrite. I am richly and abundantly blessed. Despite the hardest things I have faced and will face, I am comforted that in an imperfect world, a Perfect God loves us and abides with us through all things. And, finally, having learned that one lesson, I will never live typically AGAIN.

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