Trials and Transitions

18 Sept 2015 — Friday

There have been times in my life when just the right thing comes along at just the right time.  On a day that life was getting very confusing and I really needed to read this, I came across the following poem for the first time.

Life is but a Weaving (The Tapestry Poem)
By: Corrie ten Boom

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.

I like music. A lot. There have been times in my life that music has been a source of great comfort to me.

Today I had reason to reflect on a time in my life when I was facing an important decision that would send my life in a whole different direction. The movie “Prince of Egypt” had recently come out on VHS (so yes, this was indeed quite a few years ago) and I found myself resonating with various aspects of the story. By then I was in therapy and had not thought about the Tapestry poem in a few years.  The movie is about the story of Moses starting from his birth (born to Hebrew slaves in Egypt). He was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter as an adopted prince in Pharaoh’s court. When Moses was grown he identified with the slaves and when he witnessed a Hebrew being beat by an Egyptian, he killed the Egyptian. When word got out that he had done this, he fled Egypt and lived in the land of Midian where he was taken in by shepherds. It is in this context that the song “Through Heaven’s Eyes” is sung in the movie by the Midianite Jethro.  The song mentions again the theme of our lives being like threads in a tapestry. The scene can be viewed here:  http://www.musictory.com/music/Prince+of+Egypt/Through+Heaven%27s+Eyes

Moses no doubt learned many things during his time among the Midianites, including (I’m betting) some humility and gratitude. He no doubt had to shed his feelings of entitlement as well. Then — many years later — God calls him to return to Egypt and free the slaves. Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt connected for me in the sense of my own escape from the tyranny of past traumatic memories. After I finished my own therapy I decided to go back to school to become a therapist myself.  For me making the decision to change careers and earn a doctorate mid-life was another step of faith. During my early career as a therapist things did not go well for me professionally and I wondered if I had made the right decision to leave the security of my old job with a large corporation working with computers.

Once, when I was driving to work feeling very discouraged and wishing I had never changed careers to psychologist, I turned on the radio and a song came on by the Kry I had never heard before that really spoke to my heart. (Listen here: http://youtu.be/mwwnIr5yZ7E .) That song was perfect for my need in that moment and a great comfort to me. But the situation didn’t improve and on another occasion when I was again feeling very down and discouraged, I tried two different Christian music stations and two preaching stations and nothing even remotely spoke to my need. Feeling even more discouraged and wondering why God felt so far away, I got to work and found a letter in my inbox from a former patient. It had been months since we had worked together (she had completed a brief treatment, very successfully for a minor problem). She would have no way to know what I was going through at the time.  She wrote a three page letter to me, some of which was a tentatively framed word of prophecy primarily saying the Lord knew what I was going through, to trust Him and to “not be afraid to take risks because there are no risks with God.” Needless to say, I wept for joy that the Lord had led her to write me that letter. And that letter helped me have the courage to come to my current job half-way across the country and move before a definite letter of acceptance came for my initial contracting position here. That saved me and my family a large amount of money — otherwise we would have rented back there for a while first at an exorbitant month-to-month rate, moved twice and not have been able to rent the reasonable house I’d found in an excellent school district.

Some days I find myself passing on the message of the tapestry poem and the song “Heaven’s Eyes” to others during their trying times.

Now I find myself working as a civilian therapist for the military — a role I never even thought of taking — and discovering fulfillment and satisfaction in my work I’d never thought possible. God led me on a path that He knew I would love better than the path I thought I wanted to take.

Some days I get to have the immense pleasure of helping others find their way out of the Egypt of the pain of their past traumatic memories, and that is a great privilege and joy to me.  Which brings me to another song from that movie:  “When You Believe.” http://youtu.be/cGqehRbLnh0

This entry is dedicated to all the military folks who are wrestling with their combat memories and/or facing a difficult transition out of the military. I hope this entry is helpful to you.

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