Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Dawn.

There are lots of sayings about dawn and joy and the new day...

The night is darkest just before dawn...
Sorrow lasts for the night but Joy comes in the morning...

.....I think we've hit that early minutes of dawn where all is still very dark but the sun is just barely starting to peak over and rise up.

And I love it. And I'm thankful for it. And I'm soaking in it.

It all kind of flipped around this weekend in a way I can't fully explain.. I told my husband and a dear friend when we spoke that I couldn't put a finger on what I was feeling saturday night but SOMETHING was different. 
Something just didn't feel the same in me.
And it wasn't a physical thing or an I'm getting sick thing.
It was very much emotional and spiritual and it felt.... good.
I said maybe its just the good weather we've had (we hit 70s this weekend before dropping back to freezing snow!)
I said maybe it was just a good day with fresh air.

But I knew that wasn't it.

And I said.... or maybe we are about to hit dawn.

After some really dark months.... the darkest I'd experienced in a while. It was resonating with me that this was the beginning of day break.

I have a hope in my heart that I can explain as nothing but Jesus. But it's so strong I can't contain it.

I've nonstop been in prayer, been in tears, been in song. Been on my face asking God to continue to be present with me.

After days of feeling so apart from Him my heart is bursting to feel Him near again.

But apart from his presence I can't explain the restored hope. The feeling of dawn so near I can taste it. Of our time line of hopes and dreams for God's plans... the desires of our heart... so close to becoming reality. But I feel it.

It's near.
It's not long now.
It's the minutes of dusk before the sun has actually begun to rise.
Darkness is still so near I almost can't see the color coming up over the horizon..
Oh but it's there.
And until then I am going to keep on praying and praising and crying like the emotional baby I am... because even tho I was mad, and I was sad and I turned my face in anger....

God never stopped pursuing me.
He never stopped loving me.
He never stopped reaching for me.
He never stopped planning for me.

And His timing is always perfect.
And I'm slowing looking back and seeing the answers to why.

Oh friends, joy truly comes in the morning... and it is truly darkest before the dawn...
But when the dawn comes...
It restores.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Super powers

A few weeks ago we were babysitting our kids bffs while their mama and daddy (our bffs)went out on a birthday dinner date. Like usual when we get these 4 together is was a big blast of energy and noise and joy and perfect. Their boys are each just a few months older than our girls and they all 4 play and get along so perfectly.

While they were running and jumping and acting like little kids do they started to play super heros. It was adorable as usual but the part that caught my attention was when Connor told Kaylee that his super power was that when he falls down he can get back up again.

It was simple, and yet it stood out so profoundly to me that day... which is why I'm still thinking on it 4 weeks later.

The day that this happened was an especially chaotic day in an especially trying week in an excruciating month. I was tired, I was sad, I was just plain burnt out and feeling down. And when he said it I remember smiling and saying "ugh I could use that super power right now." I remember thinking that it would be so nice to just get up and shake off all these falls and not feel so impacted. I remember really beating myself up in that day and week in general for being so emotional and shaken and doubtful. I think the thing is that It's not in my nature to doubt or be so negative, normally I'd say that nothing even really makes me fall all the way down... stumble a little sure but nothing so hard as it had been lately. And certainly nothing that tripped me over and held me down. I guess you could say that typically Connor's super power of just getting back up was second nature to me.

But what I've been realizing in oh... the last 2-3 weeks is that while I've always gotten up, what I didn't realize was I was never getting back up by myself. It was always God taking me by the hand and standing me up as a daddy does for his daughter when she falls.

There is beauty is the struggle, and days even where I have the pleasure of really seeing it. Days where I can be thankful for it (wow.. right?)

I have spent the last 7 years falling in love and trusting Him with much of my life... notice how I said much? I'm realizing that struggle is something to help open our eyes. We're able to see more. I trusted Him with much, but I'm realizing I didn't trust him with all.. and certainly didn't rely on Him FOR all. I believed He could do all but didn't believe Him to actually DO it all. When you feel as if everything is being pulled away and things are spiraling... when every day is painful... you have NO choice but to turn to Him. There have been days where it takes everything I have in me to even just turn my face towards him, and thats okay. Because He is the only one who can get me through this. I know he has a plan and in all of the chaos I feel him drawing me in and asking me to trust Him..

And more than that I feel Him taking my hand and helping me to get bacj up when I can't get up on my own. So maybe I don't have a super hero super power.... but I do have a Savior and His Power is far greater than anything else and knowing He is guiding me through and carrying me in the parts I can't go on me own makes each day just a touch easier. The people he's placed in our lives to do life besides, stand in the gap for us, and lift us up certainly make life a lot more bearable on the bad days too.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Send me, I'll go.

