Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Free Glacial Silt Mask with my good friend Marne in Talkeetna, AK!

So...Jason has been asking me to blog for some time and I keep telling him I am not a writer...which I am not. I am scattered as it is, but to attempt to transfer thoughts in my brain onto "paper" in some sort of organized fashion to be read by others....well, that is just humorous. However, it is just who I am so I say to those who read...welcome to the mess inside my mind and good luck.
If you have never visited Alaska, you need to. It is one of a kind. It is majestically beautiful, but that is not what I am referring to. It is free. Not financially....which is why you probably have never been here and why we don't get out much. I mean FREE! There are not many rules and most of the time it seems there are just NO rules. Most people just sort of go and do where they please into the wild. Yet, there is a sense of order and respect that is just understood, I guess. Maybe it is because there are untamed beasts lurking around the corner. Maybe it is because in the winter time people hunker down and there is a sort of "we're all in this together" mentality. Maybe it is because the days are so long in the summer that you play so hard, you are just plain exhausted. I really don't know, but I sure like it.
I have come to understand that so often (and maybe always), the supernatural mirrors the natural. It is no coincidence to me that this sense of freedom is so attractive to me since I have been on a quest for spiritual freedom for some time. A year and a half ago, the fam and I were at the Orange County Zoo and I encountered a bald eagle in a cage. It took my breath away and stopped me in my tracks. I was captivated. Here was this majestic eagle....made to soar through the broad sky...and he was perched on a tree in a CAGE. I looked at Jason with tears in my eyes and said "I feel like that eagle." In so many ways I have related to that eagle and I don't like it. I don't want to live in a cage. I don't want to just sit on a tree while people stare at me. I want to be free. I want to soar.
We have lived in the great state of Alaska now for 1 year and it has been the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It has been the year of records...these kind of records: "this is the worst summer since the 70s," (last summer), "this is the 5th coldest snap on record," (2 weeks of high negatives), "I have lived here 7 years and have never seen the volcano blow" etc....lucky us!! The biggest curve ball was getting pregnant. It literally knocked me off my feet and forced me to be inside most of the winter.....the LONG, DARK, COLD winter. I am NOT an inside person. I was so lonely, so tired, so sad. I kept asking God, "do you live in Alaska, Lord?" I couldn't feel Him, I couldn't see Him, I couldn't hear Him...and yet, I forced myself to believe on these two promises "Lo I am with you always," and "my grace is sufficient for you and my power is made perfect in weakness." It didn't FEEL true, but how often do our emotions tell lies? Truth is Truth no matter how we feel. So I just held on to it.
And now I have a beautiful, precious, sweet baby girl who is truly everyone's baby. She has brought life and joy to our family and to so many who have watched me grieve OUTLOUD this winter. God is Good...All the time. I am still sad. I love my God. I love my family. I love the adventures of Alaska and our new friends along with the old ones...but I am still that eagle.
The difference between the "OC" eagle and myself, however, is this...he is forced into the cage by his zoo keeper while my cage door is held open by mine. Why do I keep putting on my own shackles when Jesus has swung open the door and released me? I am beginning to realize it is because I don't believe. Oh, I can recite scripture to you about being loved, being saved, being forgiven...but I don't believe it. I mean really believe it...deep into the depth of my being. And so I cuff myself and strap the weight of the world to my shoulders and I sit on my perch wishing I could fly.
I have seen those eagles in Seward. They are free to fly up over the snow capped mountains and soar down over the ocean. They are doing what they are made to do.
I long to join them. To do and be who I am made to be. I am not a sinner saved by grace. I am a saint. Every command that has been given me has been fulfilled...DONE! Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so. Done! No more striving. No more, "but what about...?" No more, "if I could just be more"...."or "I should be....." No more self condemnation. No more living like a street kid. His grace IS sufficient...not one thing to add.
And so here I am....evangelizing my wounded self to believe the good news of Jesus Christ. What would happen if we all believed? I mean REALLY believed that we are loved? That we are righteous? That we are FREE!! We would be like the Seward eagles and not the OC eagle. No worries, no cares, no cage!!! Jesus, I my unbelief!!


Team Reedy said...

Linds, I'm so glad you posted this! It's so good to hear your heart...I miss your transparency and your amazing spirit! Jamie and I definitely want to come to Alaska in 2010 to visit the Swains - let's talk about when. :)

Love & prayers,

Derek said...

Great blogging debut Lindsay! It's great to "hear" from you. Love from our fam to yours!

Jillian said...

You are crazy. You are a FANTASTIC writer! I can hear your voice speaking those words, and it makes my heart rejoice and miss you all at the same time. You are so wonderful - in so many incredible ways. I love you; I pray for you constantly; and I miss you more than I could ever describe. I'm going to see you soon - I can't go much longer without seeing my Swain family!
Love you all,
Jill :)

and 2 became 5 said...

I am so glad Jason encouraged you to write. You have so much to say & I have so much to learn & I needed to hear those words.
We miss y'all & SO wish we lived closer.....and I think we used to say that when you were in franklin! You have a sweet sweet heart. And that baby girl is so adorable!

Heather said...

I love this post! I have tears in my eyes reading it, maybe because we have walked a similiar path this past year, but dealing with different emotions and living in 2 completely different worlds! I loved hearing your heart and I needed to hear that I am not alone in grief and wondering "Is God here?" Love you guys, blessings to you all!

momofmiageorge said...

Linds -
I just read this today...I kept checking your blog, and alas, no updates! But today, what a blessing! You, my precious friend, are a FANTASTIC writer and more importantly, you are a TRUE WOMAN OF GOD. You are listening to what He is teaching you, and you are willing to transparently share it with us.
I love you dearly, sweet friend. I so needed to read this today. Tell Jason that we'll miss his words, but we're so very blessed by yours. Miss you and wish I could give you a "Lindsay bear hug" back today.
You will always be so very precious to me, roomie of four years! You are a wonderful wife and mother and friend!

juniorj said...

Glad to see that things are well with you and the family.

Drake DNA said...

Wow Lindsey! That was great! Thanks for sharing your feelings, I can relate to those feelings. We miss you guys and love reading your blogs. Deaner says "hello" to you. Sending hugs your way......