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Dwelling

Loss is something that we talk about casually, know by definition, and nod in solemn agreement that it is a negative aspect of life. However, to actually experience it is another thing entirely. When you lose your car keys and are running late already, lose your paper in a computer crash after staying up all night to write it, lose a job, lose a home, lose something expensive to theft, lose a friend or lose a family member to death, it is an experience of suffocating, agonizing disorientation for which words are inadequate.

Loss introduces a helplessness and insecurity to put any junior high lunch room intimidations to shame. By very nature, “loss” is taking away something that I depend upon having and without which I don’t know how to live. I don’t know what the world is like without that person in it, without that place in which all my routines are reliable and secure, without this or that particularly certainty.

And that is the context into which God is pulling me to see both my unbelief and His warm, comforting truth in which I may find life. I fell asleep tonight and awoke about an hour later in panic, followed by tears, followed by hyperventilation as I took a walk down our “street”. We are moving from my familiar home and dorm-like neighborhood where we enter each other’s homes freely at all hours, we are moving into an apartment complex where people live very temporarily, we don’t know that the woman buying our home and renting it in the meantime will actually be able to buy it for certain, we don’t know when our new permanent home will ever be made inhabitable, we don’t know when our home study will finally be finished and then sent and approved by the immigration folks and then when or even if a court date in Uganda will be arranged. We don’t know who that new member of our family is or when we will know. All of the loss of the familiar, compounded by the increased number of uncertainties, has sent me spiraling as if free falling down a black hole.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

This hope is not referring to a familiar and secure house, a glitch-free adoption, nor a flawless home sale transaction. This faith is in the One who is never lost and has never and will never lose me. His good, loving, redemptive purposes exclude no aspect of life.

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 63:1-2

This very night I was shaken to the core, without hope and feeling very helpless because God alone was not my rock. My home of 9 years was my rock. My familiar neighborhood was my rock. My beloved neighbor Mimi and her children were suddenly my rock. My budget that a month ago felt in my control was my rock. A closing date set for next week was my rock. A clearly scheduled and precisely mapped out adoption procedure was my rock. A timeline for building our new home was my rock. I was grabbing for all these things and God, in His gentle kindness, revealed them to be more like greased watermelons – a lot of fun at a party but not capable of keeping me from drowning.

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

Lord, I am so drawn to the greased watermelons…maybe because they’re so shiny, maybe because they’re tangible or maybe because my heart is constantly running to place faith in everything other than You alone. Would the overwhelming feelings of loss compounded by the fears of uncertainty be replaced by a more genuine confidence in Your certainty in which I may place my hope!?! I don’t know what it will look like to dwell in the safety of You alone, but I am certain that You do and that You will bring me there.

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Matthew 28:8

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