Oopsland

Escape from Perfect Isle


I realized three things are keeping me from wholly committing again.  I say “again” because you couldn’t have found a much more sold out person than I was 10 years ago.

Three revelations of the heart:

  1.  “If I make one more bad decision, then this whole life will just topple over.  It’s already leaning heavily because of my other bad decisions in the last decade”
  2. “If you were proud of me, my life would look different.  You would have given me a normal situation, a husband, kids, a house in the suburb.  Therefore you are not proud of me and I am fearful of disappointing you even more.”
  3. God and I made some commitments to each other:  He would be clear if he was actually punishing me, and I would stop thinking every bad thing was a punishment.  I would start believing he had good intentions towards me.  That I didn’t hear wrong, and this might actually still be his path instead of a punishment

It was the most beautiful, peaceful glassy evening on the water.  It was as if God was wooing me.  It was our date night.  So why was I hesitating?  I had been sold out before.  I did some crazy things for God.  So where did this hesitation come from?

My heart is so confused.  I’m not where I thought I would be in life, and if I had been following God, wouldn’t my life look different?  Therefore I must have heard wrong, made bad decisions, or maybe God is punishing me.

He answered me with the story of the prodigal.  Have you ever noticed as you read that story that the son didn’t wash before the father put the family robes and the fine jewelry on him. 

I grew up on a pig farm, so trust me…..the prodigal son stank.  Even dried pig dung stinks.  Big time. 

But the father dressed him while he was still dirty.  And last weekend, he was clothing me and dressing me.  He doesn’t smell the stink.  Really.  Honestly.  Even in our darkest moments, in our greatest failures, he still doesn’t care that we are sitting in the middle of a pig pen covered in that foul stink.  Even in that pig pen, he sees us clothed in robes of righteousness.  He only sees our true character and it is always beautiful to him. The repentant heart is always lifted out of the dung.

And so date night ended with me wholly committing again. 

I said #yestogod.  I am #whollycomitted.

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A safari in Africa.  Sounds in the night.  Camping in the open African air, hearing all the animals.  On this particular night, I was sitting outside, in the cool winter air on a second story deck.  It was pitch black.  I couldn’t see a thing but I knew below the deck was a river.  I could hear animals rustling in the bushes alongside the river.  I wondered what it would have been like to be the Israelites, so close to the Jordan, being told it was the Promised Land on the other side but not really knowing for sure.  Hearing something, across the river, rustling in the bushes.  Big.  Scary.  Unknown. Wondering what was on the other side. 

Would I still go?  I can honestly say it was scary on that deck, in the darkness, not knowing what was out there.  I can only imagine what they must have felt like. 

Then God said to me “Remember to cross the Jordan regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”. 

#SayWhat?

Yes, he said those exact words.  To me.  He was very insistent that I take note of this moment in time.  He told me to mail myself a postcard with those words on it for future reference.  To mark this moment. 

My tour guide of course thought I was nuts.  Who mails themselves a post card with something like that on it?  But God said do it, so I did it.  #SayWhat?

Why would he do this?

Because he knew of the MANY Jordan moments the next 7 years would bring. 

Uproot everything and move to Australia where you know no one.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Get dual citizenship with Australia.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Walk this path of sickness, as a foreigner in a strange land, even if it leads to death.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Uproot everything again, and move back to the States with no job or plan in place.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Change careers and ministries without knowing what is coming.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Fully embrace natural medicine and holistic healing.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

And the biggest Jordan of all.

You have to go to the darkest memories of your soul to find emotional healing.  #SayWhat?

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

Tonight he gave me a picture about my current Jordan:  Perfect Isle vs. Oopsland. It was as if I could see myself from the back, standing on the Perfect Isle side of a raging river looking toward the other side -Oopsland.  My heart is asking if it could be true.  Could there really be a land where it’s ok to fail?  Where it’s ok that I turned out just as I have.  Where it’s ok to have a crooked path instead of a straight line. 

Could it be? 

“Remember to cross the Jordan, regardless of the sounds you hear in the night”

And so I step.  I don’t want the unknown, the sounds in the night, to keep me stuck in Perfect Isle. 

I must cross this Jordan as well.  I’ve come so far.  Will you join me in Oopsland?

 

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I’m doing an online book/bible study through Proverbs 31 with Lysa TerKeurst’s What Happens When Women Say Yes to God and this is my blog hop day.   

My “Yes To God” story should be about how wonderful it is to follow him into unknown territories and all the great things ahead. 

But what about when you follow him there and it doesn’t turn out so well?  

That’s my Yes to God story.

I am the seed that got plucked out of the seed packet as Lysa TerKeurst mentions in her teachings for her book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.  I have gotten shoved down into the muddy, icky soil where it feels very dark.  And living in Perfect Isle as I do (#downwithperfectisle)……things need to be in control, they should NOT be muddy or dirty, and plans should execute properly.  What happens when you think you are following God, and it turns into something that appears to be a failure?  Well….it’s quite confounding to a Perfect Islander.

