Friday, May 17, 2013
Singing In The Valley Of Trouble
It was heaven. Air Force Bases as the home of my early childhood. New friends every day mixed with an endless supply of playmates and giant lawns for epic adventures. Military aircraft played symphonies above, vibrating my window as they landed in their safe haven. My favorites were the Jolly Green Giants floating over, the gentle ripple of their blades a lulling heartbeat. No one could hurt me there.
It all changed when I turned 8. Dad’s service completed, we entered civilian life. At first, it was a new adventure. Living in a Grandparents’ house filled with light, I attended the school where my Mom went. I walked to school imagining myself in her shoes. Then famine hit.
November 1976, in the breath of a sentence my world changed forever. We had to move. We needed to go where opportunity was. Like Joseph moving his father Jacob and family to
Egypt. I was moving to the Central
Valley of California. Both started out as provision and ended with trouble.
I grew up quickly as the weight of change burdened my Mom. She fought Depression valiantly. Christianity told her if she was anointed with oil and prayed over healing would come. Read the Bible, pray more, get involved in a Bible Study; all of these helped, but never fully freed her to be the person she was in the land of plenty.
She obeyed. Depression always came back.
The wilderness introduced a new mother. She did the best with what she had, constantly battling to be free. All of life became a struggle. Four girls, financial woes and I as the oldest accepted the responsibility to fill in the gaps. In this new land, I didn't fit into the culture. Friendships were few and far between. The ability to serve my Mom and sisters eased my burden of loneliness. I learned the joy and importance of service.
The Counting Mutant and I met in college. The weekend after graduation, at 20, with song and dance, I packed my car and moved.
was a land of new
purpose. Creating a home, we trekked into adulthood. Our journey carried us
from the Coast to LA. Central
Our fifth year of marriage brought us a beautiful baby, BoyA. A Master’s Degree introduced a new season. With breathless expectation we sought God for direction. Each interview ended with the same statement: If you only had a CPA…
It became clear we needed to start over. God had a promise and The Mutant knew the only place to find it was in the
Valley. My heart groaned. The promise was for him, but not for me.
I knew I was heading into another wilderness.
As Sarah followed Abraham, I packed my house and prepared for the journey. It didn't take long to realize how much trouble filled the
Central Valley for me. My family of origin in disarray
making the best of their situation, I realized my loneliness. We welcomed a
second son, BoyZ. The friends Father provided were few, but they were rich in
love and grace. The next four years left lasting, aching scars. I learned to
love God above everything else. He would always provide for me if I served and
obeyed him first. He was a Master I trusted.
For The Mutant, the CPA was obtained. He sought God’s face: where next? He opened a window and we were released. I quickly packed the house. With singing and dancing I left this
, eager to see
what promise set before us. Valley
The dream job is still a job. God often gives us exactly what we have asked for in order to draw us toward him and reveal its emptiness. The Mutant became acutely aware. Famine was coming. It was time to go again to the Valley.
I imagined what Naomi must have felt when her husband decided to move to
My soul ached. I cried out to my Master for mercy. He led me to this verse:
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, And the
Valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope; She shall sing
there, As in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the . land of Egypt
And it shall be, in that day," Says the Lord, "That you will call Me 'My Husband,' And no longer call Me 'My Master,'” Hosea 2:14-16
I entered a season of Winter Sun. Light to guide me without warmth. As I meditated on Hosea-written on windows and mirrors with dry erase marker and placed on shelves in frames- my eyes were opened to small tender mercies.
Father’s Fingerprints: A blue bird that lingered on a branch outside my window, friends who helped carry an impossible burden and aided a way of escape. Once back in the
he provided home with aged trees and a lake. Provision came from unlikely
sources. Former enemies gave us encouragement. Lessons about God’s love and
grace taught by disenfranchised. The freshly healed scars on my heart were
bumped and poked. Fresh wounds of abandonment appeared and my spirit sang;
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” Psalm 42:5
It has been a long ten years. I still stand in the
, yet God is now my Divine Love, no
longer a master I serve out of duty. I sing with laughter and fulfillment
because of the men BoyA and BoyZ have become. My husband’s soul is whole and
healed with of the return of a lost son, BoyN. The Counting Mutant is pleased
by fruitful labor. Divine Love uses GirlyK to renew and redeem childhood lost within
me. Valley of Achor
I confidently sing in this
now. In the beginning of this third, Divine Love whispered tender words to me as
he held me in seclusion. As time passed, rich vineyards of community flourished
and flowed with friendship. He provided exactly what we needed when we needed
it; from food to dance classes for the kids. Trouble was a door of hope, wounds
allowed to heal created an ability to unconditionally love and build boundaries
of wisdom. Valley of Trouble
Writing today, I overlook a backyard lake, trees dancing in the breeze and mountains shyly peak the distance. I am reminded of a childhood interrupted. The days of my youth; free to play in open spaces filled with green. I lay in rest by shores of flowing water. In my head, Miriam takes tambourine in hand, dances and sings: