I Find the Genie in the Lamp.
“I want 100 bucks!!!”
There are 100 Male Deer Surrounding Me.
My Faith Feels Like an Old Cartoon.
Jesus failed us this year. I’m not really sure what to do with this situation. But He did and He knows it. So, here we are in this Jesus Journey. Sometimes I wonder if He meant to. Sometimes it feels malicious. Sometimes I praise Him in all this…But He totally failed The Hooks Family and we are dealing with the aftermath. It’s a crazy place to be: 40. Four kids. A nearly two-decade marriage. In love with my Savior. And He failed us. If I delete this past year and a half from my Jesus Journey…y’all…We were doing pretty good. Jesus and Me. This is my mid-faith crisis.
My Counselor Asked if I was Afraid Jesus Would Quit Loving Me
Are You Afraid You Will Quit Loving Him?
People talk about mid-life crisis a lot as you near 40. You joke about corvettes, career changes, cross country treks… Taking up photography/writing/singing/dancing/pottery/archery/you-name-it… Getting a “do over”. My mid-life crisis is somewhere between middle school drop off and preschool pick up…It’s waiting for me…but it will have to wait a little longer. In the mean time I am sitting in my backyard having my mid-faith crisis with a Carpenter King who seems to be silent as I question everything. And I can’t get a “do over”. This is life. This is faith. This is the stuff that matters…And it matters y’all.
Maybe I had started believing a magic formula. Maybe I had gotten too comfortable. Maybe I had become the “Us” and “Them” type of Christian. Maybe it is all of the above… and then some. But here is the deal y’all, God chose to answer prayers through my loss. Loss of a baby. Loss of a job. Loss of community. Loss of knowing who I am. And I stand here with a stack of answered prayers, y’all. Prayers He answered through our loss, y’all. Prayers I prayed for ever…Answered. And we lost so much to get here. Why did we have to lose so much to get here?
This Year Marks Before and After.
It is a Marker.
It is a Monument.
It is a Memorial.
To be honest with y’all, I just want to be back in Katy, TX. I just want to be with Jody Cook who knows me in a way that I don’t know myself and calls my bluff on all my BS so that I can stay carefree in Jesus. To be honest with y’all, I just want to be back in Arlington, TX in Deanne Hullender’s living room when everyone still got along and struggled and wrestled out faith and Jesus…in sweatpants eating popcorn.
I have Obeyed.
I have been Good.
I have Put My Hands High in the Air.
This is My Mid-Faith Crisis.
We sat around our dining room table this past Sunday. Three couples who are getting to know each other. All different ages. All different places on our Jesus Journey. All different stories to share. We ate lunch. We read Galatians 6:9. We talked and laughed. And somewhere in the mess of lunch and adults and kids…my boys…both in middle school…both in the horrible adolescent years are chasing each other around the house. They are laughing. And you can hear them in their room cracking up. You can hear something crash. And you can hear them laugh some more. And we ask for prayer requests and please pray for The Hooks Kids…They are really going through a hard time…a hard transition…a hard move…a big loss.
“But man, they are happy.” Says the oldest guy at the table.
Last night I was at a book club (Women, Wine and Wisdom…aka Best Monday Nights Ever)…wrestling out my faith in yoga pants on a couch with a room full of women I am getting to know…Have I been here before y’all? We are honest. We are struggling. We are questioning things we knew for sure just a year and a half ago. There is no set answer. There is no end in sight. There is no asking the easy questions. And there are tears here and there about faith and Jesus and when He fails us so enormously…and the bottom falls out…and you are left staring face to face with The One…The One who didn’t catch you this time…And you thought you would fly…because that’s somewhere in a song…and instead you just landed. As your expectations of a Savior crash all around…
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.” (1Corinthians 13:4-8)
There is a baby buried in my heart. There is a neighborhood, and a daily life and easy carpooling buried there too. This Jesus. Who I want so badly to be the Super Hero of this whole messy life…He is not rescuing me. He is not plucking me up from the bad days or the hard moments or the lonely hours. He is standing in the gap. He is saving me. The rescue did not come at just the right moment y’all. But His salvation, His love, comes again and again and again. Even as we scream, “Not Fair!!!” from the teenage bedroom of our soul. And He says in a million ways, “I love you.” Through Josh. Through Grace. Through Jude. Through Jake. Through Corey. I love you. And through all the prayers I prayed… as He chose to answer them this horrible year… He whispers, “I cannot rescue you…but oh how I love you.”
There is this hot shiny candy apple red corvette of faith I let drive away this year. I am sticking with the mini-van. It may not be flashy. It may not be new. It may be worn out and sound like it’s dragging a parking curb somewhere underneath. But it can carry a lot of people. And it holds these stories of love on the roads we have travelled. And it has broken down a time or two, but y’all, it’s still driving. Hop on in…the girl at the wheel has tears and mascara all over her face and possibly todays lunch somewhere on her shirt…and she is pretty broken down too…But she is loved y’all. And that…that love…it just doesn’t fail.