July 2018

It’s the beginning and end of the story.

Twenty years ago my parents divorced.

Isn’t it funny how you remember certain things from your childhood with frightening clarity?

Isn’t it frightening how you can’t remember certain things from your childhood?

I remember feeling confused, in my ten year old heart. I remember feeling surprised. My world was falling apart around me, and I had lived on a childish bed of cotton candy.

I remember moments. I don’t remember the morning. I don’t remember words. I remember leaving. Was it evening? I think I remember my dad crying.

There was a time when someone prayed over me at summer camp a few years later. I had this recurring image of Jesus, bleeding and broken from the leather and the nails. It was a stamp over this moment, and I couldn’t see anything good in it. Only horrifying pain. That picture wouldn’t leave me, and it made me afraid. And that saint, that good person, who I cannot remember, prayed and fought a spiritual battle over me. They told me that Jesus wasn’t punishing us. That Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that we could have broken lives. That Jesus suffered and died for all this pain, but that he didn’t stay that way. Jesus doesn’t keep bleeding because of our mistakes. He’s already done it. He’s already emptied his veins and taken his last breath.

He is no longer dying. He is risen. He is ALIVE.

The image of Jesus that I have over our family, two decades later, is of a living God. A risen King. A healing Lord. A magnificent Creator.

God does not leave us to relive our suffering. He leads us to redemption.

He is the loving Father of all, who doesn’t leave any of his children when they are lost. He will search and search and search.

And search.

Jesus comes in our pain, because he suffered all. Jesus comes in our healing, because he has conquered death. Jesus will come in the future to redeem the world, because he is, and will always be, glorified above all.

So, Jesus Comes.

I am so thankful he came and found me.

Now, I am thirty. I have two small boys and a wonderful husband. I still have my loving parents. I still have my awesome brother.

Are we still a family? Yes.

Are their lives perfect? Far from it.

Are there consequences in this life when families break apart? Yes.

Is my life perfect? Nope. But when my toddler lies on the swing chair in the morning, with his silly orange sunglasses on upside down, I tell him: We have a wonderful life, don’t we? We have been so blessed, haven’t we?

And he seems to understand this in his own toddler language. Because I’ve started noticing that, although I’ve literally NEVER read a book to him - because he’s too busy turning the pages or finding another book - he always responds the same way when I ask him “what happens in this story?”

“So,” he says sagely, nodding to himself while turning the pages of Winnie the Pooh. My wise son who stacks cheerios for breakfast. “Jesus Comes.”

Never forget.

It’s the beginning and end of the story.