My family and I just moved from Berkeley, California to Boulder, Colorado in January.
I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost nine years, most of my grown-up, post-college life happened there. I had people there, lots of people. Good ones. I left a book club and a mom's group and my teacher friends and the college students I mentored and a couples small group at church and fabulous neighbors and worst of all, my girl friends. The call-in-the-middle-of-the-night, ready to get right to prayer or get right to Pinot Noir or sometimes both kind of friends.
I really miss my people.
But I've been meeting a lot of new people since we arrived. And one of the interesting things about meeting new people is that I feel like I'm constantly sharing stories from the past, as you do when you're building relationships from scratch.
With my friends in California, they knew my stories, or in some cases, had lived them with me, so there wasn't a need to tell them. But here, as I've been connecting with different kinds of people, I find myself pulling out different parts of myself, different parts of my story.
Lindsey, the former debate team captain;
Lindsey, the novice backpacker who fell off a glacier and cut open my shorts in view of everyone else on the trip;
Lindsey, the campus pastor to undergraduates at Stanford University;
Lindsey, the eating disorder patient on the psych ward;
Lindsey, the special ed teacher being held at gunpoint at my inner city school in Oakland;
Lindsey, the bride with a heart full of hope that put a bird on everything at my wedding;
Lindsey, the expectant mother having a D&C to complete a miscarriage of my first baby on my 30th birthday.
As I tell these stories, the overwhelming emotion that sticks with me is gratitude to a God who has seen me through it all.
I've been loved and I've been lonely, I've been hurt and I've caused harm. And through each season of life, I can see how God has knit my stories together, breathed His redemptive grace into my life.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
It really is too wonderful for me. But I'm so thankful.
I wrote the following hymn this week as a grateful response to a gracious God.
In the summer of our living
Walking faithful in the sun
Knowing you, our surest comfort
God, Son, Spirit, Three in one
You have planned for us to prosper
Made good works for us to do
Your treasure here in earthen vessels
As you heal and make us new
In the autumn of our turning
Like every leaf we feel the change
Above all life's moving chaos
You alone remain the same
You're not shifting in the shadows
You're the Father of all light
You sustain your vast creation
with Your grace and with Your might
In the winter of our aching
Trapped and lonely in the cold
There you meet us in our sorrows
All our cares and hurts you hold
You have borne our every burden
In Your body on the cross
You come close to hearts so broken
Present in our grief and loss
In the spring of our becoming
When hope blooms, and in us speaks
As we dream of life's adventures
You lead through valleys and o'er peaks
Your Word guides and gives us wisdom
We find rest under your wing
Your grace for us is all sufficient
Of your love, o Lord, we sing
God of every season
Hope of every heart
Humbly we stand before You
In awe of who You are