I went to a baby shower today for a former professor of mine, and a few hours before the party I was trying to think of something to write in the card. For as much writing as I do, I find my card writing to be rather inadequate. Christmas, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries--the kind of writing I do doesn't fit well in a card. I'm a better storyteller than I am greeting card quipper. But today I tried to think of something more clever than "yay for having a baby," especially since this was the professor who taught the best writing course I've ever taken.
I settled on something about parenting being the best and hardest job he and his wife would ever have, as well as how much it changes you. More than you expect. More than you can define. Just more.
And as I've sat down this week (multiple times) trying to encapsulate another life-changing experience, I found myself again feeling inadequate. I had so wanted to write about my faith this week, but the words evaded me. This week--Easter week, Holy week, Passion week--this is the week that much of my faith hinges on. I wanted to write about faith, wanted to attend the Good Friday service at church, wanted to spend more time reflecting this week on the sacrifice. Instead I found myself doing other things, albeit important and necessary things. Ballet class, cooking, pediatrician appointments, laundry, teaching, birthday party-ing, baby shower-ing, dessert with friend-ing. The tension of desire and duty keeps me ever on my toes.
No matter if I can write about it or not, however, my faith persists. No matter if I get the laundry done or not, get to MOPS meetings on time or not, create dynamic lesson plans for my students or not. my faith--my personal relationship with God who chose to die for me, chose to forgive me, chose to love me--my faith persists. It's part of me, and has been for nearly as long as I can remember. Sometimes I make great strides in my faith, huge bounding leaps. Other times, like at this stage in my life parenting young children, I find that my desire for positive change outweighs the time and energy I have to put towards this.
One of the final chapters of the book I read for Lent (Small Surrenders by Emilie Griffin) has this passage which spoke greatly to me:
What must we do to clothe ourselves with a new self? In fact, this is a work of grace, which seemingly comes over us when we are attentive, faithful, and believing. This is the reason for our rejoicing: that Jesus came for us and gave us the way to imitate him, to imitate God. However inadequate we may feel to this amazing destiny, it is ours; it is the promise that Jesus has made to us and lived out for us. Our task is to accept the grace, to make our small surrenders.
Fortunately, my faith doesn't depend on what I do. It depends on what God has already done. Easter Sunday is coming, and for my life--whether I'm feeling adequate or not--Sunday has made all the difference. My thoughts this week on the Resurrection changed me. More than I expected. More than I can define. Just more.
Hallelujah for that.
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