Monday, November 30

Giving it to God - one rock at a time.

Well today I have to make another trip with a few more rocks. I "thought" I laid them down last week - in fact, last Monday I went for my walk in the back, and took a black felt pen with me. I figured I had to "name" the rocks that I needed to give up/lay down at my "altar". This has become a physical place of giving up and laying down. There is something about finding rocks and carrying them to the altar and leaving them there. Something about actually doing the physical part of "laying down".

Last week I laid down rocks that I had labelled "rejection" and "self-worth" and "insecurity" .... it was so strange, after returning to where I had ministered, and spoke last Sunday at the worship night on "praise after lament" ~ I should have known that the week after would be hard. It just usually is, as it seems after publically acknowledging something there is a struggle. At least for me!

So I laid them down last Monday. However, as I rounded the corner coming towards my "altar" I walked and wept.... allow me to backtrack.

On Saturday, a week ago - I went to meet Alvin as he had gone out to the back, but I wasn't ready, as I was working on my little talk for Sunday night. So I met him, and realized he had already walked past the "altar" in the back. We didn't talk about it.

As we walked, we did not return past this place, but instead walked through our forest of Oaks. As we walked, we came past a tree with a flat tomb-like stone that was propped against it. Somehow, in my travels I had not noticed this before. I asked Alvin where that came from and he said he propped it up there a couple weeks before that.

When we went back in the house, and I read my little sermon to him - he said, "oh is that what the little "innuckshuck" is back there on the property.

The next day - which was a week ago Sunday, the day I was to give my talk. Alvin and I again went for a long walk. As we walked past the altar, I told him that I thought we should NAME the big tombstone (and I said exactly what I thought we should name it) and that we should carry it over and lay it at the altar. He joked and said, "you mean we should kill it?" meaning the "thing" we were naming, and I said - "No we need to LAY IT DOWN!!" Believe me, we have been wrestling these giants for a year now! That was the end of the discussion for that day. (we had already spent the morning with our coffee cups, talking through stuff, mostly in regards to "church" and all that conversation opened up.

So, let me return now to a week ago Monday - when I was walking out to physically pick and lay down rocks on the altar - you know the ones I was going to label rejection, insecurity and self-worth. As I was thinking of looking for some "ugly" rocks to represent these, that is when I saw the big tomb-stone like rock. On Sunday - Alvin had unknowingly to me, gone back out to the tree, picked up the rock, and carried it to the altar, and put it down. (Just the day before my friend Elizabeth had encouraged me and said to me that perhaps Alvin needed to lay it down!) How prophetic her words were!!

Well - when I saw it, I wept - and the thing is - I didn't label that one with the black felt marker, but he and I both know what/who it represents and why we need to lay it down. And, my little rocks that I labelled that day - are directly related to the big rock.

A load that I would not have been able to carry too far myself. The little rocks seem hard enough to carry a long way! I realize that I may continue to "lay it down Joy" "Give it to God" over and over and over again! Maybe my act of "laying it down" will go on for a very long time. (O Lord, please not, let me give it up completely and have it never rise to the surface again!!) Till then ... I will continue to lay it down, give it up ~ one little rock at a time. I honestly have not carried such a load that somehow continues to bog me down.

Which brings me back to today - and the way I feel - the way God and I met this morning, and giving it to Him first thing as the sun was rising. (in typical old-Joy fashion, the way I feel can not be dealt with by consuming more brownies and peppermint cookies!!) Not sure why it continues to be so hard to give up and totally get rid of. Maybe I will carry chips of this rock until I die. I hope not, as it is one of the heaviest burdens I have ever carried.

I am so thankful that I don't carry this burden alone. First of all - I would not be able to stand under the weight of it - if it were not for God! Honestly - He is the one who continues to give me strength. I would not be able to stand under it, if it were not for Alvin, who shares the load with me, and carries a burden much like the symbolic one he laid down. I would not be able to stand under if without the love, support and prayers of our kids, who in their own way, are carrying their own little "chips" from our boulders! Somehow that happened. And, we all would not be able to stand under it, were it not for our close friends, who have become a true spiritual caring community! We are so thankful.

SO - today, I will walk AGAIN. I will find rocks AGAIN and lay them down at the altar. You'd figue it would be getting lighter and lighter (this load). I keep praying that one day - I will lay it down and never have to do that again. That I will be able to finally, stand up and breathe! I know it is a work taking place in my heart as well. Only God can do and finish that work. Thing is - I know HE totally gets it! God is God and God is good!

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