The First Deep Breath in Weeks

Dear Sherah,

Thank you so much for your note the other day. As much as I love these letters we craft to each other, I still love our harried private messages between letters… the ones where we accidentally press send in the middle of sentences and then press send again in the middle of apologizing for pressing send too soon. Why do we sound like two eighty-year-olds who don’t understand technology when we message each other? But every now and then we manage to get across a complete thought, and I’ve been reflecting on one from your last note.

You know this: everyone wants the perfect glowy picture, but really, it’s the broken, grace-filled picture that draws people to Jesus.

Thanks for that. 

I told you in my message that we’re taking a pre-furlough break to do some heavy lifting in our marriage, but that wasn’t apt. We’re not here to lift; we’re here to put down some heavy things. And if ever there were a time that I needed to be writing for the sake of hope and soul therapy, it’s now. Problem is, I have absolutely zero clarity or courage to write at the moment. None whatsoever. I could sit here and labor over this letter for hours, trying to arrive at some cohesive thoughts that sound clear and courageous, but in the end I will have wasted several hours. I’m just not there yet. So my purpose in this letter is simply to write something, anything, and press send. 

The above pictures are from the house we’re staying at near MAF’s headquarters in Nampa, Idaho, where we’ll be for a few weeks. The apartments on MAF’s campus are all occupied right now, which bummed us out a bit. The thought of being in someone else’s space and socializing with strangers was not at all ideal in our minds. We were disappointed further when we started following the directions on a post-it note that led us deeper and deeper into farmland, until we were lost in the middle of nowhere without any cell coverage. But we found the place, thankfully. We unpacked. We ate dinner that had been in the crock pot all day for us. And then we went on the deck outside our room and took a deep breath for the first time in weeks. 

This is the most land and sky I’ve seen all at once in years, Sherah. I thought I knew how much I missed open spaces, but I had no idea. At night the lights from Boise are all sparkly over the water; in the morning the sun comes up over the lake. The picture is far from glowy right now, but I’m starting to see the grace peek through. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.