I have been meaning to write for a while now, as a way to begin to reconnect with some of you I haven’t been in touch with in awhile . Too many times in the last couple months I’ve sat down to write a blog post, email, or Facebook message, and words are simply too difficult (this post took weeks actually – finished it a month ago but just now remembered to click ‘publish’). I write a sentence, and then it seems that I’ve exhausted all that was in me. I must admit, and only for the sake of background and not as an excuse, that the season I just passed through was really hard. Anticipating news, some troubling decisions, and an overall haunting of discouragement and fear that presented itself without explanation. Maybe you’ve also known a season of weeks or months or maybe even years that seem a bit darker the rest. A season when tears fall often and without reason, patience is always thin, and sadness often trumps gladness.
I’m not sure why these periods occur, but I appreciate that throughout them I never stop learning – the kind of learning that involves falling down, scraping my knees, and letting others help me up so I can be better the next time. While they are trying in every aspect of life, the hard seasons often bring the very best of learning. During the month or so that felt like a dark cloud was following me, I chose to wake up each day asking God to bring the sun back into my life. Days passed and nothing changed; the sorrow remained and words were still difficult. Each day seemed to be a bit harder to hope, yet desperation demanded increasing faith. But then one day, something changed. Prayers were answered, decisions came easily, and the world seems to have returned to its usual brightness… A reminder that He does not forget or fail me; healing comes in time.
I apologize that I have not been very present, but I hope to make up for it by sharing some of what’s going on in my brain.. I have this bad habit of receiving an email from Audible (a subscription service that allows you to buy audiobooks) telling me that I have credits to use and then immediately buying a book on a whim. I’ve found myself searching for titles of books that I know little to nothing about, and then clicking that ‘check out’ button before even reading the reviews. While this is probably not the best way to spend my monthly subscription, I must tell you that I think there is some sort of divine intervention taking place in this process. One of my recent acquisitions was Bob Goff’s ‘Love Does’. It is far from a theological text, but rather a conversation with a friend who tells countless light-hearted tales of God’s faithfulness. In this season, it is exactly the encouragement God knew I needed. Below is a bit I found to capture my heart pretty well.
Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, “Let’s go do that together.”
Just as this paragraph suggests, He is again delighting my soul with hopes and dreams and an attitude of joy. I am still far from understanding this crazy world we live in and the life God’s gifted me, but I do know that I am wholly loved by the Creator of the universe and that alone provides me hope. Every day I become more aware of my need for grace, and for God’s voice whispering to me that I am forgiven and that today is a day to do better, love more, and react less strongly. I am empowered by His voice overcoming my fears, telling me that I must trust that he has equipped me to take on this day and love the people he’s placed in my life .
I write today, not to make you concerned over my well-being, but rather to provide an encouraging word that I wish I had received a couple months ago. If you are in a season that is trying and seems endless, I must remind you that it will end and light will come. Maybe it will require time and help from outside sources, but do not lose heart. Perhaps you’ve never seen such a time, and for that I will send up praise with you! But maybe if you know someone in such a place right now, will you do me a favor and sit next to them as they pass through? Will you pray for them and provide love even when it’s not easy? I am so grateful for those in my life who provided that to me recently, and was reminded at how important it is to simply be present amidst pain. I pray that this holiday season, God guides you in determining what or who it is you are made to love and that you go do that just as Bob proposes. What a delightful season is ahead if we keep that in mind.