Tuesday, May 17, 2011

i looked, and found, a
celebrate recovery group close by.
the Christian version of AA. for me,
when i attend a meeting, i go to do
WORK. on myself. my struggles. my
bent to addictions of performance and
praise and pain pills. i call it doing

this night,
there was a new woman in
the group so we went around to
introduce ourselves. the circle came
to me.

hi! i'm ann.
an addict. and
probably, like each of you,
genuinely broken by life,
and my human bent to
fix things on my own terms.

sharing started.
my name is....., and i am
a shoplifter, with many convictions
behind me. i need prayer as i get
ready to go before the judge with my
latest offense.

i am an alcoholic,
among other things. i am
really struggling. every night,
God says to me, "go to bed
with your husband."
but i like this t.v. program. or...
i'm not tired. or...i just don't want to.
God keeps calling me, and i keep resisting.

my name is lindsay (not real name).
i'm an addict with an anger problem.
pregnant, and very impatient with my
three year old daughter. my husband
comes in from work. blood-shot eyes.
tense. exhausted. not always very nice,
either. i need prayer. i just know how
hard it is going to be when this baby comes,
and i'll also have a toddler running around.

it is quiet.
earnest. big, black boots
of fear and failure and terror start
rolling around. stomping.
making noise inside our heads. telling us
to be quiet. that the great shame that
owns us needs to stay inside us.

my name is rosie. i'm an alcoholic. i've hooked
up with EHARMONY because i don't want to
be alone the rest of my life, but then i keep
asking myself if any guy will want me if they
know of the gay relationships in my past.
tears glistening in her eyes.

all of us so broken that we cannot
imagine even holding the mildest judgement
toward each other in the circle.

a tiny seam of light flickers. the whisper
that deliverance can be ours. God promises...if
we fully grasp that we are POWERLESS in and of
ourselves...and look to Him, the ONLY Power greater
than ourselves...then we can find hope. we are all enslaved, and Jesus,
beautiful and pure, listens. to our ragged, raw breathing
slicing through the thick enslavement of ourselves.

well, i am ann.
i flew to a speaking date
last week, and instead of
receiving my negotiated fee with
the speakers' bureau, the sponsor coldly handed
me a check that was just pitance for my
flying across the country to speak. i
was rushed out of the large church,
tears streaming down my face. stunned.
hurt. no, devastated. i'm struggling financially,
but worse was the feeling that i wasn't worthy
of my assignment. never once, in my thirty-plus year
career of speaking and writing, had this happened.
i feel like a worm. no good. as with
others, tears began to balance on the lids of my
eyes, and i was trying to hold onto them. to NOT
reveal how deep this wound felt.

psalm 91:1, 2, 4, 14, 15
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty....
He will cover you with His feathers, and
under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart...
I will deliver him and honor him..."

keep marching, warriors.
do not let fatigue and failure
lure you to hopelessness.
the Son shines for us. the warmth
healing our deepest hurts and failures.

ann kiemel anderson

Thursday, May 5, 2011

colson berry anderson
married christina, and took,
as his own, her beautiful, baby daughter.
in a small cove by ocean waves above san

brandt, his brother, was best man.
and i held my one grandbaby, colben,
sitting next to my first daughter-in-law,

taylor and brock were proud of both
their younger brothers. speaking love
and commitment to them. i sat, with humble
gratitude at the amazing way God's vast love and
grace have followed us through so many beautiful
AND tumultuous years as a family.

roar, oceans, roar,
shine, glistening sun, shine.
and may rewards come.....and
surprises live....as we toil,
day in and day out of our ordinary lives,
tangled in extraordinary adventures and

i'm a softie as a mom.
will believed that almost everything should
be absolute, and i have always held to only a few
absolutes, but many negotiables.
two years ago, colson was home. smart. clever.
a genius as a salesman and a writer, but he wasn't
going anywhere. he announced, one day, that he was
moving back to modesto. another quick decision.

okay, colson.
but you cannot come home when it gets tough.
i spoke with tears in my eyes, and silent prayers of
deep resolve. one evening, he called.

mom, it is pouring rain, and i am
cold and hungry and i have no money. will you
please come and get me?

oh, honey, i'm sorry. i'm just walking into a
prayer class. find a bathroom somewhere, and
get on your knees and pray. tell Jesus what you need.

you are going to LEAVE me here like this?!!!

tears running down my face, i calmly said,
yes, darling. it is just you and Jesus out there.
today, he tells a sad story (makes me feel horror and pride)
of being homeless. sleeping on a bench some nights.
it was the most difficult, hands down, task I had EVER taken
on. forcing colson to find his way in this big, hard world.

he went to colorado. via train. for awhile.
back to modesto. a hard worker. had good jobs.
and when anyone peeled back the rough exterior, there
could not be a sweeter, more honest and loving heart than
colson's. he KNEW God. he had a moral conscience. and
he would vulnerably confess things to me. i would chew the
inside of my gums, but be silent while he talked. hugging and
kissing him after, and reminding him that some day, i felt he
would run my ministry of dreams and changing the world
for Jesus.

well, colson perservered. and i did.
i loved and pushed and prayed. hanging onto his shirt
for all my might, but not letting him come home except for
a family get-together or a week-end. and i would cry and cry.
but he could not hear me.
he did not know. God was
helping me make a man out of my son.

so, when april 23 came, and colson, with christina's father's,
and my blessing, married, i threw balloons through the air.
i laughed at the sun. i danced on all the trials and sins and temptations
colson had conquered, and i wrapped my arms around another
beautiful daughter-in-law and a new, grandbaby girl. buying her
ballerina slippers and lots of pink.

and i knew that my son, and i,
and his brothers, understood
better than ever before, that Jesus died and lives and
always, always, always promises
bright, happy tomorrows after the
darkness of hardships.

glorious Savior.
beautiful grace.
the glory of motherhood, and the suffering, too.
believe! believe! believe!
stay on course and watch the lip of the horizon
as it rises and sets, finally, on your dreams.