Thursday, August 26, 2010

The End in the Beginning

My soul was made for things eternal. It knows the truth behind the mystery, that it wasn't created for endings and beginnings. And so, my heart rebels at the openings and closings required to exist in this life.

Last Friday, we gathered in the backyard of my childhood home, watching a crew of experts methodically dismantle what many would call "a tree." I call it a part of our family, for if its leaves could speak, they could tell a history of marshmallow roasts, hours singing in the swing, Thanksgiving feasts, football games, and hunts for locust shells.This event, though, was not a closing or an opening to the deceptively scrawny man who scaled the tree faster than the raccoon I've seen do the same on its trunk. To him, this event was just a job.
With ropes and hooks, he and his team opened a backyard to sunlight, a stark brightness that left us squinting, skin scorching from direct sun rays and that left the flora wilting for lack of branches' soft filtering.

To watch. To listen. To "ooh" and "ahh" at the precision of a master of his craft who looks, measures with his hands, and cuts, dropping each limb exactly where he wants it to go.

To take in all the sights, sounds, and smells. This is closure. And it is good.

As I've aged, I've grown better at getting closure. I have learned how to move forward and not look back, not to mourn (as much) what was and what is no longer.

But last Tuesday when I returned home from my Michigan trip, I entered my home to find God had kicked open a door earlier that day. This wasn't just any door from my past that I had softly closed, but one that I had also bolted shut and sealed with crime scene tape, never to be opened again.

Luggage newly rolled into the hall, I entered the kitchen to see the light flash on the answering machine and instinctively pressed the play button.

With the first words, "Hi, this is...", my head literally flew backwards as if the words were bullets that struck me in the head, much like the infamous video of JFK when he was shot.

A man from our former life who cheated my husband out of at least a year's salary before feeding him to the wolves. And now, no apology, no admission of wrongs, nothing to warrant the forgiveness I had granted him years ago.

He wanted back through the door, to hire my husband on a contract basis.

My husband has said yes. They've even met together since then, each acting like men, not speaking of the past wrongs (something this woman doesn't think she could do).

I've spent the last week telling God I didn't know what to pray about this. I still don't. I haven't written about it because I don't know what to write, don't have the answers as to the "why" God reopened a door I never imagined being opened from the other side.

I don't understand.

My anger at this man is long gone; only sadness remains...and, as I've learned this past week, fear as well. Deep in my heart, I'm afraid of what God is doing. I'm content with where He has brought me and my husband. I've made peace with our past.

But now, the past is the present again. And it scares me.

Walking through one door, shutting another, looking behind to see one flung open again--these entrances and exits leave me longing, longing, longing for my heavenly home with the Alpha and Omega who never changes.


  1. Oh Jennifer! Praying for you as you wrestle this out with yourself and with God. Perhaps HE is not looking for you to gain closure here but for you to experience forgiveness? Perhaps HE senses that you are holding something back? Either way, I know its not easy and I will be thinking of you and covering you with prayer.

    By the way, thanks for letting me know about the caterpillar. I had found out what type it was, however, I had no idea of the wasp eggs...that is very weird!

    As always, thanks for sharing yourself so openly and honestly....


  2. Hi Jennifer,
    While you were not looking I sneaked up and read as many posts as I could until I reached the place where I placed my "bookmark" - July 20. The one where I wrote a long comment about the rainbow you saw.

    So much has happened to both of us since I last dropped by here.

    Reading your heart in your posts is so refreshing. You write so beautifully, really you should compile all these entries and write your book.

    Your twins are growing fast, and so is your first born. They'll be teenagers before you know it.

    I loved your stories about your visit to your home - today's children are no longer raised that way. They are raised in this digital world...sadly many of them no longer know what "hide and seek" is! Your stories about your childhood touches a deep chord in my heart.

    SOme of my childhood summers were spent that way too.

    Well, I just wanted you to know I enjoyed reading all these beautiful updates about you and your husband and your children.

    Pray that his new job will turn out to be a redemption of the injustice that was done to him by the same person... Praying with you about this.

    Love you, Jennifer.


  3. First of all, your writing is beautiful (as usual.)

    Secondly, I'm struck by the metaphor of that tree, and all that has unfolded beneath it.

    Third, I'm chewing on what it would mean to have the past become the present again. That would shake me, too. But you, dear Jennifer, you continue to keep those eyes fixed right where they belong. (He's got His eyes on you, too.)

    This is not our home.

    My love to you ...