Seeking His Presence Now: Crista

Crista looks at the world–at people, at nature, at culture–and she sees God. She sees Him where most would have missed Him. She sees Him where most would not have thought to look. And then she points to Him. She nudges us all a little closer to Him as she does. She is wife and mother and sister and friend and the women’s pastor of our church.We are, each of us who knows you, grateful for you, Crista. Thank you for “flinging open the doors of your heart” here and letting us see the great big God that you love.

Crista’s words are below…

In my mind, as I’m typing this, there’s a time-lapse video that will show how many lines I am about to write and then delete before the thoughts are well-formed. With all joy, I tell you that most days are lived FULL–Jesus, husband, kids, friends, church work, private thoughts, meals prepared, homework done, blogs written *grin*–and to write who Jesus is today for me equals summarizing the nuances of Great Expectations in 25 words or less. So let’s do this…I’ll fling open the doors of my heart so you can look in. I hope you’ll get an eyeful of how BIG Jesus is. He is everything.

In 2007 we jumped headlong into the world of adoption. (Read: We thought we “had this”…We were so cute with our little paperwork checklists of things to mail off to Guatemala to bring our girl home. CLUELESS. Bless us.) I’m pretty sure we couldn’t see past the first year, but I know that all of that got real focused real fast.

And I began to learn that when you love your child that can’t love you back, can’t trust you and, worst of all, can’t receive your love because of circumstantial brokenness, it is a sadness beyond any I’ve ever known. BEGGING God for ways to know her, to meet her where she crouched scared, to convince her, to show her how much she was wanted and appreciated and accepted. Crying out to Jesus to speak to her heart for me.

The last was the right one. And He one-upped it by speaking into mine. Only He can fix broken hearts and hopes. He showed me that the only loving there is comes when the last drops of pride are cried out of you. That fixed isn’t always neat, but it’s a striking, stunning kind of beautiful. I didn’t love that little girl until I loved her hating me and even that didn’t teetotal that she love me. In the end, I loved enough for both of us by the love I saw Him pour out over my rebellious, resistant, angry, untrusting heart when I turned 22 and left the wilderness. My insides are tattooed up with the moments I rejected Him but He sought me. Those moments  run along beside the moments she rejected me but I sought her. All tattooed up with pictures. Because forgetting means you have to learn again. I’ve learned I like learning once and for all.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been known to pick up remembering stones of my own loveless wandering that He lovingly showed me as We taught my girl to be loved and chunked them as far as I could away. Those moments I was thinking that I was hurting worse than I ever hurt Him. Then I’d walk more days and stretch more in my learning stride and I’d come upon them again. Still happens all the time. I rarely chunk them away a second time. Sometimes I do though. I’m working on doing that less and less.

Since darling Elli has come to love and be loved by us, we have loved and been loved by two tremendous young men we now call sons. They slipped into our lives, donned our name, and are gracious to act like we know what we’re doing when we parent teenagers. The chapters mount in our family book of blessings and how to receive them for all they are. The “be loved” battles still happen. On all fronts. We all learn together that the beloveds are those that will be loved.

So that’s my seeking. Being taught by my beloveds and by my Guide to remember and to count it as blessing. That I have people I fight for that help me know how He fights for me to be loved.

That it is enough to consider the greatest thing of all is to love and be loved. That it is everything. That His love is everything…bearing, believing, hoping, persevering. On our healed scars and our heart tattoos and piles of stones we’ve built our family house. We praise God that by His great mercy we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, and now WE LIVE with great expectationand we have a priceless inheritance kept in heaven for us, pure and undefiled, beyond any change or decay (from I Peter 1:3-4).

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