June 1 2017 was the day that I began a new journey. It was an unexpected journey that caused me to live in liminal space; that space between here and now. It was a time I found myself yearning for what would come next and lingering between what was. I found myself in a love-hate relationship with the awful; the next hard thing that God had placed in my life.
In the midst of the uncertainty, I found myself yearning to find peace and calm; a peace and calm that truly only comes from our Creator; the one who calls and claims us as God’s beloved children. “Tara Lee Ulrich, you are a baptized child of God; whatever else you are; remember that you are that; for that is the basis of whatever else you are.”
As a beloved child of God, life still comes with the awful and the amazing. In fact, it is during the awful that one deeply yearns to feel God’s presence; to know that God is indeed walking this journey with us. Sometimes that awful comes through an unexpected diagnosis, through a difficult death, through job loss or through many and various ways. Yet it is through the very waters of Baptism that God calls and claims us as God’s own.
In a post written here on June 10th, I shared these words: “In the words of beloved author Ann Voskamp in her book The Broken Way, ‘The warming rain comes delivering life and common grace keeps falling regardless.’ In other words, it’s the life giving water of Christ that continually reigns down and reminds us all that no matter who we are, we are always first and foremost beloved children of God. And that’s a promise I can cling to just like water splashing against every fiber of my being. Because sometimes when your faith is shaken, that’s all one can cling too.”
The truth is that it can be so easy to get caught up in the awful and forget about the blessings one has in life. It can be so easy to forget that one is surrounded by incredible friends and family who continually have a shoulder to cry on or give an ear to listen. In all honesty, it can be so easy to get caught up in the love-hate relationship of life; forgetting that the awful often leads to the amazing. That eventually we can and do find our way back to the extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary.
Yes, we do have a love-hate relationship with the awful because we don’t want to experience the awful. We would rather each day and every moment would grow forth roses and beauty. Yet it is because of the awful that we are shaped back into wholeness. We are made whole again because of the jagged grace of each of our lives and journeys.
And because of that, sometimes we need to live into the fullness of our love-hate relationships with the amazing, awful and everything in between.