2017 was a big one for growth over here. Lesson after lesson and endless experiencing, some of which are still being processed through. It’s strange because, there was A LOT of loss, some that left scars, but as I sit here now I know that every tiny detail needed to happen.
“God gave his word and he won’t take it back.” – Psalm 110:4 MSG
The other night I found a post I wrote on July 6th of this last summer that read:
“This season. This season that has me out back on a Thursday evening while one child sleeps and the other two eat licorice and edamame for dinner. This season where most nights look similar. This season that rarely has me winning and mostly has me feeling forgotten by God. This season where my heart rages war with my mind, and I remind myself daily that my feelings, though valid to God, cannot always be trusted. This exhausting season that has me burnt out on people’s crap – and baggage – and mess….most of all my own. This season where my spirit is pleading with me to keep sorting, keep healing, keep digging – Bc Jesus was all about people’s crap – and baggage – and mess. “Don’t you shrink back, don’t you dare forget how far I’ve carried you.” Oh this season where I often feel like I’m standing outside of myself, watching the history of my life play out like a film that’s hard to watch…and he whispers “I was there then too, trust my love for you.” This season that is surely a Valley, full of fire and refining, no doubt in preparation for the “more” I have often prayed for. Oh this season so full of trash and grief, where yet again he is faithful through it all.”‘
As I spent some time with a girlfriend today, and in a moment of processing she said to me: “When we absorb hurt and pain and choose forgiveness instead, we are the most Christ-like at that point than we will ever be.” she then quoted Isaiah 53:3
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”
You see, I have said so many times before that I wish my story, wasn’t mine to own. I’ve walked the walk with feeling like “too much” and even being told that I am. And last year, I had sort of subconsciously made up my mind that it was my turn to soak up some “normalcy”. “It’s my turn to live lightly, I have earned this.” I remember actually feeling that way. Like, I had become envious of the women around me who attended the same church, went to the same book clubs, and were living the “unicorn and rainbows” life. I was so jealous & ignoring the fact that I knew that the gospel demands more from us, but I didn’t care. I hid, I lived small, & I didn’t risk much, though I would’ve never admitted that to you at the time. I was in a really great season of marriage, I was on staff at our church, I was building really fruitful friendships after a season of friendship loss, I was surrounded with so much goodness – it was allllll good & I just wanted to live my life. So I settled in, and well…in his goodness, the Lord had other plans.
The hard truth is: there is no such thing as a “unicorn and rainbow” style of christian living – it does not exist even for those that appear that way from the outside. And I was smart enough to know that, not to mention it wasn’t my business to be peering over my sisters fence – especially when I was doing a really crummy job tending to my own garden…..ya feel me?
The girl who fell apart 6 months ago was a girl who was desperately begging to stay in what felt safe, and God was calling me out of hiding. I was both pleading with him to not take anything away from me & arrogantly acting like I had any right to question his moves in my life. I was in a really unhealthy spot and probably the most unaware I have ever been. Now, none of this was a conscious choice, you know…hindsight and all that jazz. Up until a week or so ago, I couldn’t even quite articulate what that season was for me or what was happening internally because I had honestly never experienced fear in that way before. And as I read that post the other night, I could see how the Lord was giving me warnings even then of the dangerous ground that I was so selfishly heading into. God was gracious to me in the “falling apart”, He saw that I was set on sitting in my comfort and knowing that I was created for more – he intervened. Friends, I cannot even articulate how grateful I am now.
Naturally, there are a handful of things that I wish were “different” today, and there are some that I wish weren’t different, but mostly I am next level thankful for the way that I am different. I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin than I do in this season, I have never felt so safe in the Lord’s care, more confident in his will over my life, and honestly I have never felt more at peace with loneliness. He didn’t waste a drop of my pain & he used that muddy water to open up my eyes. My heart wants whatever His vision for me is, and for the first time I have the tiniest understanding of what the risk really looks like and I understand that I wasn’t created for light and fluffy, I am not the keep it simple friend, and I finally know that that’s ok.
My story is mine – but my story is mostly His, all the pain, all the trauma, and all of the redemption & I want to be who God wants me to be, not who everyone else needs me to be to make them feel comfortable. I want to stand in the gaps that He’s calling me to in full confidence of his power. I want to walk with the women he has placed in my life in whatever season they are in and empower them to be all that He has created them to be. I want to love hard, and deep, and wide, and know that I am in my lane while I hold up the tired arms of fellow believers who might be running low on endurance. I want to raise fierce young girls to become fierce young women, who one day remember me as a woman who didn’t run when the ground got shaky- but that their mama knew that Kingdom work was untidy and so she pressed in – not on her own strength, but on the Lords. And if you end this with any sort of thought, I implore you to believe that you are capable and called to the same kind of deep waters! The gospel is messy friends, if you aren’t risking anything – you aren’t really living it. It aint cute and there’s no anthropology candles to hide the stench, but his faithfulness is quite enough… so go live your best life, in Jesus name.