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Archive for the ‘Dysfunction’ Category

Growing up, riding the yellow school bus to school, I loved those dark mornings, passing houses, seeing a warm glow coming from a few windows – and I would imagine families in there, families with a mom, a dad and children. I was. . .

on the outside looking in.

Growing up in my grandmother’s house – with my mom, my brother and I, a special occasion house that became everyday home, a home with very fond memories, where my grandmother taught me to play bridge, to make my own amusement and to stand up for what I believe. I knew if I could stand up to her when we disagreed about important things to me – then I could stand up to anybody. But I was not hers. I was not my grandfather’s. “You don’t know what it’s like to lose your mother,” my mom said at her funeral. . . . But it felt like I had. . . . a heart can have more than one person mother-love you, can’t it? I was . . .

on the outside looking in.

My dad lived 15 minutes away. I didn’t see him much until I learned to drive. I took him a book of my poems, my heart and soul. When I went back a few weeks later, I asked him how he liked them. “I didn’t read them. The print was too small,” he said, his glasses beside him. I didn’t feel imprinted on the inside of his heart. I was . . .

on the outside looking in.

Going to Catholic school, when I took my First Communion – I gave my life to the Lord. If you can’t find God in your church, maybe it’s because you don’t need Him or aren’t looking for Him.  This broken little girl found him. I so needed. . . and sometimes found solace praying in church during recess, learned how to pray from books about Christians on fire for Jesus, like St. Teresa of Lisieux who taught me how to pray – but I couldn’t understand how Jesus could love me like He loved Peter, James and John. I was . . .

on the outside looking in.

I didn’t realize I was on the outside looking in. It was my life. Being on the inside was not my experience.

But I know I wanted a life outside of dysfunction.

I made a lot of not choices – not going out just to have a good time, not throwing away my innocence, not partying – the risks were just too great. If I wanted to climb out of dysfunction, then I had to choose a lot of  not going to. . .

I prayed that God would show me the right man so my children would never feel they were on the outside looking in as they drove to school. So my children would know they were imprinted on their father’s heart.

Behavior choices weren’t enough, though. Behavior choices didn’t fix brokenness. Works don’t heal. Knowing who I am to the Father – that heals wounds, fixes brokenness – that was the missing key to opening the door to the inside.

I don’t remember when I finally realize that Jesus loves me as much as Peter, James and John. I was about 35 years old – but it was a liberating day, a soaring day – my ignorance had kept me out of the inner circle of my Father – not something someone else had done – just my lack of knowledge. While good choices can make a good life, good choices didn’t put me on the inside – only God’s great love for me pulled me from the outside into His inner circle. I am His. I am . . .

2doors2_edited-1on the inside

I am imprinted on His heart.
My poems are not scripted too small for Him to read.
He has a room for me with a warm glow in the morning in His house.
I am His daughter, His beloved daughter.

In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye”
(Deut. 32:10)

While people might set me on the outside, the Father wants me inside His house, His family. He calls me with urgency inside, grasps me with His unconditional-love grip, wraps my raw hurts with His Holy Spirit comfort. I am on the inside circle of the Father’s family – and He wants me there – on the inside. . . .

looking out

looking out to pull others in
because His children weren’t created for the outside
we are not created to keep people out
to make them feel outsiders

I never want anyone to feel like they are on the outside looking in

“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.  2-3But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him” (1 John 3:1-2)

Keeping out those that cross our path, that we’ve been called to relationship with, whether it is in the church, in a family, in a community, well, then, we aren’t loving as Christ loved us, if we make our siblings in Christ, our brothers and sisters in Christ, stand on the outside of our love, our friendship, our hearts. That also goes for those siblings who think they’re orphans, who don’t know they’re the Fathers – the Father wants us to pull them into His inner circle, too.

Loving your neighbor is an inside job.

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