going west

ben, em, and i are all headed to colorado. we are going on a retreat to buena vista with our church community. lots of life-changing things happen during trips like this. i’m very excited. and i’m also excited to start sharing some of the content on here. it really is life changing.

in the last week or so quite a bit happened in our little home: ben’s parents came into town, we threw a birthday party for emri, i started teaching a readers theater class once week, i had to pack my family of 3 for colorado, we prepared for a friend to stay at our house while we’re in colorado, and….received a negative pregnancy test…again. for other people, this load might be quite normal. for me…

…i was at full capacity.

i started to lose it at the end. particularly when we were finishing up the packing right before we left. i was spent. i was short with ben. irritated at everything he was doing although it wasn’t his fault. i think one time ben said,

“i don’t even know you right now.”

my response was,

“i’m your wife and i’m over-extended and overwhelmed.”

his eyes instantly became soft. and he let the conversation go. i don’t know that many men would respond that way. i’m blessed to say that my husband does.

we packed our bags, stuffed our car, and piled in. an hour behind schedule. i had so much stuff in my lap. the biggest blanket you can imagine, a puffy north face jacket (on and zipped up), pillow, (all things to make me super sweaty instantly) magazines, and some extra toys and luggage. i could hardly wiggle when i shut the door. as we drove off we were all quiet. i was too tired to even move the stuff off my lap. i closed my eyes and took in a deep breath and then those silent tears started rolling down my cheeks one at a time. just overwhelmed and exhausted thats all. just at the end of myself.

ben started to drive in silence. then he turned some music on and  took my hand and held it while we drove.

why do i fight coming to the end of myself? don’t we all have an end? an end where we are done with putting forth energy of any kind? times when we are just done? don’t we all have that? even the strongest must have an end to their strength. i’m one of the not-so-strong ones. i imagine i come to the end of myself more than most.

as we continued to drive, emri (by the grace of a loving God who shepherds my weak heart) falls asleep. for the next four and a half hours! uncanny. one time ben leaned back and checked her pulse to make sure she was still alive. yep, she was.

as i sat there… i felt so much release. i felt God’s spirit wrap around me. it was as if there weren’t any words at first. just his presence and an over-all feeling of acceptance. that i was okay. broken. but okay. invited and accepted. i sat there in the car and i started to feel replenished. i stopped accusing myself for not being able to “do it all” while having flash backs of the way i was sharp with emri and ben.

and then i felt like God was telling me this.

“you have an end to your strength. its no surprise to me. go as far as you can and fall into me. i have you. in fact, i think is beautiful. its not until you come to the end of yourself that you can really see me move through and around your limitations. don’t fear it. its beautiful, kerri. its safe here.”

why do i fear coming to the end of myself?

why do i fight it?

and why do i judge myself when i do?

 

i can only imagine how some of you think i’m crazy for having these conversations with God. perhaps i am. but its changing my life.

as i type i’m just now reminded of an incredible few verses that put roots underneath these thoughts..

you know i love putting them in italics and centering them so here it goes…

II corinthians 12:9

and He said to me,“my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.

most gladly, therefore, i rather boast about my weaknesses,

so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. therefore i am well content with

weaknesses, with insults, with distresses,

with persecutions, with difficulties, for christ’s sake;

for when i am weak, then i am strong.

***

2 thoughts on “going west

  1. You are more beautiful than you know Kerri. And your life inspires me, even at your “end”. And I’m so glad you are here and fought the battle to get here. Come Lord Jesus.

  2. Sweet friend,
    How I wish I were in Buena Vista with you! But instead I am in Denver … trying to remember how to actively rest … you know, the kind of rest that breathes life and fills days … for I have days … 7, to be exact … and I’ve killed most of today just trying to get toward rest. And I’m still trying. But, this word of yours is helping to launch me (though I’m not sure I’m prepared to handle their destination here in the coffee shop) into that deep place in me that is also alive with far too many things and overwhelmed with the gravity of decisions I need to make. But as I sit here, I am also comforted to be in the company of your fellow strong, but spent self. Love to you, dear friend!

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