Genesis

Here’s to beginnings.

My feet, still shaky from the unknown terrain of a wood I never imagined I’d drift far, far into, are walking out. Onto new ground.
Ground that is lush, instead of a murky mess.
Ground that is steady and beckons onward, rather than shifts and confuses.
Ground from where new life is born.
New springs well up.
New fruit blossoms.

How timely this spring equinox has been.
Praise the God of seasons, both of the heart and of the earth.

I recall a memory from a little over a year ago. A friend and I put on Disney’s Fantasia 2000, letting our nostalgia run wild with color and sound. And the best was saved for last, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Not only is the music breathtaking, but the story that accompanies it will forever be etched into my mind.

From the breath of the mighty stag, a beautiful nymph is born. The heartbeat of Genesis is present from the very beginning of the piece. He leads her out into the barren land, and she awakens as her very life is creating the masterpiece of spring all around her. Flourish. Abundance. Glory. Words that come to mind as the picture is painted to the sound of the composer’s handiwork. But, a fiery being, the “firebird,” stoops down to spread his wings of destruction over the creation of her new life. What is left is ashes and dust. The heart of Genesis beats on.

Tears begin to build behind the dam of my eyes. The film swirls together picture and symphony to ultimately point to the ancient story. A true story. The one of a mighty God. Of His creation, breathed into life. One of a garden. Of a snake. And the darkness that followed him. That followed us. Tragedy.

But, just as Stravinsky’s piece is unfinished, so is the story it shadows.

The stag searches through the rubble to find the nymph lying amidst the ruins. He breaths his life back into her fragile body. But she is weak. Stricken by grief. And unsure of what to do. Where to go. How to begin.

From there, he gently lifts her from the ground with his antlers, onto his back. As he carries her through what is left of the forest, her canvas of spring now devastated, she begins to cry over what has been lost. But her tears are soaking the scorched ground, and where they fall, life begins to sprout. What follows is the most beautiful and glorious unfolding. Regaining her strength, her hope, she soars over the land, her canvas. What was dead is now exploding with the color and fragrance of flowers and lush, green trees.

The dam holding back the flood of my tears gives way. And rightly so.

What the enemy left ravaged in my heart, my Heavenly Father is restoring. Is redeeming. Is making new.

Like the nymph, my tears are not wasted. They are kept. And not just to be remembered, but to be poured out over the dry places, so new life can spring up. I’m beginning to see the green emerge from ashes.

And as I do, I begin.
I dream again. I create again. I write again.

And if this is you, too, if you find yourself in the ruins, and you see the face of your Heavenly Father bending low to lift you from the shambles, take hold and begin again.

This is spring. This is genesis.

Be All There

I’ve been sitting on the lobby couch since 7:30 this evening.
I’ve been working on my TPA and cursing the state of California for making it so difficult to earn a teaching credential.
It’s been a great Friday night, friends.
In the midst of all of that loveliness, however, I witnessed various conversations and events throughout the evening on my floor.
And it made me stop and realize how much I appreciate the community I find myself in.
I witnessed girls rejoicing over new, Christ-centered relationships forming, along with the butterflies in their stomachs. Girls laughing as they skipped to the bathroom well past midnight with hair dye in one hand and snacks in the other. And girls returning from Friday night adventures, resulting in good food and even better conversations.
It’s things like this that make me cherish where I’m at.
I can feel the pull of age and reality tugging at me, and slowly drifting  me further away from the care free youth I once blissfully lived as.
And while there will be abundant blessings to experience in that future ever drawing nearer, I have some pretty great ones to be rejoicing in right now.
Blessings like late nights, hair dye, Taylor Swift albums, bags of chips, and new dreams that seem large enough to challenge us, but close enough to taste. Blessings that have not been tainted by future worries or doubts, but that are being enjoyed for what they are.
Right now.

Thank you, Jesus, for bringing me here. Keep me present. Keep me thankful.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
Matthew 6:34