Twenty minutes felt like hours, both because of what happened between when my boots first crunched across the hardened day-old snow and when I returned into the fire-warmed lodge and because of my body’s adverse reaction to anything below sixty degrees.
I stood underneath the canopied expanse over Michigan, and the very big God who created it came near.
In between the tears that dropped, one by one off my cheek and onto my woolen mittens, I heard the movements of those around me — also considering this message. The dark sky created a hiding place for the hundreds of hearts in that field, first exposed to the God whose eyes had been fixed on them since before they were born. The curtain was pulled back and a new dawn offered, in the night.
I’d grown up in church. I believed in Jesus. I had my own Bible. I paid homage, year-after-year, to His death just before devouring scores of peanut butter filled chocolate eggs. Our big events revolved around His big events.
But the notion of His appeal for relationship, however many times I may have heard it before, was new this night.
And as my fifteen year-old frame, wrapped in layers of long-johns and down, considered Him, His unraveling began.
I met Him at the nexus of need and newness.
I sometimes wonder now if, when I walked back into the gathering place that night, I knew my life would never be the same again.
We were made for new.
And November 13, 1992 was just the beginning of hundreds, if not thousands of “new’s” my life would encounter.
The enemy of God is the enemy of new, whispering to our spirits that true safety is found in familiarity. True life — in just slightly modifying the old.
But we, who are made up of cells that regenerate, were designed by a God who required a nearness to Him in order to have our whole being made new. Every single part of us was to be made new.
So my teenage angst that faced the scrutiny of a Father’s eye, who couldn’t wait to speak love into the veins of defeat that coursed through my self-consciousness called adolescence, was only just the beginning.
New marriage, Sara.
New view of your husband.
New alliances with those who could walk you through your dark valley.
New perspective on your body.
New approach towards the middle-of-the-night fears you’re embarrassed to speak about in anything but hushed tones.
New hope for what everyone else may have written off.
New eyes for what impact really is.
New words to write.
New brush with the Father. Over and over again.
Not just one little testimony of a life once saved by the indwelling Jesus, but pages and pages and pages and pages of personal testimonies of the the Man who just can not stop changing me.
I wondered, the morning after the biggest decision of my life (a decision which matched the magnitude of what I should wear on the first day of school — a big deal for this high-schooler), if I would get bored with this God. Would my desire fade? Would this crush end?
And in the months and years ahead, when it was threatened, it was always because I stopped seeing Him as the God of new. He’s never boring; but I can be.
The God of new makes all things new.
And He calls me to settle for nothing less than His fingerprints on every area of my life.