I've had this thing nagging at my heart for the last few weeks or maybe months as this whole year has kind of run together on me (is it really mid-march?!).. It's not even so much that its nagging as it is that it lingers over my heart as I've waded through the emotions that have flushed over me with the events of the last few weeks.

It's no secret that we've faced our share of hardships over the last year (3 years really), but they've felt especially heavy in the last 4-5ish months and virtually impossible in the last 3 months, and I've struggled. I've struggled to make sense of it all, I've struggled with doubt and confusion and anger and tears and the list goes on. I've questioned why we had been dealt these cards and why it had to be me to walk this road. I've struggled with physical and emotional and mental pain in ways I never really knew that I could. I've begged and pleaded and prayed for things to go a different way and I've been straight up mad as hell when they didn't and I have even come to the point of not being able to pray words at all. I've questioned where God has been and why why why did we have to keep on being piled on to when it felt as if we were barely keeping our heads above the waves as the struggles crashed in from all sides... Mike's continually deteriorating health, our battle to sell the house, our battle to keep the house from falling apart around us and from spending every penny in our name to keep it standing,  my own health struggles, car issues, my mom being hospitalized and on life support,  the navy throwing all sorts of surprises at us, a bad case of anxiety for me, and the list goes on and on and it's usually something new everyday. The hard thing is that by themselves some of the things are truly so insignificant but when you feel like you're already sinking the smallest weight can make you feel like you're drowning. And so because of it all... I was feeling mad, I was feeling doubtful, I was asking why me.

And one night as I sat in darkness, sobbing silent tears, crying out "why me God? Why me?! I want to do big things for you and instead I'm stuck in this misery! It's not fair!" And I was reflecting on the days and weeks events, sermons I'd heard, things I'd read.... and He spoke this little reminder into my heart... and it hasn't left me since...

"You said you would go where ever I led you, that you would go wherever I sent you."

You see when this hit me. It wasn't of guilt or of condemnation or even of anger. It was simply the truth.. and God was reminding me of something I said, something that I know virtually every single Christian/Christ-follower says "Lord here I am, send me, wherever you lead me I will follow, have your will and way with my life. Make your Glory show in my life. Lord where ever you send me, I'll go." These are not uncommon for anyone who believes in Jesus to say... And when I said them I thought that I truly believed them. And I think that every Christian thinks that they truly mean those words when they speak them to God.

But what hit me that night, alone in His presence surrounded by the darkness, tears streaming down my face, questioning why I was in this place was this... when I spoke those words and surrendered my life to His will I just assumed (as I think a lot of Christians do) that it would be his will to send me to India or something... or to work in an inner city teen center, or to work in a church or something. I assumed that it would be His will to use me in a powerful way (which I still believe He is) but I thought that would feel good for me. You see I said "have your will and way lead me where you want me, I will go where you send me" ..... but I meant... long as its easy... long as I dont have to struggle...
...but not if I dont prosper in the mean time..
...but not if I'm the hurt one... long as I understand it... long as it looks pretty...
...but not if I don't get what I want too.. long as it doesnt take long..
...but not if its hard..
..but not if its painful... long as my husband is healthy and strong...

And the list goes on and on and on. I didn't know when I said "Lord send me I'll go" that I meant all of these things but obviously sitting where I was sitting that night I realized I had only wanted him to send me to places I wanted to go not truly where He would send me no matter what.

And that was a hard revelation.... in all the best ways. And so I've chewed on and thought through this ever since (about a month).

And here's the conclusion I've come to. I'm human, which means I am naturally sinful. I am not perfect. But God is not surprised by me. He wrote the chapters of my life long before I could imagine them and the day that I said "Lord send me" He already knew that on that dark night I would be crying out "Why me??" He already knew that when I said have your will that I didn't fully understand what that meant, but His will is playing out anyways. And while I don't understand this chapter of storms we're going through, it's still a chapter in the book of life that He wrote me... and He can handle my emotions and questions as I wade through this, because after all He is the one who created me and knows my heart better than anyone else.

And a month ago while I was crying out why me, He reminded me that this story isn't over yet.. these storms will always be in the pages of my book, but I won't always be in this chapter. Joy comes in the morning, and there is eventually a rainbow. And even more than that he reminded me that God is going to receive all the glory, and even in my mess.. ESPECIALLY in this mess... He's bringing himself glory.  He's a sovereign God, he's in control and only He knows whats on the other side of this and I trust Him. He's guiding me through even when I don't see or feel him, and all I know is my life no matter how hard it feels lately is far fuller than it ever was without Him and while I may stumble and waver and fight it occasionally I won't ever walk this road alone and he'll carry me when I can't walk. And that is why I'll trust His heart even when I can't see His hand.

And now I truly know that I mean it with every being when I say "Send me, I'll go."

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