Friday, November 18, 2011


I'm still processing concepts from our time at SPLICE.  And I'm also doing that really lame thing where you think of what you should have said and it's always way better than what you actually said.  I'm specifically thinking of our survey/comment card thingies we filled out on the last day.  I wish I had recommended the word "bittersweet" to replace the concept of "paradox".

I like bittersweet.  I especially like it in regards to food.  Bittersweet chocolate, salted caramel, kettle corn, you know, all of those foods that taste good because they spark more than one taste on your tongue.  The Grahams had a bag of candy corn mixed with dry roasted peanuts.  Genius.

Paradox was ok.  And that "pair of ducks" was pretty cute too.  But just think about how great it would have been to discuss the concept while eating!

I must be really hungry right now.  Sorry about that.  But the point is, I appreciate the idea that you can't have one without the other.  And in fact, one is better because you had the other in your life and vice versa.  Let me unpack that:

When we drove away from MTI the kids were in the backseat, waving to everyone as we pulled out of the parking lot.  But as we drove further away, their joy turned to grief and they began to wail.  I don't remember a time when both of my kids were crying like that when it didn't involve injury or punishment.   Their mourning was deep and powerful, it broke me and I wanted to fling myself over the seat to wrap my arms around them and shield them from the pain.  In that moment as their hearts were breaking I realized that they felt this immense pain because they had opened up their hearts to love so deeply.  They could not have the great sorrow without the great love.

Do you ever think about where you were the first time you heard a song?  I do that a lot.  The first time I heard the song "Blessed be your Name" was at a memorial service.  For a baby.  Let that sink in as you scan through the lyrics.  I remember seeing the mother in the front row with her hands lifted up as she sang.  The lyrics HAD to be true, otherwise she had no hope.  We have to bless the name of the Lord when the sun is shining down on us and on the road marked with suffering.  He has to be the God of both, otherwise we have no hope.

I appreciate the SPLICE paradox as we move into this season of holidays.  We are doing our best to make this holiday season special for everyone because in a short time things will be different.  I'm afraid though, that many of or friends and family will dwell on the sadness side of our departure and I want to encourage everyone to live on both sides of the paradox.  Would you consider rejoicing with us?

We are rejoicing in the midst of leaving.  We are rejoicing because God has asked us to do something different and we have no greater joy than walking down the road that He has prepared for us.  We are rejoicing because we have the opportunity to fully appreciate the depth of our love for YOU as we experience the heartache of leaving YOU.

Sheesh, my keyboard is soggy.

It's the reason Darren needs a large cup of coffee to make it through a slice of cheesecake.  You need both tastes to fully appreciate the dessert.  This is our God.  He gives and takes away.  Blessed be His name.


Susanna said...

thanks for the tears. :-) needed that... love you guys!

KelBel said...

Jen, do you think you might like to visit Tim Bartel and his wife in Scotland? They just moved there for the next 3 years while Tim gets his PhD. They are living in Edinburgh-- about an hour away, right?

-Kelly Cone (Honeycutt)

SilvaFamilyMemories said...

Just what I needed to read this morning! Your kids are so precious. How great is our God, and we will rejoice with you and are excited to see how the Lord works over there!

carrieinchaos said...

beautiful words. we rejoice with you guys as you answer God's calling and we'll be praying for the whole family this holiday season

Morning Glory said...

I agree with KelBel. Tim and Hope have been in Edinburgh for a couple of months now while tim works on his Doctorate at St. Andrews. I think Glasgow is more like 4 hours away? It would be great if you guys connected. We miss them so. And we are excited for your family to be going!