Monday, August 15, 2016
There is the danger, when one announces a big "thing" coming, that the moment may be a bit of a disappointment to those who were waiting with much anticipation. Assuming there are one or two of those people, I apologize in advance if my moment - my epiphany - is not quite what you expected.
I've "written" this post over and over again in my wee head, and I never can seem to get it just right. I can't quite tie up all the loose ends or wrap it all in a nice neat package. Perhaps that's the nature of epiphanies. They're personal. I will do my best to share mine with you in the hope it may, in some small way, be an encouragement.
Many years ago I learned the hard lesson of trust in the midst of pain. I've written about it many times. It was a pivotal moment in my walk with the Lord. This imaginative, optimistic "little girl" discovered happy endings don't always come after the hard thing. Sometimes, we find something much deeper and richer.
There. Lesson learned. Let's get on with life. For a while, that's just the way it was - a season of relative peace. The calm before the storm.
It hit hard. We reeled under the force of it for such a long, long time. This time I didn't sink under the weight of it. I held on, and we made it through. Surely now, now life would even out.
Before the sky could clear, before we could take a deep breath the clouds reformed and the winds gained strength, and we were hit with things we could never have imagined. I kept hanging on, but something had changed.
I couldn't find words. I love to write. I had written a whole book and at one time had been bursting with ideas for another. Now I couldn't form a single thought. My once vivid imagination disappeared. I couldn't imagine a single thing. A blog post seemed like a superhuman feat.
I thought if I took time to rest and regroup the words would come back. I knitted blankets and read. I walked. I listened to uplifting podcasts. I wanted to be very quiet, but I couldn't stand the silence. I filled it with talks, music and television.
It felt as though the lost words were a metaphor for my life. Something essential had disappeared.
I was walking in the mall, the boring mall, when it hit me. The words were gone because there was simply no room for them in my heart. I had allowed the weight of our circumstances to push everything else out. The anxiety I didn't realize I was carrying filled every inch of available space.
I felt something shift in that moment. I didn't know what it was at the time. Now I understand. I had somehow let go of hope.
Of course life is hard. Of course there are times when it seems like we just don't get a break. I think I had resigned myself to that. I had traded my childish beliefs for something God had never intended. Yes - He wants me to know He is good and that I can trust Him. But He doesn't want me to live below my circumstances. He wants me to remember His promises and to hold on to hope.
Hope - confident expectation. I know I don't need to preach you a sermon on hope, friends. Suffice it to say, when you know eternity is secure and your life is in His hands, all is well.
With the hope comes joy and peace. It's true. And words.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."