Loads of questions start flooding your mind.  Was I really listening to God?  Did I get myself here out of free will, and now I have to stay to “reap what I sowed”?  Even if it was a bad decision, and I wasn’t saying “Yes to God”…..will he still help me?

I’ve spent too much time in Perfect Isle analyzing the “why” I am where I am.  It’s exhausting really.  Do you know what I am talking about? 

So my “Yes to God” commitment is to start believing, I mean really believing, that I am exactly where God wants me to be.  Every moment of every day is exactly what it is supposed be.    

There is nothing to analyze.  There is nothing to beat myself up about. 

I have immigrated to Oopsland.  This is a part of the Oopsland culture.  To rest for a moment, in where I am at.  To believe the everyday, mundane activities are exactly where God needs me in this moment.  To rest in the Lord and the fact that he can find me no matter where I have landed.  And that maybe, just maybe, I really am exactly where he needs me to be for whatever comes next.

How do I put my Yes to God into action this week?

As I walk through my day….I am literally repeating to myself, “This is exactly as it should be”.  “This is OK”.  As I lay down to sleep and a billion tasks that did not get finished are flowing through my head, I reassure myself “I am doing exactly what I need to be doing right now.  I am taking care of myself and resting”.  “Everything is as it should be, I am saying Yes to God”.

I have a note by my door.  Every day as I switch off the light and lock the door, I touch the note and say “Lord, Today I CHOOSE you”. 

It’s a daily choice for some.  A moment by moment choice for me to keep reminding me there is a way out of Perfect Isle.

How are you reconciling your Perfect Isle thoughts about a perceived failure?  How are you implementing your immigration to Oopsland and saying Yes to God?

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Perfect Isle can’t sustain all the life on the planet.  The leadership, called the Mantrites, did not believe in culling the population.  Therefore, the current state of the world requires each person’s life to be very regimented and scheduled.  Their entire waking moments are planned out for them in order to master the balance of the planet.  If I miss my alarm and get groceries at 3:00 pm instead of 10:00 am, then too many people will be in the grocery store at one time.  The balance will be thrown off and catastrophe will ensue.

Today was another branding ceremony.  I’m so tired of these.  Every time we fail, we have to go to The Branding.  In Perfect Isle everyone has a Counter.  It’s the number of times you have failed since birth.  Society uses it to rank people.  To decide who is worthy of certain things like marriage, job promotions, an upgraded house, divorce or the ultimate dismissal – being shipped to Oopsland. 

When The Branding tradition started, it was to keep the balance in Perfect Isle.  It exists on such a precipice of control that someone who cannot keep the rules, or someone who wants to try new things, is a very big risk.  Failing means you could do something that would offset the control system.  Therefore, the biggest risks are shipped to Oopsland to get them out of Perfect Isle.

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I have to get out.  Panic.  Disorientation.  So overwhelmed, frustrated, cast-down.  Absolute hopelessness. 

Coded symbols.  What do they mean?  Will they lead me to Oopsland?  I keep seeing these symbols in various areas around the city.  On the corner of the building as I rode the train.  On the sidewalk in the park.  Another on the menu at a restaurant.  The coded symbols were only things other people whispered about.  I had never seen them before.  Now I am seeing them almost daily.  I have asked some trusted people what they mean, could it be Oopsland?  I’m very careful and I always whisper because getting caught talking about Oopsland would mean severe punishment.

I have finally been told how to indicate your desire to immigrate to Oopsland.   It took a lot of effort to get this information.  I had to really want it.  But finally someone trusted me enough.  Trusted that I wasn’t secretly a Watcher.  Finally, I learned that there is an orange bench, in a park on the west side of the city.  The bench has a bird painted on the back.  Go to the bench 4 days in a row and sit for exactly 3 minutes.  On the 5th day there will be a person who sits down beside me and comments on the “blue bird”.  I am to reply, “I prefer red birds”.  Then this person will be my guide to get to Oopsland.  The process is slow.  There is a lot to learn.  Only the strong actually make it. 

All I know for sure is I have to get to Oopsland.  There has to be a way out of Perfect Isle.  I can’t live like this anymore.  Day after day, after day.  To the casual observer I go to great effort to appear normal.  I fit in.  I follow the processes of Perfect Isle “perfectly”.  But inside I am dying.  Each day is another cry for freedom.  Another day where I think “there has to be a different way”. 

Dare I hope there could be life outside of Perfect Isle?  A place where people are allowed to learn, to fail, to create?

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Normally I would stress over something as “important” as my first blog post. Then 6 months from now it still wouldn’t be done.  

Sound familiar? 

I am here to declare my desire to immigrate to Oopsland.  

We have fled to Oopsland to seek refuge from Perfect Isle. Therefore, my very first blog post doesn’t have to be perfect. 

Done is better than perfect.

Welcome to Oopsland.

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