Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Mercies

For a couple of weeks now, I've been waking with the passage that talks about God's mercies being new each morning running through my head. And let me tell you, I've been clinging to that reminder as I go through the days, determined to find those mercies amidst what have been some fairly challenging days.

Changing mindsets and long ingrained patterns is, I've discovered, incredibly challenging and exhausting. God has been gracious in inviting me into the healing of some very damaging mindsets and ingrained patterns of thought and action, and I've been so grateful for that, and for the small ways I see those changes beginning to take effect, but I've also been tired.

This week, in particular is really stretching my ability to press into those new things. To choose joy and life and hope and peace. To remember some of the things I've learned and am learning, and work to not postpone joy in the face of the dread of some upcoming moments. Because there are a number of really challenging moments coming this week. I'm fighting hard to choose to live in the moment I'm existing in, and find joy in that space, and not succumb to dread. And I'll be honest and say that thus far it hasn't exactly been a winning battle. I'm doing a "so-so" job at best.

So I was grateful to wake again this morning to the thought of new mercies.

To remember the mercies offered yesterday and look forward to the ones to come today.

There was a mercy in a visit with a long-time friend last night. We'd had a scheduled coffee date, but by the time he arrived at my house, he was ravenous. L and I fed him some of the soup that we'd made for dinner, with slightly burnt toast. We laughed as he consumed marmite (a favorite of L's that I consider anathema!) for the first time, and then let him talk both of us into joining him at a great Irish pub downtown for more food, laughter and conversation.

There was a mercy in the fact that the conversation with him led to a great conversation with L. once we got home, that let me begin to put words around some things that have been stirring in my heart. That lets thoughts form words as I wrestle through changing thoughts and definitions surrounding rebellion and surrender.

And there was a mercy, when I arrived at the office this morning, sat with my journal, and was honest about the fact that I'm really struggling and feeling like I'm losing the battle for these new things in my life this week. There was mercy in the honesty, and mercy in the timing of the quote on the calendar that sits on my desk, a gift from a dear friend who issued the challenge and invitation to walk into some of these new places in the first place.

The quote for today reads, "Christ will guard his own." (Saint Agnes)

I needed to hear that this morning as I've reached the part of the week that will begin to hold the things that are causing such challenges in my struggle to choose joy and peace. I needed the merciful reminder that I will be guarded, that "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."