In our more than 50 years of marriage, my husband and I have lived in 13 different places in four different states. We moved so frequently because my husband is an ordained Presbyterian minister (now retired) and he felt called to different churches and ministries at different times in his life. I’m sure some families in the military have moved even more than we have. But regardless of one’s situation, moving that much is unsettling, especially for those of us who like permanence!
What sustained us through all the changes was the unfailing and unchanging love of God. That was the rock we clung to. It anchored us during the sadness of goodbyes and the exhilaration of new beginnings. I kept a journal through much of that period in our lives and I wrote a collection of poetry based on those journal entries. I call it Replanting the Family Tree. It has never been published, but I have shared some of it with a few friends along the way who were undergoing changes in their own lives.
Here is the first poem in the collection. I hope you find it meaningful.
Oh, Lord, it hurts
when you reach down
and pull me up—
my roots torn free
of self-protecting soil
exposed to bitter, cleansing wind.
In vain I thought last time
would be the last—
the soil so comforting and warm.
It hurts to grow.
My only hope your gentle
replanting me where I can grow again.
"Many of us are used to the idea that we might speak to God or to Jesus. Maybe at times it feels like shouting into the darkness or whatnot, but it’s not hard to do—at least as an imaginative exercise. What’s harder—even imaginatively—is to try to hear Jesus speaking to us. Are we just making things up? Are we just using Jesus as a puppet to say whatever we want to hear?" READ MORE