I had planned to bring Ellis to Oklahoma and show her many things. It was to be a joke between the two of us kind of like JoJos belief in Dillard’s. Need a prom dress? We better go to Oklahoma. Want to go to women of faith? I bet it’d be better in Oklahoma. God made sure that most of my Ellis dreams were realized and that is why we did find ourselves in Oklahoma to lay my grandpa to rest. It was early in my pregnancy but I could feel her joy. And she could feel mine.
I recently gave my testimony through Dance telling the story of Ellis’ departure to heaven. It was no accident we danced to the song Oklahoma Sky. We will indeed dance on the red dirt of the new earth. Together. In dazzling brilliance. She’ll twirl in celestial dresses on prairie scapes. We’ll run around lake Hefner. We’ll admire the view from Mt. Scott. We’ll tour the heaven version of the Marland Mansion. Eat Teds Mexican food with Jesus and have cattlemen’ s coconut pie with Paul. Have boomerang milkshakes with rahab. Braums with JoJo. Johnnies burgers with daddy and Job. Shoot baskets with Eddie Sutton and tell jokes with Will Rogers. My grandpa messer will show up for that meeting and say “tell him the one about the alligator driving the car.” I must stop because it never gets old joining Ellis in heaven in my mind. But last year at this time I was still releasing her from this old earth. Truth be told I still have times I have to work very hard to release my grip on Ellis Grace. Now I don’t hold her back at all with my clenched fists. She soars and glides regardless of her mothers heart condition or trust level. But I could certainly hinder my own great race by rejecting surrender and short changing trust. So a year ago I was in red dirt country without her for the first time. It was hard but I was made for hard and holy things. And continuing to walk with God when you don’t walk with a dream of your heart any longer is a Hard and Holy thing. God knows this and is greatly honored by each of my struggles to stay with Him.
Red Dirt and Rolling Storms. . . May 27, 2017
Yesterday I walked a stretch of red dirt road and for the first time it felt foreign and cruel to me. I longed for what I thought would be. And the “what is” had me feeling forsaken at the worst and bewildered at the best . . . I longed to bring her to a part of the earth that has always felt like home to me. We were gonna tear up some red dirt together. . . She and I . . . Me and her. . . EG and her momma.
And I started sinking fast and the winds started blowing hard and I could barely get a gulp of air before being covered by the next wave.
I thought about the truth and tried to set my mind to meditate on it. I called for prayer. I gave into it. Indulged it. I tried to change my activity. . . My surroundings. . . My mind set. It passed– – as it always does. And He felt far from me the whole time. And the storms raged in the sky as they rolled through my heart. . .
This morning I ran that same stretch of road with a breeze in my hair- – with a softness in my spirit- – with a release of my wishes leaving an opening to receive another piece of “what is.”
It’s the same road. . . Same God. He feels close the whole time. What’s changed?
The sun, the wind, the depth of the earth soaking up the storm. He is there in the storm too. He is working in it. He is working on parts of my heart that need to be refined. . . Healed. . . Changed. He can stop the storm at any time. So the truth is if there’s a storm in my heart, it’s because He’s doing something. I may not like it but I can trust it. And as sure as the sun rises every morning, so is every storm calmed.
In His Time. Let Him work. Let the storm blow debris to a place of clearing. My shelter will stay. I am guaranteed to weather it all. In God, there are no storms of mass destruction- – but of master construction of His Greatest works. Let Him Work. He does His best work in the storm.
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. Nahum 1:7
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.