I am getting married but I don’t know to whom. There is no groom.
Family members who have passed away are near, and former colleagues I worked with at the NC Botanical Garden. We are inside of the community room at the Totten Center but we are also outside—it was always an inside/outside kind of place.
Someone picks a small flower and places it in my hand for my bridal wreath. I am wearing a long white dress and a veil that flows from behind me.
There is organ music playing a slow march, bridesmaids have walked down the aisle and when it comes my time to enter, my father stands before me with his arm ready to link. Then my mother appears, and she puts her arm through his. The aisle is too narrow for us to walk down side by side.
The music suddenly changes into dancing music, the three of us take hands and my father leads us down the aisle.
We are dancing and running into a large circle of people in the center of the room.
I wake up.
I feel the need to be with God so desperately that I move my usual spot on the couch in the living room up to my little office in the back of the second floor where I won’t be interrupted. It is filled with stacks of different versions of manuscripts and papers waiting for me to edit. It feels cluttered.
I light a candle and move a hanger of sweatshirts on the back of the door to the inside of the closet and think, I must give these away. I take a breath, exhale. And realize I prefer my spot on the couch downstairs. That is my office. That is where I show up each day to meet with Him and do the work He has for me.
So, I pack up and move downstairs. It seems I have learned to make a sanctuary out of my normal ordinary life—my spot on the couch has become my own inner room within our home.
He meets me here, touching my mind, renewing and restoring. Precious peace enters in when Big Puppy, Fannie, is resting quietly in the seat of a chair (I know, she is spoiled), and cat Mary is perched on top of it. Todd is puttering.
I light a candle that has a picture of my son and his wife imprinted on the glass—a gift. They are embracing and smiling at me. My continual prayer for years was that Charlie would find a woman who would love him for who he is—would treasure him as He does, as I do—as a beloved wife and best friend. He answered my prayer.
This is my sanctuary, the place I listen and wait to hear Him speak, or just sit within His silence. I read His Love Letter and the Words come to life, spilling off the page into me, cleansing my mind and heart, renewing, redeeming, as I open up my inner most thoughts and confessions.
Yes, this is my sanctuary…
Although I am having some interesting conversations these days about where God is in all this, I will keep the faith, for I know firsthand that God’s ways are not my ways. His plans are not my plans, His thoughts are not my thoughts. Yet I will put my trust in Him.
There is a pandemic outside these doors and windows. It may not be long before it enters in. But I will not fear. I will trust in my God. I will pray for the well-being of the world, for renewal, restoration, redemption. God is in control. His ways are not our ways.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8,9.
I have needed these words during times of struggle and suffering in my life. I need these Words today. And I need to ask, how you are doing? How are you moving through this situation? Keep dancing my friend.
Sending love and prayers,
Photo: Boy on the rocks of the shore near Jardin del Eden. Manzanillo Bay in Northern Troncones, Mexico.