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Hendricks Chapel, Syracuse University.

Hendricks Chapel, Syracuse University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t been writing very much lately.  Work has pretty much consumed my life.  It’s easy to get caught up in charts and paperwork, and summaries, and [my lack of]  time management.  It’s a lot.  Last week was the Syracuse University commencement ceremony.  I didn’t go to the Dome, but went to the smaller ceremony in Hendrick’s Chapel on Thursday.  It was perfect;  the only one missing was my oldest daughter, but she gave me a Pandora bracelet, a rose, and a beautiful card, so we’re good.  I don’t feel like I graduated, though;  it’s hard when the ceremony is right after work;  I’m in the process of applying for graduate school, and God only knows (really) how it’s all getting paid for.  Or where it all leads to;  as soon as everything looks clear, there’s a change.  Not the graduate-from-high-school-go-to-Bible-college-and marry-a-pastor journey I thought I was taking.  At all.  The dust is settling, and two kids, one divorce and a lot of trauma later, all I can think is Wow.  What just happened?

When in doubt, go back to what you know.  The Word of God never changes;  His love and care for me never ends.  I was in a restaurant the other evening with a friend and another woman, and my friend and I were telling the younger woman how we came to know God.  I told her that our perception of God is defined by the need in our life at the moment of our encounter with Him;  I became a Christian in 1978 (I believe)  and as a young adolescent, I wasn’t coming out of a life of sin and wild living;  I was, for lack of a better word, quite a nerd.  And that moment was more about running into the arms of a loving father who would never leave me, because that was what I personally needed.  And that was and has been my relationship with God:  an absolute, unshakable certainty that he as my Father will always love, protect and guide me, even (and especially) when I don’t know what I’m doing, which is quite often.  I make a lot of mistakes;  if I ever stop to dwell on them, it’s humiliating and disabling.  And ever before me is the awareness that the people who come into my office feel much the same way.  Many, many suicidal people are simply too embarrassed to keep living.  Not just out in the world, but in the church.  And we don’t help, with our performance-driven acceptance of those who appear to have it all together.   Most days, I would rather face a demon than an usher, simply because I know I have authority over the demon, but the church staff has the power to define me based on what they see.  And they do, but not as much as they used to.  Things have quieted down quite a bit in the last year, which is a tremendous blessing.

So, the gown is hanging on the door in the bedroom, the diploma is on the kitchen table, and I’m off to do garage sales with my niece and her baby.  It’s an absolutely beautiful day out, and just for today life is good.  Really good.  Be blessed, people.

“Being Confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”   -Philippians 1:6