Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Best Part

For the past 2 weeks or so, Asher and I have been enjoying some "adventures" for just the 2 of us. I believe this word "adventure" became significant a few months ago when I got a wild hair and suggested that my family go on a hike. To get everyone excited, I called it an adventure, and since then, we've been on a few. Asher really latched onto that word. Funny how even a trip to Sam's can be an adventure, if I preface it just right. (wink wink)

Shawn is back in school but Asher doesn't go back until the end of next week...so we've had some time to kill together, and I have deliberately created some adventures, in an effort to create some memories. I'll be giving him up to Kindergarten soon enough. These toddler years are rapidly coming to a close. I mourn this.

Asher deeply loves these times that we are spending together, just the 2 of us. After a time of adventure, Asher will ask me if I know what his best part was. Regardless of where we have been and what we have been doing, he poses the question, and I respond, "What baby?". And he proclaims, "you, mommy....you were the best part". I can't even type that without choking up.

I never thought I'd ever be anybody's best part. The joy attached to that erupts in my heart with such explosive force. His best part wasn't the splash, it was me. His best part wasn't the turtles, it was me. His best part wasn't the chocolate, it was me. His best part wasn't the game, it was me. I am so full.

Track with me here....I'm changing direction, but it is moving in a circle.

Yesterday I had the incredible privilege of spending time with some women who are deeply struggling in their lives to find the ability within their hearts, to forgive the people who have tormented them, and to forgive themselves for the subsequent choices. They are searching with such a fervor for the key to unlock the trap door that contains their pain and sorrows, their memories, their offenders....and just to let all that junk out. They know God and they love Him but they still struggle with how to get past the pit of despair, and to escape the darkness they have encountered on their life's adventure.

See, not every part of an adventure is fun. The adventure of your career can take destructive turns. The adventure of marriage can reveal heavy sorrow. The hiker occasionally slips and falls. The parachute doesn't always open when we leap from an airplane. The traveler might get lost. The hunter might get attacked. A parent might lose a child. Adventures in friendship might end up in betrayal.

Sometimes we expect way more from our adventures than what is possible. We plan the perfect vacation. Our vows are supposed to lead to "happily ever after". Our careers are supposed to be rewarding and lucrative, and fun every day. Every small or large life adventure that we set out to travel (chosen or not), we've designed in our mind to have a safe and happy ending. Otherwise, we wouldn't even set our foot on the path.

The Lord Jesus has a dream for us. It is not that we have exciting and safe adventures. It is that regardless of our adventures, that we see Him as the best part. For in every moment of our lives that we live in darkness, He has opportunity to illuminate Himself. He is our comforter and shield. He is our joy in the splash and the flight. He is our source of all that we need to walk the path, enjoy the view, brighten the darkness, and lead us to places of blessing. In this life, in every adventure, HE is the best part. His promises, His faithfulness, His grace, His mercy, His love for those who seek Him earnestly. He is there for every slip and fall, for every accident, for every loss, for every death, for every diagnosis, for every failure, offering His undying comfort and compassion. In all of life from beginning to end, His love never changes.

He IS the best part.

The key? Allowing Him into all of your dark, battered places, to work His healing and to use you for His perfect purposes despite the fact that you (we all) have pain from some dangerous adventures. The key? To open it all up so He can cleanse you with His forgiveness, to flow through you and in to the lives of others who need the same. Face the demons. Invite Christ to extinguish their presence.

Lord Jesus, your movement in my heart and life is no less than miraculous. I so deeply love waking up to a house full of love skating around in pj's and bedhead. I am in awe of your grace that allows me to breathe in air and partake of tasty nourishment. I am moved in my core to see that You grieve the lost and that you adore the found. This adventurous journey you have set me on since my birth was so heavily weighted with grief for a cause. Your cause. In all the pain, YOU were the best part. In all of the joy, YOU are the best part. In all of my future moments, YOU will forever be the best part. Thank you for using the sweetest Asher Tater Tot to remind me of this. In naked and humble heart, with a spirit only existent because of you, I give you all of my praise! I pray for your light to illuminate the path of all the weary adventurers. Amen.


Sarah said...

I love this post! I would add: WE are the best part for Jesus when we spend time with him. A friend of mine recently shared a story about how frustrated she was when she was running with her husband. He had a very different pace, and it threw her off. When she told him she thought maybe she'd rather run alone, he was crushed. For him, it was about being with HER, not about the exercise. Then she realized God felt that way, too, about her quiet time with him. It wasn't about her trying to keep pace with God, it was about just being with him. And she realized that what HE wanted most was to be with her. She was the best part!

Thanks for sharing your insights. It's such a gift.

Pete A said...


After that very beautiful, moving comment by Sarah, I feel like mine will be quite inferior - but want to make it anyway. Just to say I thought this was an exceptionally well written, touching piece. Enough so that I asked my wife to read it too. She not only agreed, but now wants us to show it to our son too. Since we're between printers at the moment, I've saved it in Microsoft Word so we can show it to him this afternoon when he gets off work.

May God keep blessing you all.